Administrator Magazine
Scholastic Administrator is a must-read resource for 240,000 of today's results-driven school leaders. Every issue features leadership for education executives, insight and analysis into what's next in education, and reporting on cutting-edge technologies in real life applications.

Interview with Michael Bennet

“Education” senator has no patience for partisanship.

Bennet made national news recently when he went to the floor of the U.S. Senate and vehemently denounced procedural delays getting in the way of the education committee's attempt to update No Child Left Behind. A committee member and a former Denver Public Schools superintendent, Bennet has been profiled in The New Yorker for his efforts to turn around that city's most dysfunctional schools, and is known for his commitment to education issues. So we asked the Democratic senator what happens next with federal policy-and how it will affect districts and schools.

Q: What got you so heated during the ESEA markup process in October?
A: There is no place further from our nation's schools than the U.S. Congress. And while we in Washington have become so mired in narrow political ideologies that nothing gets done, our children and teachers are paying the price.

Q: Do you consider yourself a fan or a foe of NCLB?

A: I have often said that if a rally were held today to keep No Child Left Behind the same, no one would show up. While NCLB drove important progress on transparency and data disaggregation, I think it's clear that the status quo in public education is not working for our kids or our country.

Q: How do you feel about the Harkin-Enzi legislation that came out of the committee?
A: In Washington, where getting anything done is rare, passing a bipartisan bill in committee is an important step forward. I am hopeful this can serve as a building block for a final bill that will roll back NCLB and dramatically improve outcomes for our kids.

Q: What about your priorities in terms of local control, equity, and teacher excellence?
A: I believe the bill passed by the HELP [Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions] Committee allows for a partnership with states and districts to drive reform, increasing flexibility while setting a high bar for excellence for all students. The bill passed out of committee drives equity by closing the comparability loophole, and it updates our approach.

Q: What do you think Secretary Duncan should do with states that aren't making progress on their Race to the Top commitments?
A: The secretary will have to walk a line between ensuring that states make good on their commitments while
recognizing the work is difficult and, in some cases, may take additional time to implement transformational change.

Q: Is SIG, the Obama administration's school improvement grant program, doing enough to help districts like Denver rescue broken schools, or is it getting in the way of local leaders figuring out what to do on their own?
A: SIG has been important in forcing action in the lowest-performing schools, something that is critical when we have children who are shackled to schools where they are getting no education at all. While some adjustments may need to be made to SIG, to insist these schools do something in exchange for taking federal funds is certainly not excessive intervention.

Q: What's your position on Duncan's NCLB waiver/reform scheme, which might well take effect if reauthorization doesn't get completed? At least one state-California-is claiming that the waiver plan will be extraordinarily expensive for states and districts to implement.
A: The administration's waiver package was designed to provide temporary relief to states that have been asking for relief from NCLB. The package can be an important tool for states like Colorado that are committed to setting a high bar for their students and teachers to gain additional flexibility to meet ambitious goals. However, waivers are not a comprehensive or permanent solution.

Q: Should school boards be elected, appointed, or abolished-or does governance not really matter as much as people think it does?
A: I am most interested in the outcomes at schools and school districts and ensuring that all kids are prepared for college and a career in the 21st-century job market. I've focused on making sure we have talented teachers and principals in our schools through proposals like the GREAT Teachers and Principals Act and the Presidential Teachers Corps.

Q: Where do you stand on three controversial teacher quality issues: ending seniority-based layoffs (LIFO), publishing value-added ratings, and paying teachers based on student achievement?
A: When I served as superintendent, we worked collaboratively with the union to institute a groundbreaking compensation system, ProComp. It increases starting compensation by 20 percent. It also rewards teachers based on their performance, for taking on tough assignments, and for teaching in hard-to-staff subjects.

Q: Should charter schools be required to enroll kids after the start of the year, or alternatively, should there be limits on how many kids district schools have to take?
A: In Denver, 100 percent of charters signed the charter compact, which says that all of their schools serve all of our kids and that we are committed to equity of opportunity, equity of access and responsibility, and equity of accountability.

Q: Is it a good thing or somehow dangerous that political money is coming into education reform-school board campaigns, foundation-funded advocacy groups?
A: The Supreme Court's Citizens United v. FEC ruling abandoned precedent and effectively allowed unlimited corporate and special interest spending in elections. It drowned the voices of ordinary Americans with a flood of distorting special interests. State legislatures and Congress now may not be allowed to approve even small campaign finance regulations. A Senate minority blocked a step in the right direction with a filibuster of the DISCLOSE Act that would provide more transparency.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Scholastic TRIO Complete Program, Grades 2-6

    Scholastic TRIO Complete Program, Grades 2-6

    Now your whole class can participate in learning about a single Science, Social Studies, or Language Arts topic as they develop strategic reading skills.

    Scholastic TRIO is a leveled-reading collection that engages students at THREE levels of reading ability — below-level, on-level and above-level — all in the SAME content area topic. You choose the topic, we provide the leveled text and instruction.


    ALIGNED TO STANDARDS: Themes meet critical social studies, science and language arts standards for each grade.
    FULLY LEVELED: Each book is scored by Lexile® and Guided Reading levels so you can match every student to a "just right" book.
    ENGAGING: Authentic literature on high interest topics is included - classics, award-winners, and well-known authors.
    EASY: Step-by-step teaching materials virtually eliminate prep time, making it a great time saver for busy teachers!
    VERSATILE: Reproducible activities help you meet classroom accountability requirements and extend learning to the home.

    Each individual theme unit includes a Below, On and Above level book (6 copies of each) plus teaching materials.

    Set Includes:
    • Scholastic TRIO Individual Theme Units Set 2 - Grades 2-3
    • 960476 Social Studies - Famous Americans
    • 960477 Social Studies - Community Workers
    • 960478 Social Studies - Underground Railroad
    • 960515 Social Studies - Family History
    • 960516 Science - Volcanoes
    • 960517 Science - Life Cycles
    • 960518 Science - Sound
    • 960519 Science - Plants
    • 960520 Language Arts - Fables
    • 960521 Language Arts - Multicultural Tales
    • 960522 Language Arts - Variant Tales
    • 960523 Language Arts - Grade 2 Favorites

    • Scholastic TRIO Individual Theme Units Set 3 - Grades 3-4
    • 960524 Social Studies - Immigrant Stories
    • 960525 Social Studies - Native American Culture
    • 960526 Social Studies - Our Country
    • 960865 Social Studies - American Inventors
    • 960866 Science - Deserts
    • 960867 Science - Solar System
    • 960869 Science - Weather
    • 960870 Science - Dinosaurs
    • 960871 Language Arts - Pourquoi Tales
    • 960873 Language Arts - Multicultural Tales
    • 960874 Language Arts - Mysteries
    • 960875 Language Arts - Grade 3 Favorites

    • Scholastic TRIO Individual Theme Units Set 4 - Grades 4-5
    • 960876 Social Studies - U.S. Explorers
    • 960878 Social Studies - Famous Americans
    • 960879 Social Studies - The Old West
    • 960880 Social Studies - The 50 States
    • 960882 Science - Inventions
    • 960883 Science - Wild Weather
    • 960884 Science - Rocks
    • 960885 Science - Rain Forest
    • 960886 Language Arts - Grade 4 Favorites
    • 960887 Language Arts - Poetry
    • 960888 Language Arts - Tall Tales
    • 960889 Language Arts - African-American Biographies

    • Scholastic TRIO Individual Theme Units Set 5 - Grades 5-6
    • 960890 Social Studies - World War II
    • 960891 Social Studies - American Revolution
    • 960892 Social Studies - Escape to Freedom
    • 960893 Social Studies - Immigration
    • 960894 Science - Outdoor Scientists
    • 960895 Science - Oceans
    • 960896 Science - Solar System
    • 960897 Science - Learning From Stone
    • 960898 Language Arts - Historical Fiction
    • 960899 Language Arts - Autobiography
    • 960900 Language Arts - Grade 5 Favorites
    • 960901 Language Arts - Author Study (Walter Dean Myers)

    • Scholastic TRIO Individual Theme Units Set 6 - Grades 6-7
    • 960902 Social Studies - Ancient Civilizations
    • 960903 Social Studies - Ancient World Leaders
    • 960904 Social Studies - The Titanic
    • 960905 Social Studies - Civil Rights
    • 960906 Science - Wildlife Conservation
    • 960907 Science - Ecology
    • 960909 Science - Natural Disasters
    • 960910 Language Arts - Thrillers
    • 960911 Language Arts - Classics
    • 960912 Language Arts - Grade 6 Favorites
    • 960913 Language Arts - Myths

    Visit the $5,441.25 You save: 57%
    Paperback Book Collection | Grades 2-6
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only

    Scholastic TRIO Complete Program, Grades 2-6
    Grades 2-6 $5,441.25
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Action Book Collections Middle School Super Kit

    Action Book Collections Middle School Super Kit

    High-Interest reading with integrated skills support!

    Designed for the struggling reader, Scholastic Action Book Collections offer independent reading practice combined with innovative support to increase comprehension and language acquisition. Motivating, skill-building activities, integrated into each component, provide structured engagement and accountability for every title.

    Action Book Collections offer:

    • Quality high-interest books, featuring multiple genres and text structures.
    • An equal balance of fiction and nonfiction correlated to core curriculum content.
    • Books with embedded reading strategies and targeted vocabulary, fostering reading success.
    • Interactive Reader's Notes that students use as they read, with questions for oral and written response.
    • Teacher's Guides with differentiated instruction and practical intervention ideas for each skill.
    Each Action Book Super Kit Collection includes age-appropriate content in Social Studies, Science, Classics, and Language Arts. The Middle School Collection covers Grades 1.0 - 6.5 readability, Lexile levels 200-900.

    The complete set includes:

    • 144 Books (6 copies each of 24 high-interest titles)
    • 144 Student Reader's Notes (6 copies per title)
    • Teacher's Guide
    • Storage case

    Supplementary Collection | Grades 6-8
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Action Book Collections Middle School Super Kit
    Grades 6-8 $999.00
    Add To Cart
Help | Privacy Policy




(Separate multiple email addresses with commas)

Check this box to send yourself a copy of the email.


Scholastic respects your privacy. We do not retain or distribute lists of email addresses.