milken conference: "ensuring america's success in education"

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First panel of the day. I was assured a few minutes ago that WiFi would be available, but the "Milken" network that shows up for me is requesting a WEP password. The self-proclaimed "technology guy" for this room decided it must be a "Mac issue" (insert eye-rolling animation here), and the "Mac expert" he called in did the classic "I dunno" shrug, so I'm stuck without connectivity for this session. Thank goodness for Ecto. (Update, 30 minutes later--woohoo! They fixed it!)

I also ended up in the wrong room, for which I'm kicking myself--I wanted to attend the panel on "Mind-to-Market: Increasing Role of the University in the Global Economy." But now I"m stuck on the far side of the room with no graceful way to exit. Aargh. This panel looks interesting, but far less relevant to my specific needs and interests right now.

Speakers on this panel include Harriet Arnone (VP for Planning at NYIT, and Provost of NYIT's Ellis College),Dennis Vicars (Exec. Director of Professional Assn for Childhood Ed Alternative Payment Program and CEO Human Services Mgt Corp), Tom Vilsack (Governor of Iowa), and Susan Tave Zelman (Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ohio Dept of Education).

The moderator, Susan Sclafani (Managing Director, Chartwell Education Group) starts by talking about declines in educational achievement and production, despite the concurrent increases in expenditures (we're second highest in the world on per student spending). The students are not the problem, she emphasizes. There's a disconnect in the system between what we know is critical for their success, and what the students know.

Arnone laments current students' increasing inability to clearly and logically describe and defend a position, and the need to improve those communication and analytical skills.

Vilsack talks about the pushback (from parents, not students) when they tried to make high school curriculum more rigorous. He notes that this means not just math and science and language, but also their creativity. (He's very articulate, charming, and convincing.)

Vicars talks about early childhood education. In a good preschool, everyone's an artist, everyone's a singer, everyone loves math.

Zelman talks about the development of STEM high schools throughout Ohio, schools in which they will cultivate "both sides of the brain"--not just the procedural aspects of science, but the affective aspects as well. (She cites Daniel Pink, whose excellent book I blogged about last year...)

There's a lively dialog that follows, but I'm not tracking it closely because this isn't really my area of professional focus.

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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on April 24, 2006 10:44 AM.

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