Northlake Christian has Honor of Hosting Frank Brogan

Colton Leggett , Editor-in-Chief

       On January 13th, Frank Brogan visited Northlake Christian to tour and survey the school. Mr. Brogan is the Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C. He was appointed by President Trump to his current position and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. 

Brogan discussed with The NCS Growl on why Northlake was chosen as a school for him to come visit.

        “I’m going to be here visiting about a dozen schools all over Louisiana, and they’ve all been picked for the same reasons: Because they’re great schools doing really innovative and creative things. I will then fly back to D.C. and share what I’ve learned,” he explained.

Brogan toured the entire school throughout the morning and into the afternoon. He met with school administrators, teachers, and students. He observed different classes and even met with some students during lunch to ask them some questions about the school. 

Brogan said the best part of his job is having the opportunity to visit schools, which his job allows him to do very frequently. 

            He elaborated, “I love to visit schools for two reasons: One, I love to see people who are not only engaged in teaching and learning, but I especially like to go to schools that are innovating and doing things in a different way to better prepare their students for the world they’re going to live in, not the one I grew up to live in. The other thing it gives me a chance to do is also share what I see as I travel around the country with other schools that are looking for different ways to reach their students.”

Having been in the field of education throughout his career and having held many different prestigious positions, Brogan has a unique perspective when it comes to what he thinks is the role of education in the world and what needs to be done to improve it. 

         “Clearly, the world has changed. By virtue of that fact, if America does not better prepare, not just prepare, but better prepare its young people for the world they’re going to live in as adults, America is going to suffer as a result,” he asserted. 

Brogan elaborated on what he means when he says America needs to better prepare the country’s young people in education.

         “Just offering education is no longer sufficient. It has to be world class education, and it has to be designed to target every single student, we can’t leave anybody behind,” he explained. 

Schools have changed with the times and now many new teaching techniques, technology, etc. have been added into schools to better improve education and the learning experience for students. The ways many schools operate now are vastly different from the times when Brogan was first starting out in his career as an educator.

         “You see so much technology now fused into schools all over the country. You see different strategies used in the classroom that didn’t even exist when I was a 5th grade teacher because people are recognizing that these new approaches are what students need today to get them to where they need to go,” he mentioned. 

Brogan referenced STEM Education as a perfect example. Another area where schools have changed is that the way classrooms themselves are set up are a lot different now than in past times. Schools are beginning to see that doing this has benefits to students. 

      “Even classrooms, I saw them here today, are organized in a totally different way. Students are sitting in different arrangements, in small groups, individually, on couches, chairs, desks, and small tables. Most importantly, they’re interacting. That was almost taboo in the old days of teaching and learning,” Brogan stated. 

 However, there is still plenty of work to be done to improve education in most schools. Brogan declared that the biggest challenge facing education today is the fear of change. 

            “Change is the only constant in life, and yet it is the only thing that terrifies people more than anything else. If things aren’t working anymore the way they once did to the advantage of students, then we’ve got to change to figure out what will because their future simply demands it,” he explained. 

One of these changes that Brogan believes needs to happen is that schools need to do a better job of helping students decide what field of study or vocation they would like to go into after high school.

         “Too many young people that walk off that high school graduation stage with a high school diploma in one hand are saying ‘Now what I do?’ That’s not a good time to be asking that question,” he remarked.

Brogan stated that change is necessary to make sure students are ready for the world they are about to enter. He offered up some advice for graduating high school seniors. 

         “Do what you want to do, not what somebody tells you to do, and be better at it than anybody else.”