Senior U.S. Department of Education advisor on education reform and union issues

November 8, 2010

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(AP/file)
Thousands rallied in April to protest scores of budget cuts at the Illinois State Capitol in April.

President Obama has said he hopes the new Congress will find common ground when they meet in Washington next spring. But finding consensus on one divisive issue, education, is no small feat. Still, the stakes to do so couldn’t be higher.

About half the kids who start high school in Chicago never finish. Lately one big focus across the country has been on improving teacher quality. But what exactly makes for a good teacher, and how do you encourage teacher development?

Someone who’s helping to set the education agenda on the national front is the senior advisor to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Before taking his current post, Jo Anderson was the executive director of the Illinois Education Association – the state’s largest teacher union.

He says teacher evaluation definitely needs an overhaul.  Eight Forty-Eight spoke to Anderson to discuss education reform and how federal initiatives are playing out around Chicago and the state.