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Teachers Were Never The Problem – In These Times

If we were serious about education, then our education discussion wouldn’t be focused on demonizing teachers and coming up with radical schemes to undermine traditional public schools. It would instead be focused on mounting a new war on poverty and thus directly addressing the biggest education problem of all.

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The House of Baha’u'llah, Baha’i sacred site in Baghdad, destroyed

The worldwide Baha’i community has learned that the house of Baha’u'llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, in Baghdad, Iraq – a profoundly sacred site known as the Most Great House – has been destroyed.  The precise circumstances surrounding the demolition are not yet clear.

Bani Dugal, the Principal Representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations said: “This deplorable act has robbed people throughout the world of a priceless piece of their spiritual heritage.”

“While the details are not yet clear, there should be no doubt as to the Baha’i community’s strength of feeling about this terrible and shocking deed”, she continued.

“The Baha’is of the world are, of course, heartbroken by the news.  Yet, as always, they remain positive and focused on their efforts to promote peace and contribute to the betterment of their communities”, she added.

The Most Great House was Baha’u'llah’s place of residence for much of the time of His exile from Iran to Baghdad, Iraq.  The site is located close to the banks of the River Tigris.




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Education for Innovation and Collaboration

What I want to see in an educated applicant for for a work position in the organizations that I work with is the capacity to work effectively – the skills, abilities, and experience for accomplishing things.

For the most part I am not not looking for a set of memorized facts and formulas.  These things change all the time and are learned during one’s work life.

The capacities and skills that I am looking for are generally not taught in today’s educational system nor measured in standardized tests.   We are only beginning to figure out how to assess and value those things in our education system.   I feel very fortunate to be involved with two organizations who are working in this area:

What would be some of the skills, abilities and capacities that I want to see as a sign of someone ready to work effectively?

  • Ability to speak well – eloquent, coherent, organized, intelligible diction, an effective vocabulary, ability to create emphasis without profanity, convincing
  • Ability to listen to others and read them and learn from them
  • Ability to change one’s mind when appropriate.
  • A strong identity yet a soft ego, not insistent on one’s own perspective as being right or one’s own individual benefit coming first
  • Ability to consult with others about a new and maybe challenging idea or undertaking and get to a great outcome
  • Ability to collaborate with others to bring diverse skills and perspectives to bring about a unified positive and effective change in a complex situation.
  • Ability to plan a complex undertaking, anticipate issue areas, and make reasonably accurate predictions about needed resources and time.
  • Ability to write an effective email, and a compelling proposal
  • Ability to create and deliver a presentation or proposal
  • Initiative and drive
  • The ability to analyze, to synthesize, and to see patterns
  • Good intuition and insight into situations
  • The ability to communicate new ideas and to facilitate change
  • Tenacity, patience and courage
  • Operates by a set of great principles, yet is adaptable to varying situations
  • Ability to see the end in the beginning, and see things begun through to the end.
  • Respect for others
  • Understanding of how to work effectively in an organization, with its dynamics of power, information and authority
  • A commitment to a win-win approach to work
  • The ability to encourage, to praise, and to celebrate the successes of others
  • Doesn’t promise or commit to what cannot be done, does what has been promised and committed to
  • A focus on the positive, avoidance of backbiting, complaining and criticism
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Need a Job? Invent It –

“… the goal of education today, argues Wagner, should not be to make every child “college ready” but “innovation ready” — ready to add value to whatever they do.

“Today, because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate — the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life — and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge. As one executive told me, ‘We can teach new hires the content, and we will have to because it continues to change, but we can’t teach them how to think — to ask the right questions — and to take initiative.’ ”

via Need a Job? Invent It –

Creating Innovators, by Tony Wagner:


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With $2M In The Bank, Kickboard Is On A Mission To Help Teachers Unlock Student Data | TechCrunch

Great news… My friends at Kickboard have just closed a $2M Series A funding round, which will accelerate their success.   They make a web-based platform and applications that progressive teachers and schools use to gather and share data with each other about not only student academic performance, but also about character development.   The big deal is that it allows teachers to collaborate in tailoring the whole-child education to each student’s needs and strengths.   Great stuff.