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A Strong Education is a Powerful Force for GOOD

Education, the saying goes, is the silver bullet. If we could create a system where everyone in the world was receiving a first-class education, we would be well on our way towards eliminating many of the world’s ills. Sadly, all too often, schools aren’t given the resources to help students or fail to reach them, or students don’t even have access to school.

Luckily, a broad range of philanthropists and organizations throughout the world are doing exceptional work in trying to change how we educate people.

University of Phoenix and GOOD.is: Offering Perspectives on Education

To raise awareness of these organizations and the great efforts being undertaken to improve education at every level, University of Phoenix and GOOD.is/education have partnered together to create an online platform devoted to education. GOOD.is will delve into the problems facing education, but more importantly, it will promote the potential solutions being implemented to enact change. Together, we can make education better. Join the conversation.

A GOOD Forum for Education

Learn what leading academic leaders believe will advance education to make the greatest impact for good. GOOD partnered with University of Phoenix to host four events that brought educational thinkers and advocates together to explore topics that are relevant to education today.

Paul Miller: Executive Director: Teach for America, Los Angeles
"I'm very pleased that this is the topic of this discussion because quite frankly one of the key challenges which prevents us from having a truly dynamic public school system is the persistent presence of low expectations. "

Ben Goldhirsh: CEO, GOOD
"The students you guys are engaging with your various organizations... what are you guys seeing? Are the expectations of kids in LAUSD, 'I'm going to graduate college ready?'"

Estelle Reyes: Executive Director NFTE
"In order to set high expectations you have to give them a place and a realm of possibility in which to dream. So we bring in successful entrepreneurs and business professionals from the community to show students that it is possible you can be like me, this is how I did it, and to really empower them to set high expectations for themselves."

JB Schramm: Founder, College Summit
"Until we are all outraged when every student isn't expected to achieve at a very high level academically and that whenever that isn't happening that there's something wrong. Not with the student, but with the system that we as a community are building and providing."

Woman in Audience
"I was wondering how much giving students a sense of ownership in their schools has to do with the success with the transformation that you guys are talking about?"

Steve Zimmer: LAUSD Board Member
"Were always trying to identify anchors in a community that can be sources of strength, sometimes those sources of strength are young people that are 13 or 14 years old and when we recognize the value of their agency and schools as a place to empower that, as opposed to stifle it, at least the students that I was with yesterday thought that that was a big component of the change that we need."

Man in the Audience:
"I think we all really want to see children succeed but our actions often times speak different. The conversation that we need to have is 'What does it take in an inner city public high school apart from this view that charter is the answer to those problems?'"

Steve Zimmer: LAUSD Board Member
"Warren Buffet the investor said that it would be simple to solve americas education problem, you only have to do two things: in any metropolitan community you need to just have one single school district that all students go to, and secondly, you have to outlaw private schools.

That may not be something that can constitutionally be done, but it gets at the point that until we see ourselves as one community all of our children will sink or swim together. "

Ben Goldhirsh: CEO, GOOD
"For us here at GOOD its been so inspirational to take things from content to action and this is hopefully the beginning of something interesting."

Steve Zimmer: (2:57)
"I get very excited when we move the conversation about public education beyond the schoolhouse doors."


What Material Do Students Need to Learn?

We recently hosted an event at the GOOD office to talk with education leaders in Los Angeles about what material students actually need to master in school. With new challenges in the job market-and in the public education system-the answers are shifting.

Ben Goldhirsh: CEO, GOOD
"I'm excited for tonight we got a lot of wonderful people on board to talk about what kids actually need to learn coming out of school, and what teachers need to learn and kind of how we focus on content that is in a way really effective towards the ends that society is needing."

Blair H. Taylor: Los Angeles Urban League
"I think the scariest thing I'm seeing today revolves around math, algebra specifically. And it's a great leading indicator for kids that are actually going to drop out of the system."

Ben Goldhirsh: CEO, GOOD
"As far as kind of what content you hope a student will leave your school with, what does success look like, related to content?"

Blair H. Taylor: Los Angeles Urban League
"It looks like coming out of high school with a 12th grade reading level, with a 12th grade ability to do mathematics."

Louise Langheier: Peer Health Exchange
"One thing that we've seen is that the life skills that they need to get during schools are more significant, avoid pregnancy or substance abuse. I think on a content level thats what we believe passionately needs to happen."

Aarontomas Green: Teacher, Knowledge is Power Program
"We focus on academics, but also on the intellectual habits and character so that they're successful in college but also in the world beyond."

Girl in Audience
"What are the innovations that you are really excited for that you would like us to advocate or support?"

Blair H. Taylor: Los Angeles Urban League
"I'll give you an example of innovation. We launched a model called Neighborhoods at Work. So this model is at work in a neighborhood called Park Mesa Heights. The model looks at education, safety, employment and it looks at housing, and it looks at health. I don't know if you know the statistics about LAUSD. 1/3 are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder today and yet we have nascent health services and somehow were expecting them to go into the classroom and learn. So I think one model is what were doing; which is looking at this wrap around model. Lets made sure we take that neighborhood approach and then try to scale it by neighbor."

Max Schorr, Co-Founder GOOD, in Audience
"How do you leverage technology in the classroom so that it's productive and not kind of a time waster?"

Aarontomas Green: Teacher, Knowledge is Power Program
"You have to understand its value. I talk to my students all the time about how you're not just competing with other students from South L.A. or the United States. Your competition is now international. The only way you are going to be able to compete, is to be able to not only be able to speak the written language, but also be able to speak the technology language as well."

Blair H. Taylor: Los Angeles Urban League
"They've got all kinds of systems now, some of which can actually do realtime evaluations of children's reading comprehension so that the teacher can actually teach at different levels using the technology system."

Girl in Audience:
"Students come in like 3 years before their grade level, what is KIPP doing?"

Aarontomas Green: Teacher, Knowledge is Power Program
"The one thing that we do is the longer school day. Were not going to be able to do more with less. That's one way that student achievement is going to be pushed ahead."

Louise Langheier: Peer Health Exchange
"One thing that we've seen is that the power of showing college is huge, I mean our college students are there to teach health but they're also in college and often times get questions about college that are just a great opportunity for them to inspire that."

Ben Goldhirsh: CEO, GOOD
"This is awesome. Thanks so much for participating and thats everyone for being here."

GOOD Education Workshop - Creativity

The first in a three-part series of workshop events to discuss what we can do to make sure all children in the 21st century get education they deserve.  Check out the video to see some of the amazing ideas and insights from that evening.

Ben Goldhirsh: CEO, GOOD
"Tonight we're going to bring together a lot of the leading thinkers in the city and talk about what's working and what needs to be improved and really what are the critical areas that are going to define success for the cities' education."

Michael Sullivan, SVP, University of Phoenix
"We're born of a belief that an educated world is a better world and if we can provide solutions and support for the K-12 system, we feel like were living up to that promise."

Cynthia Campoy-Brophy, Executive Director: The HeArt Project
"We must teach our children to think creatively. It's what the workforce is demanding. If we don't respond, it makes our country weaker."

Ben Goldhirsh: CEO, GOOD
"Jan, I'd like to start with you. Can you speak to the impact that you think embedding creativity into education has towards graduation, towards college readiness, towards a sense of potential?"

Jan Kirsch: Director of Creative Development: Inner City Arts
"I look at much... I mean, the graduation rates, is cool because you can measure it and its very quantifiable but within that what's happening is that it's a testament to kids that have been engaged with their own learning and their own creative process."

That is really the key because if you can get students engaged in their own learning then whatever they're learning they're engaged. So if you can create a classroom where kids feel safe to take creative risks, most likely the stress level is lower and they're more available to learn in every way. "

Cynthia Campoy-Brophy, Executive Director: The HeArt Project
"You know it's interesting Jan talks about the need to take creative risks, right, it's key towards learning. What we've found is in order to encourage students to take creative risks you have to gain their trust. One of the things that we've discovered is essential is long term engagement.

In Los Angeles County 1 in 6 jobs is in the creative industries. We have a great population of creative students, our goal is prepare them and support them so that they can be ready to participate in these industries and that we then could take volunteers from the creative industries to mentor them."

Joel Arquillos: Executive Director 826 LA
"We have these after school tutoring sessions at our centers and we have volunteers who regularly come wonce a week. The environment that we've been able to create... I don't know what the secret ingredient is to this... but kids come in and they're actually excited about coming to the center after they've been in school all day. You begin to see change, you begin to see how we could open some doors to new experiences for young people in schools."

Girl in Audience
"What can the arts community do to get people on board, get people asking for this in their schools?"

Sofia Klatzker
"I think talking to your superintendents, and to your teachers and to your principals about what's happening locally is huge, and i think that is how we start to shift that image so that its not just always a few people who are always having the same conversation."

Ben Goldhirsh: CEO, GOOD
 
"It's been pretty thrilling for us to dive deep into this, because the stuff were seeing is pretty wonderful and I think this is a snowball that's starting to roll and its gaining momentum and I so appreciate you guys participating. This has been really wonderful."

Joel Arquillos: Executive Director 826 LA
 
"I'm just excited that there's actually a forum where we can talk about these critical issues."

Max Schorr: Co-Founder GOOD
"We know there are lots of challenges, we know there are lots of problems but it's getting together and talking about what's working, what can we do better and what are the solutions? And i think thats a great place to be."

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Should Science Education Be About B.S. Detection?

Last month, the White House hosted its first science fair. Innovative middle and high school students from around the country trotted their gadgets, doohickeys, and other wares for solving the problems and inconveniences of the world to present before the American president and get a pat on the back from the commander-in-chief....

@GOOD Asks: How Do We Identify "Good Teaching"? Answers

Yesterday on GOOD, Twitter, and Facebook, we asked our friends: How should we identify "good teaching"? We ask a question to our Twitter and Facebook faithful once a day, so if you’re not yet following @GOOD or a fan, make sure to sign up and participate in the conversation.

Should Education Reform Focus on Average Teachers?

Steve Peha is a North Carolina-based education consultant, and he's come up with a way to address teacher quality that could be called "The Ichiro Suzuki model"—after the Seattle Mariners outfielder who eschews home run hitting for making contact, getting on base, and scoring runs. Inspired by the solid, future Hall of Famer, Peha offers for consideration the following tenet: ...


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