I am en route to Denver for the 2015 National Summit on Education Reform. I’ll be live-tweeting on Thursday and Friday. You can view the live-tweets below or just follow me on twitter and join in the conversation. @ethandemme
I am getting ready to attend the 2015 National Summit on Education Reform in Denver Colorado. The theme for this year’s summit is Onward and Upward: Operation Student Success. Here are some of the sessions I am looking forward to attending:
Strategy Session 1 – Turn and Face the Strain: Problem and Solutions
This session will explore how coming demographic changes – impending retirement of the Baby Boomers and a population boom of school-age children – will lead to challenges in state funding. I reviewed the report on this data a few months ago: click here to read the review.
Strategy Session 4 – Communicating Student Data Privacy: Challenges and Opportunities
This session will explore the challenge of student data privacy and provide guidance on forming thoughtful policies. I recently took Foundation for Excellence in Education’s online course on Data Privacy. For an overview of this and two other courses, click here.
Strategy Session 5 – 2015: The Year of Education Savings Accounts
“Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) started as an experiment in 2011 to offer educational choice and customization in Arizona. Since then, the program has grown. Florida passed an ESA program in 2013, and this year three more states created programs and lawmakers filed ESA bills in nearly two-dozen states. Nevada, the latest state to create an ESA program, will soon have all 450,000 public school students eligible to participate.” (from the session description)
I will be live-tweeting from the event so be sure to follow me: @ethandemme
The Foundation for Excellence in Education is a leading think-tank in the world of education reform. Leaders associated with the organization include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education Joel Klein.
Recently, ExcelInEd launched three online courses – self-paced and free – on education policy. I have taken two of the three courses and benefited from the videos and assigned readings.
The first course was Securing Our Nation’s Future: The Urgent Need For Education Reform
A main reading resource: Turn and Face the Strain
The second class was Data Privacy? Get Schooled.
The third class is Communications Boot Camp Winning the Ed Reform Conversation
A main reading resource: 5 Essential Habits of the Network’s Top Communicators
All of these courses are highly informative and worth taking. Best of all, these courses are student-paced so you can fit it around your schedule and get access to great information free of charge.
A recent post recent post highlighted statements and voting record on education (school choice and the role of parents) of GOP presidential candidates. If you haven’t read that post, you can read it by clicking here. Today, I want to look at the history/record of the Democrat presidential candidates as well as their personal history of education to see how they match (or don’t) with their statements.
Lincoln Chafee: is wary of charter schools [source] and one of his main advisers, Diane Ravitch, is a harsh critic of school choice education reform. [source] He attended elite prep schools, including Andover (where he was a schoolmate of Jeb Bush). He did his undergrad at Brown University but also attended Montana State University. His daughter Louisa also attended Brown University. [source]
Chafee is hard to pigeonhole but it seems that he is not a proponent of school choice and is most likely opposed to vouchers, charters schools, etc..
Hillary Clinton: is opposed to school vouchers but is supportive of charter school. [source] Clinton graduated from Maine South High School (public) and attended Wellesley College. Her daughter Chelsea attended the elite Sidwell Friends School and did her undergrad at Stanford University.
Clinton is a firm advocate for public schools but also supports parents and parental choice. Her perspective on school choice is mixed.
Martin O’Malley: As mayor of Maryland in 2014, he celebrated National School Choice Week. [source] He has supported charter schools and voucher systems. [source] He attended Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School and Gonzaga College High School (Catholic, private) and did his undergrad at The Catholic University of America. Two daughters of O’Malley attended Georgetown University and College of Charleston [source] (previously attending Notre Dame prep school.)
O’Malley remains a proponent of school choice despite the general opposition of his party to school choice initiatives.
Bernie Sanders: is not a proponent of school choice and has opposed vouchers. [source] He graduated high school from James Madison High School (public) before doing his undergrad at the University of Chicago.
Sanders is opposed to school choice initiatives.
Webb has not engaged with education reform in general but is opposed to school choice initiatives.
We all know (it’s true for everyone and each of us!) that what you learn out of curiosity and interest sticks with you forever, while what you study out of threat of punishment will fade away very soon after the test is passed. Given that different people are curious and interested in different topics at different times, if we really care about learning we shouldn’t build a system that force every child on earth to study this when he is 7 years old and that when he is 7 years old and a half, this other thing when he is 12 and that one when he is 13.
Niccolo points out that in the real world, we have to interact with people of all different ages. Various circumstances and contexts lead us to take on different roles in relationship to other people – employee, manager, colleague, etc.. – but in the artificially constructed classroom, there are usually only two roles for students: peer and subordinate. One of the results, Niccolo says, is that school kids become college students who accept everything their professors teach without a second thought. One can see that same problem manifested by people listening indiscriminately to the TV pundit or the smooth-talking politician as well. Niccolo writes that this phenomenon is “based on the assumption that only experts could teach.”
In contrast, here’s the model that Exosphere proposes:
Older and younger students would play different roles in the learning environment and the variety would benefit all of them. Older students relating to younger peers would learn to tolerate and act respectful towards them and teaching them would become their best way to foster self-confidence about what they learned.
Click here to read the whole article.
To compliment this article, here’s Sir Ken Robinson’s world famous TED Talk, Changing Education Paradigms: