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EducationNation Sessions Address Workforce Readiness, School Reform


Famous for his immense wealth and his penchant for philanthropy, billionaire Warren Buffett is slated to participate in NBC’s Education Nation Summit as the subject of an exclusive interview.

Buffett, who has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in expanding and improving educational opportunities in the United States, will be joined by his wife Suzie and Melinda Gates on Sept. 26 to discuss education. The interview represents one of the first opportunities to hear from Buffett on what he thinks about the state of U.S. education today, and why Susie Buffett is committed to supporting early childhood learning initiatives. Viewers will also hear from Melinda Gates, who will have the latest news from the work on teacher effectiveness supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In addition to the Buffett interview, other summit sessions that NBC recently confirmed include:

The Changing Face of Education — More than one in five students in the nation’s public schools are Latino—constituting the largest, and fastest growing, minority group in our education system. But Latinos also have the lowest student achievement levels, with less access to early childhood programs, lower reading and math scores, a higher chance of dropping out of high school and worse odds of attending college than any other group. Meanwhile, with Latinos expected to represent 60 percent of the nation’s population growth over the next four decades, the country’s economic future depends on ensuring that Latinos are prepared for college and 21st century careers. Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart will moderate the discussion on Monday, Sept. 26.

Motor City On a Mission: Taking the Driver’s Seat in Education — In the last two years, Detroit has stunned the nation with the auto industry’s historic turnaround. Now, the Motor City is taking aim at a crisis of equal proportions—its failing schools—with an unprecedented gamble on school leadership. An historic partnership between the state, city and Eastern Michigan University will create a new school district made up of the most troubled Detroit schools. The district’s success will depend on a new system-wide leader and principals, who are given wide latitude to run their schools. This discussion will feature some of the leadership forces behind Detroit’s “Education Achievement Authority,” who will be joined later in the session by other education leaders who have beaten the odds in school systems across the country. MSNBC’s Tamron Hall will moderate this session on Monday, Sept. 26.

Going Local: What a City Can Do for Its Schools — Mayors understand that improving their local economies requires a well-prepared workforce, and that the buck stops with them. For some, that means tackling issues like health, hunger, homelessness and safety. For others, it means involving the entire community in expanding access to college. Participating mayors join education and community leaders to discuss how they’re addressing education and workforce challenges—and the partnerships they’re forming to get students all the way from pre-K to college graduation. NBC News’ Lester Holt will moderate the session on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

The 2011 Summit kicks off on Sunday, Sept. 25 with "Meet the Press" at Rockefeller Plaza, followed by a two-hour Teacher Town Hall televised on MSNBC beginning at 12:00 PM/ET. For the entire week of Sept. 25, "Nightly News," "Today," MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, The Weather Channel,,,, iVillage and NBC’s affiliate stations will highlight educational success stories, uncover sometimes staggering truths and myths about education, and help demonstrate how poor education cripples our economy and society.

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