A Great Conference on Educator Effectiveness!

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It was an honor to be the opening keynote speaker at the Council of Chief State School Officers’ first SCEE National Summit on Educator Effectiveness on April 22, 2011.  It was an even greater honor to have Shift Ed: A Call to Action for Transforming K-12 Education be not only distributed to all attendees but to be the actual reference point for the 50 facilitators who led all the round table discussions.

It was a personal thrill to be able to deliver this keynote as it was the first time to be presented to an education conference since “Shift Ed” was published in early April.  The response to the speech was extremely positive and the questions were some of the best I have had from educators.  Dr. Albert Bennett should be commended on facilitating a lively Q&A session.  It was thrilling to have follow-up conversations with a number of education officers, teachers and union officials in the hours after the speech.  It is heartening to know that so many professional educators agree that transformation is the only path for K-12 education in the 21st century.

The struggles that lie ahead when the attendees return home to deal with intransigent bureaucracies will be great.  The passions and insights developed over the three days of the conference will be tested once all are back at their places of work.  As I urged all attendees, it is imperative to take some action, any action, large or small upon their return.  It may just be sharing or recommending the book.  It may be connecting to the Shift Ed 21 here on this web site.  Whatever actions taken, the transformation must begin as we can no longer let the failures of legacy thinking continue to devolve our educational system to ever lower depths of performance.

I want to personally thank Gene Wilhoit, CCSSO Executive Director, Janice Poda, CCSSO Strategic Initiative Director for having me as the keynote speaker.  I also want to thank Circe Stumbo, President West Wind Education Policy, who was the conference organizer and ran a truly professional conference.  Finally, I must say that the interactive web site set up for the conference was the best one I have ever seen.  It was truly interactive, with on-going chat rooms to take on-line the conversations that were being had around the tables at the conference.  It looks to be a web site that will create collaboration amongst the attendees in a way that should be truly dynamic.

A great education conference!  I am grateful to have been a participant.