The Best of Our Knowledge
12:02 pm
Mon November 16, 2009

The Best of Our Knowledge # 1000

Albany, NY – THE ODD COUPLE IN EDUCATION: ON THE ROAD WITH REV. AL SHARPTON AND FORMER SPEAKER NEWT GINGRICH

"2 MILLION MINUTES: THE 21ST CENTURY SOLUTION" THE SEQUEL -

Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, is making frequent school visits around the country as part of what is billed a Listening and Learning Tour, to try and find out what school strategies work and why they work.

On several of these tour stops, Secretary Duncan is being joined by a seeming odd couple Rev. Al Sharpton and former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.

They are screening the educational documentary, "2 Million Minutes: The 21st Century Solution" which is a follow up to a previous effort two years ago by producer, Bob Compton. At that time, we had Compton and two of the featured students on TBOOK.

Rev. Sharpton and Speaker Gingrich use the platform to discuss education reform.

Glenn Busby reports. (7:11)

**(If you would like more information on the above documentary, go to:
http://www.2mminutes.com.)**

NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION COMMITS MONEY TO ENCOURAGE
TEACHING AT HIGH-NEEDS SCHOOLS

"TURN AROUND FOR GREAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS INITIATIVE", Pt. 1 of 2 -

On the subject of education reform, the National Education Association has
released a report and launched what it terms the "Turn Around For
Great Public Schools Initiative." The NEA hopes to improve the nation's "high-
needs" schools by attracting and retaining qualified teachers to work in these
challenging schools.

This week, TBOOK speaks with NEA Executive Director, John Wilson about their
study, their commitment of 6-million dollars over the next six years, and how they
are identifying the 1-thousand high-needs schools.

Next week, we discuss how the NEA plans to spend its member's money, plans
for performance pay, and who the NEA hopes to partner with.

Glenn Busby reports. (5:11)

**(Find out more about the NEA Initiative online at their website: www.nea.org.)**

ASTROBIOLOGY RESEARCH AND EDUCATION SERIES

"MOVING BEYOND SULFATE-DEPENDENT METHANE OXIDATION IN COLD SEEPS", Pt. 1 of 2 -

If humans were able to travel back in time to visit the Earth 3-billion years ago, scientists say we would likely not recognize it as the same planet we inhabit today.

The atmosphere was very different from what we breathe today, believed then to contain methane, ammonia, and other gases which would be toxic to most life on Earth today. But it was during this time span, called the early Archaean era, that life first appeared on Earth and started to evolve.

Our featured guest today has been studying samples buried deep beneath the ocean floor to discover not only about life on this planet, but the potential for life on other planets. Dr. Christopher House is a Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University.

Next week, Dr. Chris House discusses with us how this oxidation process impacts our understanding of climate change, and even new genes his research has uncovered.

Glenn Busby reports. (6:58)

The preceding is made possible by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, through support of the New York Center for Astrobiology, located at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - in partnerships with the University at Albany, the University of Arizona, and Syracuse University.

**(For more information about this story, or any of the other more than 150 stories featured in this current and past exclusive radio series, or if you would like to hear them again via your computer, the website given at the conclusion of the above segment is: www.origins.rpi.edu )**