Education

Reporter’s Notebook

By Michelle R. Davis — September 20, 2004 2 min read
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Red State, Red Hat

Texas delegate Geraldine A. Sam got a lot of television time during the 2000 Republican National Convention and she expects to get the same here in New York during this gathering.

Audio Extras

• Highlighting President Bush’s prime-time speech, the presence of silent protesters, as well as some celebrity sightings, staff writer Michelle Davis files her final report from the GOP convention. (3:28) Windows Media format | MP3 format

•Staff writer Michelle Davis reports on Gov. Schwarzenegger’s appearance at a public elementary school in Harlem, and the upcoming address Thursday evening by President Bush. (2:30) Windows Media format | MP3 format

• Staff writer Sean Cavanagh reports on the convention addresses by Education Secretary Rod Paige and first lady Laura Bush. (3:03) Windows Media format | MP3 format

Education Week staff writer Michelle Davis reports on the education chatter, or lack thereof, at the convention. (2:21) Windows Media format | MP3 format

Education Week staff writer Sean Cavanagh files a report on the weekend buildup to the convention. (3:01) Windows Media format | MP3 format

After the convention, the hat got so famous that the Smithsonian Institution wanted it for a display on politics, but she turned it down. “I wouldn’t give it to the Smithsonian because if it was good luck for President Bush then, it will be good luck for him now,” she said.

This year, Texas delegates were all given white cowboy hats to wear to make a statement during the convention. But Ms. Sam said her red hat would still make an appearance.

However, Ms. Sam said that after this convention, if the Smithsonian comes calling, it can have her hat.

Media Tips

Protestors, traffic, and security aren’t the only nuisances that delegates at the Republican National Convention have to deal with. There are also all those reporters.

With three reporters to every delegate, “you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a member of the media,” National Education Association spokeswoman Denise Cardinal told a group of Republican NEA delegates during a Sunday lunch.

Ms. Cardinal gave delegates a brief primer on dealing with the media and encouraged them to share personal stories about education issues and their effect on students and classrooms.

Each delegate was asked to write down personal experiences about how education policy has affected them.

“When a reporter says to you, ‘Why are you here?’…You’re going to pull out your little card and you’re going to have a personal story,” she said.

The thousands of members of the media will appreciate colorful tales over dry policy any day, she said. Then Ms. Cardinal put her request in terms everyone in the room could understand: “This is your homework.”

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