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CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute Hosted by Anderson Cooper Airs Sunday, December 7 at 8PM ET Pen Farthing, a former Royal Marine Sergeant, who reunites soldiers with the stray dogs they befriend while serving in Afghanistan, was named the 2014 CNN Hero of the Year by Anderson Cooper at the eighth-annual CNN Heroes An All-Star […] Full Post

November 3rd, 2011
11:40 AM ET

Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday Primetime Special: FIXING EDUCATION

Restoring the American Dream – FIXING EDUCATION Debuts Sunday at 8:00pm ET and PT

TIME Magazine Companion Story “When Will We Learn?” Hits Newsstands Friday

American primary and secondary education were once envied by much of the world, but over the last few decades U.S. students have fallen behind – while students in other countries have benefitted from improvements to their educational systems.  CNN and TIME magazine’s Fareed Zakaria interviews innovative and creative leaders working on solutions to fix what ails American education in his November primetime special, Restoring the American Dream – FIXING EDUCATION, on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 8:00pm & 11:00pm ET & PT, and for a companion TIME magazine cover article, “When Will We Learn?” that hits newsstands Friday. 

PISA, the Program for International Student Assessment, ranks 15-year-olds for basic skills achievement in 65 industrialized nations.  In the latest PISA rankings, the U.S. ranks 15th in reading, 23rd in math, and 31st in science.  Zakaria guides viewers through tours of what is working in education in countries with high rankings – to South Korea where students have more classroom time; and Finland, where professionalization of the teacher workforce has improved educators – in order to mine ideas for what could put U.S. education back on the right track.

Featured in the special are:

  • Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, whose foundation has donated $5 billion dollars to schools, libraries, and scholarships tells Zakaria that the single most important determinant in the quality of a student’s education is the teacher.  The Gates Foundation is the leading source of private money for education in the U.S..
  • Salman Khan,founder of the Khan Academy, an educational organization that provides free, self-paced tutorials and student assessments online.  Khan’s famous podcasts have delivered more than 83 million free lessons in math, science and other topics, and he tells Zakaria that customizing education can improve learning through leveraging how students learn differently.  He thinks it would not be that difficult to teach all American students this way.
  • NYU Professor, former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education, and author (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, 2010) Diane Ravitch has spent a lifetime in education policy analysis and has seen education reforms come and go – and harm students.  Ravitch supports a rigorous national curriculum and tells Zakaria that standardized testing, charter schools, and modeling public education after business models have politicized American education and degraded schools for a generation.
  • Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, in Washington, now leads StudentsFirst, a nonprofit aimed at education reform through, among other measures, ending teacher tenure and supporting charter school alternatives to traditional public schools.

 A FAREED ZAKARIA GPS Special: Restoring the American Dream – FIXING EDUCATION – debuts Sunday, Nov. 6 at 8:00p.m. and 11:00p.m. ET/PT on CNN/U.S.  It will replay on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 8:00p.m. and 11:00p.m. ET/PT on CNN/U.S.  Preview available here: Fareed Zakaria and Brooke Baldwin discuss what makes a great teacher.

Fareed Zakaria’s TIME magazine cover story, When Will We Learn? hits newsstands Friday, Nov. 4.

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