MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
As we conclude this special Twitter education special today we'll check in with editor Ammad Omar, who's been following our live forum on Twitter. Ammad, overall, how has the Twitter audience answered the question, is education the civil rights of our time? What have they had to say?
AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Yeah, well, most people, it's an interesting question we put out there. And most people said yes, this is a big civil rights issue. But then, after that, we got a lot of people saying it should be a civil rights issue but - this is Kerry Chandler, he goes by the handle Whiteflea, he says, education should be a civil right, but vouchers, Headstart, preschool cuts, etc. are making it more of a privilege.
And to the point I said earlier, @PFSANY, which is the Partnership for Student Advocacy New York says, still arguing about the same problems - civil rights issue of our time is a wonderful sentiment but... So kind of, you know, the idea is a good one but they're not necessarily seeing that this is something happening in practice.
MARTIN: I was going to ask you that as a final question, were the responses mostly - we talked about it through the teachers - mostly hopeful or mostly trepidation? What was the overall sentiment of the people who wrote to us?
OMAR: Yeah, it was interesting when we kind of framed the question in different ways, you saw some different answers. When you looked at the big picture, you know, with Secretary Duncan, there was honestly a lot of hand-wringing, some of these big issues like student loans, and you know, closing schools, budgets, that sort of thing. There wasn't a real consensus, a lot of worry. But then when you kind of got to the smaller level at the classroom, there was a lot of hope. Use of these new technologies and kind of, mentoring kids away from the classroom. So there's a lot of hope there, and the one thing for sure is that there's a lot of passion across-the-board.
MARTIN: Ammad Omar is an editor here at TELL ME MORE. Thanks, Ammad.
OMAR: Thank you.
MARTIN: And thanks to all of our guests who joined us on the radio, everybody who took part in the conversation on Twitter. Remember that on TELL ME MORE the conversation never ends. Use the #NPRedchat on Twitter to keep telling us about the education issues that matter to you. Tomorrow we bring you another special hour - we will report on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. We'll be speaking with the youngest speaker on the (unintelligible) that day, Representative John Lewis. We hope you'll join us. I'm Michel Martin. You've been listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.