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Program - By Education Track:

Sunday, April 22, 2007

  1:00 pm - 2:15 PM

Educators Speak Out on K-12 Reform

Speakers:
Susan Couch , Executive Master Teacher, Louisiana Teacher Advancement Program
Eleanor Gaines , Teacher, Grayhawk Elementary School
Christopher Ormiston , Teacher, Boerne High School
Nader Twal , Smaller Learning Community Coordinator, Western Association of Schools and Colleges Facilitator, Millikan High School
Wanda Watkins , Principal, Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, Richardson Independent School District, Texas

Moderator:
Lowell Milken , Chairman and Co-Founder, Milken Family Foundation; Co-Founder, Knowledge Universe Education LLC

Many voices have chimed in on what′s needed to fix our schools. This panel goes straight to the source: leading educators who face the challenges and make decisions impacting K-12 classrooms on a daily basis. What do they consider to be the most powerful reforms to spur student achievement, particularly among high-risk student populations? New forms of professional development, a national curriculum in math and science, technology and literacy initiatives, and other options will be discussed. Is it possible to successfully implement any school reform without a focus on teacher quality? How can teachers and administrators help to attract high-caliber talent to the teaching profession, and then create an environment in which such talent will thrive? What role do teacher and principal accountability, advancement opportunities, site-based professional development, and performance pay play in motivating and retaining quality educators? Where do you see the private sector fitting into the public school mix?

  2:30 PM - 3:45 PM

No Child Left Behind Act: Will Tinkering Work or Is Overhaul Needed?

Speakers:
Arne Duncan , CEO, Chicago Public Schools
Amanda Farris , Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Strategic Initiatives, U.S. Department of Education Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
Nancy Grasmick , State Superintendent of Schools, Maryland Department of Education
Nina Rees , Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Knowledge Universe Education LLC

Moderator:
Lewis Solmon , President, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching; Senior Advisor, Board Member, Milken Family Foundation

In 2001, the federal government passed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act which made a clear statement that public education needed to change dramatically in ways that improve student achievement and reduce achievement gaps. Under NCLB, schools have been held accountable for their students' progress. For the first time, there are consequences for failure to do so. Further, NCLB calls for a highly qualified teacher in every classroom; however, there is controversy over whether the federal definition of highly qualified is sufficient to ensure highly effective teachers in schools. Despite original and to some extent continuing bipartisan support in Congress, there are clear differences in opinion regarding the law. Some feel that the reach of NCLB impinges upon state and local control over education, while others feel that the legislation does not go far enough if we want our students to compete in the global economy. Still others support NCLB but argue that insufficient funds have been allocated to support the mandated policies.

  6:30 PM - 7:15 PM

Reception
Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards Gala
By invitation only

This session is by "invitation only" and is limited to invited guests. If you are interested in attending, please send an e-mail request to jmeehan@milkeninstitute.org.

  7:30 PM - 10:00 PM

Dinner Program
Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards Gala
By invitation only

This session is by "invitation only" and is limited to invited guests. If you are interested in attending, please send an e-mail request to jmeehan@milkeninstitute.org.

The gala Milken Educator Awards Dinner and Ceremonies honor some of America's finest teachers, principals and specialists from across 48 states and the District of Columbia. Dubbed the "Oscars of Teaching" by Teacher Magazine, the Awards celebrate educators before an audience of leaders from business, government, academia and foundations, culminating in the presentation of unrestricted financial prizes of $25,000 to each exemplary educator. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the nation's largest, most prestigious teacher recognition program.

Monday, April 23, 2007

  7:00 AM - 8:25 AM

American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Corporate America Program

"We believe our country is facing some unprecedented challenges," said George Boggs, president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges. "Sputnik was a ... visible challenge to our country. We responded by improving our educational systems. We're living in a more challenging time than we were then, but there has been no visible sign like Sputnik [to catalyze system change]."

Data from the U.S. Department of Labor currently projects a deficit of 14 million skilled workers by 2010, especially in the health-care and teaching professions, and among technicians and crafts workers. While this situation seems dire, a solution to this problem may already exist in the form of small, adaptable, creative educational institutions: community colleges.

"Community colleges are an American contribution to education," Boggs observed. These local institutions enroll 46 percent of students in higher education and possess the most diverse student bodies in this sector. Originally founded as technical colleges or junior colleges, they were designed to serve the underprivileged and academically under-prepared. Today they strive to reduce the equity gap for minorities and low-income individuals, who have traditionally experienced limited access to and success in higher education.

However, to continue to serve the best interest of its students, this sector must now reassess its relevance to the corporate world and respond to the needs of business. This need for curriculum change is driven by two factors: the increased fluidity of the current work force, and the need for relevant training for the future work force. While workers were once relatively immobile throughout their careers, today they may require retraining as they change fields.

The national profile indicates that from 2000 to 2010, positions requiring an associate′s degree will increase by 32 percent; the educational distribution projected for the 2010 "creative work force" indicates that nearly 45 percent of the work force will need at least an associate's degree. However, many adults currently employed do not possess the required credentials to succeed in this new environment. The community college is seen as the only institution capable of responding to the impending crisis, through its flexibility and ability to train many students around the country.

However, as Ted Sanders, chairman of the Cardean Learning Group, explained, "We have a very leaky pipeline for education in our country." He added that businesses can't find the skills they need in the U.S and are increasingly turning to skilled overseas workers. He also noted that because businesses operate across intra- and international borders, standardized training measures are necessary to ensure consistent performance. These don't exit yet; community colleges offer different programs or training with virtually no coordination between curricula.

Meanwhile, community colleges face significant challenges as they try to change traditional course offerings -- and state regulations. "In terms of effecting change," said Ding-Jo Currie, president of Coastline Community College, "the voice of the corporate/business industry is what [community college leaders] are seeking as a partner to make change at the national and state level." With funding drawn mainly from state coffers, community colleges are often bound by stringent regulations. And because they are often local and independent, they have little influence within the state and federal government. However, partnerships with business could increase that influence. Additionally, direct funding from businesses for new training programs could help spur a shift from the current curriculum silos to teamwork, critical thinking skills and other skills essential for success in today's corporate environment.

The next step is to foster dialogue between community colleges, business, regional accrediting bodies and government, said Joel Kurtzman, senior advisor to Knowledge Universe and a senior fellow at the Milken Institute. "Business has real needs in terms of a high-quality work force and a flexible way in which the work force can be trained, not just once in their careers, but multiple times." There are rigidities on both sides, he said, both through job descriptions in business, and through regulations on course offerings. The bridge is mutual communication and flexibility between two groups, which is necessary to "provide the human capital, and provide the opportunity to improve that human capital."

In closing, Sanders emphasized the synergy between the community college and business as the key to improving workforce education and training, reiterating that "a nation's wealth is driven today by its human capital, its people and the way to change the human capital quotient of a nation is through education writ large."

This seminar marked the second meeting of leaders from business and community colleges to establish a working partnership through the Corporate America Program; the first occurred in January of this year and initiated a dialogue between these sectors.

  10:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Reforming a K-12 Education System Resistant to Change

Speakers:
William Bennett , Former U.S. Secretary of Education; Washington Fellow, Claremont Institute
David Dunn , Chief of Staff to the U.S. Secretary of Education
Tim Pawlenty , Governor, State of Minnesota
Susan Tave Zelman , Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ohio Department of Education

Moderator:
Lowell Milken , Chairman and Co-Founder, Milken Family Foundation; Co-Founder, Knowledge Universe Education LLC

Moderator Lowell Milken, chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation, opened the session with the question "What must be done to ensure that young people from every strata of our society are provided a rigorous educational experience?"

Statistics suggest that at present only one-third of today′s students reach a level of proficiency in reading and mathematics. "While universal public education is a national good," said Milken, it has also become a national challenge. Today's students are the first generation in our country that will be measured not just by how they do here, but in comparison to students around the world."

Increasing the quality of education is one key to building human capital. "The earlier we invest in education," he said, "the higher the rate of return."

Despite legislative achievements in educational reform in recent years, outcomes demonstrate poor results. For instance, there has been no real progress in increasing graduation rates. As such, Milken wanted to explore the barriers preventing students from competing on a national and international scale, and to consider how to remove these obstacles.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota said that "The public education in the United States is a public institution in a democracy -- and public institutions reflect public sentiment." Unfortunately, he noted, "We have not yet reached a point where public sentiment has declared this a crisis or tipping point -- to the point where the country is ready to move in a quantum fashion." Public polls reflect a "remove," a detachment from the crisis. "When the people are ready for change, there'll be leaders, or a leader will step forward and guide the way," he said.

Just as there has been a newfound sense of urgency for "going green," the country is long overdue for an "educational Al Gore" or "people screaming at the top of their lungs demanding change," the governor said. In order for true progress to occur, "We need a tipping point, and the evolution needs to become a revolution."

Pawlenty agreed that the top school-related factor determining how a child will perform academically is the teacher; however, parental involvement is the chief overall factor determining a child's success.

Susan Tave Zelman, superintendent of the Ohio Department of Education, presented data supporting recent successes in her state. Ohio was the first state to launch an international benchmarking study, comparing its educational system with those in other countries, using a framework of precepts to which high-performing countries typically adhere, including: "high challenges," or world-class academic standards and accountability; "high support,"" the means and capacity to meet challenges: and "incentives," the methods to create the sense of urgency. One of the lessons learned was that Ohio "needed an integrated approach to create a world-class system." As a result, seven interrelated elements representing high-performing systems were born: world-class standards, great leaders, great teachers, excellent student support, fair funding, diagnosed problems, and accountability.

State officials discovered that Ohio does reasonably well in comparison to the U.S. averages, but the state falls among the lower quartiles when compared to the benchmarked countries. "When we look at other countries, in terms of our curriculum," said Zelman, "we're about two years behind." Her goal is to "strategically ramp up" in order to prepare students to be competitive on a global basis.

From a more political perspective, David Dunn, chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, said that the No Child left Behind Act is "a formula to change and turn around this education system." The law, he said, is relatively simple and based on the notion that it's important to set high expectations for all students. The idea is to "measure all students to see whether or not they achieve those expectations; provide interventions and resources to schools to help kids who have not met those expectations; and to ensure that there are consequences for the adults in the system based on those measures."

Dunn argued that the nation has seen more progress in fourth-grade reading proficiency since the law took effect, compared to the previous five years, and in that five-year span, there had been more progress than in the 28 years preceding it. He noted that the Department of Education and the Bush administration are of the belief that the debate around public education is beginning to change. "School board after school board, there's much less conversation about band uniforms -- and much more conversation about student achievement and reading curricula and math curricula." Such conversations, he said, are indicative of a cultural change beginning to take place in the nation's schools.

No Child Left Behind is up for re-authorization at the end of the year, and Dunn reported that the president is calling for better use of data in order to "measure student progress over time and to hold teacher and schools accountable for that progress."

Echoing Dunn's optimism, former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett said, "In 1998, 64 percent of African American fourth-graders could not read at a basic level. That is now at 54 percent, so that's progress." Additionally, he said, 62 percent of Hispanic kids were below basic levels in 1998, a figure that has dropped to 54 percent.

Bennett argued that cultural shifts in the nation have made it difficult to make a case to students that hard work in school will enable them to "get a job" or gain admission to college. "Who are we kidding?" he asked. "(Students who don′t work hard) may not be able to get into the college of their choice, but they will get into college." This is because most colleges, in his opinion, will accept almost everyone, and the incentives that teachers once had to encourage and motivate students no longer exist. Bennett also noted that parents are less likely today to believe teacher complaints and may even threaten them with litigation.

Culture is more important than politics, Bennett maintained. Politics can make a difference, leadership can make a difference -- but it's what's in the air, what people think, that is important. Essentially, he agreed with research that shows that the quality of teachers has measurable effects on student achievement and that Americans should continue to support efforts that maximize the efforts of the nation's best teachers.

  10:15 AM - 11:30 AM

The Growing Importance of Employee Training

Speakers:
Edward Guiliano , President, New York Institute of Technology
David Owens , Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer, Bausch & Lomb
Michael Winston , Managing Director, Chief Leadership Officer, Countrywide Financial Corporation

Moderator:
Thomas Grass , Managing Consultant, Southern California, Watson Wyatt Worldwide

At least 75 percent of a company's value is based on human capital, according to Nobelist Gary Becker. But do CEOs and senior executives really buy into the human capital theory? Do they truly value and invest in their employees?

U.S. business has undergone a shift from "personnel" to "human resources." It is not the mere change of a name, but a major shift from training to learning, said moderator Thomas Grass of Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

Edward Guiliano of the New York Institute of Technology stated that about 3,000 new hires join some large companies each year. Should we train those college graduates after they join the firms? The answer, he said, is a resounding yes. Students today are fundamentally different, and employers have to think about "new channels" for reaching them, and which kinds of technology can be used to train new hires most efficiently.

Employee training today is different from what it was just five or six years ago, said David Owens of Bausch & Lomb. "We need to tell our employees following four things through training," he added, "know how, know who, know where and know why." However, he said, some major problems exist in the training industry. First, human resource is teaching a company's established system rather than training new workers to fit with a company's changing strategy. Second, there is a huge gap between learning and doing in the company, and the result is ineffective training. Finally, said Owens, many trainers are not qualified and need to undergo retraining themselves.

Michael Winston of Countrywide Financial Corporation noted that employee training influences performance improvement. "First," he said, "employees are your company's most important assets. A company can't develop without talent, and the war for talent never stops." But just bringing in talent isn′t enough; a company has to develop the strengths of the people in its employ. "Executives need to focus on what we want our people to focus on," he said. "The probability of how to get $50 million in next seven days is zero if we focus on the idea of how to get five dollars."

Winston reminded the audience that big ideas distinguish one company from the pack. Most great new ideas are easily accessible; it's just that no one thought them through before. The success of Starbucks Coffee is a good example: a good concept that was readily available, easily accessible and new.

When asked how an employer can identify who needs what kind of training, Owens responded that the needs can be defined through various techniques, such as assessments, observations and performance management. Winston said companies should allow employees to undergo training during working hours if indeed their work force is their most important asset.

Winston recalled his experiences at Motorola, when he implemented the company′s innovative Six Sigma system, a new way of measuring processes and quality and devising improvements. The company chose to aim high and achieve reasonable success rate (like 90 percent) rather than to aim low and achieve the goal. When people miss the target, Winston said, they will continuously pursue the target and can typically achieve the goal after two to three years of hard work.

  2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Teacher Quality: The Key to School Reform

Speakers:
Charlotte Danielson , Author and Educational Consultant
Frederick Hess , Scholar and Director, Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
Alice Seagren , Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Education
Rob Weil , Deputy Director, American Federation of Teachers
Gerald Zahorchak , Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Moderator:
Lewis Solmon , President, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching; Senior Advisor, Board Member, Milken Family Foundation

Proposals for what is needed to fix the problems with public education in the United States are prolific. Yet solutions remain few and far between. Various interest groups expound the shortcomings of our public schools and claim that more resources -- more money, more teachers, more time -- are necessary in order to see results. This session focused on what is arguably the most important factor influencing school performance — teachers -- and tackled the difficult issues surrounding what makes a good teacher, how to attract these individuals and how to measure their performance.

According to moderator Lewis Solmon of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching within the Milken Family Foundation, studies show that the importance of teacher quality to a child's educational experience is nearly equal to that of home and family. Improving the quality of teachers has the potential to close the achievement gap between high- and low-performing schools and between ethnic and language groups.

Yet the quality of teachers has, by many measures, been declining. The percentage of teachers scoring in the top decile of high school achievement tests, for example, dropped from 24 percent in the 1970s to 11 percent in the early part of this decade. The most inexperienced teachers often teach in the nations high-poverty schools, worsening the achievement gap between the nation's wealthiest school districts and the most impoverished.

Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute explained that "effective teachers teach content and knowledge. They develop cognition and character." Not only that, but "they make their colleagues more effective," he said. Alice Seagren of the Minnesota Department of Education added that an effective teacher is one who is passionate about what he or she is teaching, understands the content, wants to impart that knowledge to children and expects that all students will succeed.

Solomon asked how teachers should be evaluated. Is testing the way to go? And why does there seem to be resistance to performance-based pay and regular evaluation? Education consultant Charlotte Danielson, who has written frequently on this subject, said the techniques don't yet exist to properly assess student learning in the some important areas and that this makes standardized testing of teacher performance ineffective. She argued that teaching is successive, cumulative and collaborative, and that in-school factors must receive consideration: curriculum quality, schedules, the discipline system, grading etc. We need to focus less on effective teachers and more on effective teaching, she explained, noting that, "It is not so much about measuring teacher effectiveness as about promoting teacher learning."

Hess said that he favors teacher testing but also encourages metrics, such as 360-degree evaluation, with feedback from co-workers, parents etc. He argued that we have good ways to measure things like how many students pass a grade and which teachers rate in the top 25 percent, but that we must decide whether or not we are serious about collecting this information and measuring it over time.

Robert Weil of the American Federation of Teachers noted that teachers also need more support. Since teaching is not static, he said, teachers need to learn effective teaching techniques rather than just curriculums. We can't use single measurements to get a good estimate today; we need evaluations based on solid instructional standards -- and we must give teachers valuable feedback to improve their teaching.

Seagren supported the use of tests but warned that standardized testing alone should not be the sum total of how teachers are evaluated. She stated that we need an objective method, as well as a value-added model that will allow teachers to show the impact of the value they've imparted to students. A teacher's job is to impart knowledge to a child, she said, adding, "We should be able to face the fact that we need to measure that impact."

One view, at least in part rejected by the panel, is that teachers need increased salaries in order to make the industry competitive in the hiring market. According to Solmon, if every teacher in the country received a base salary increase of $10,000, that would cost $30 billion annually, too much money for current legislatures to stomach, and too little money to really make a difference when recruiting teachers to the profession.

On the other hand, Hess argued that we have a system of universal education that came of age in the early 20th century in an "accidental labor market," when career-driven women essentially had two options, teaching or nursing. "What we had was a massive captive labor pool" he said, but these circumstances have changed. "The people who became teachers out of necessity are now astrophysicists or engineers."

Seagren pointed out that the teaching profession is still dominated by women, but that women now have many more opportunities. "We have an economic issue when the private sector is willing to pay a math or science person more than they′ll earn as a teacher," she said. "After a while, many get lured to the private sector."

The panel also addressed the basis for teacher compensation. Hess explained the evolution of experience-based pay, which attracts a risk-averse set of individuals. This contrasts sharply with young professionals in today's market, who are more attracted by merit-based pay and change. The distribution of teacher salaries and their structure are real challenges for today's school districts. Seagren pointed to the success of her state's Q-Comp program, which also encourages teachers to stay engaged and elevate the quality of education for their students. She believes such programs are essential and warned that "if we aren't careful we're going to create a culture with a small percentage of very educated people" and a large percentage who are undereducated for the global marketplace.

There was little debate that more highly trained and effective teachers are essential to the success of the nation's youth. But how to attract and retain these teachers is a real challenge. And determining how to evaluate their performance, and compensate them for it, is perhaps an even more difficult debate. This panel raised important questions about the future of education in the United States and encouraged participants to think about the long-term implications of the various strategies for reform. Teachers will play an essential role in the future of the United States and its work force, they agreed, and we cannot afford to ignore this issue.

  2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Early Childhood: A National Investment With Positive Returns

Speakers:
Eva Blum , Senior Vice President, PNC Bank, The PNC Financial Services Group Inc.
Dennis Winters , Chief, Office of Economic Advisors, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
Julie Meier Wright , President and CEO, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation

Moderator:
Robert Dugger , Managing Director, Tudor Investment Corporation

Global competition is intensifying, and if the United States is to succeed, the country's children must flourish. Evidence clearly demonstrates that investing in youth from the outset increases their chances of growing into healthy, productive adults.p> Moderator Robert Dugger of Tudor Investment led panelists Eva Blum of PNC Bank, Dennis Winters of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and Julie Wright of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. in a discussion of the way Americans invest in their children′s future, including early childhood health care and education.

With global competition intensifying daily and the national debt skyrocketing, the future of America's young people depends on a commitment to excellence in early education. Panelists agreed that a sound investment strategy and proper goal-setting will yield smarter, stronger and more confident minds and reveal hidden talents upon which the U.S. economy depends.

For this reason a consortium of business leaders, economists and philanthropists have drawn up a plan, Partnership for America's Economic Success, to help make the successful development and education of children a top economic national priority.

Astoundingly, more than 20 percent of U.S. workers are functionally illiterate and innumerate. High school dropout rates are increasing year by year, and the United States has the highest child poverty rate of the 20 developed countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The Partnership takes a three-pronged approach: Phase I is gathering evidence of the economic impact and laying the groundwork. Phase II is building coalitions and developing policy agenda; and Phase III is an advocacy stage.

"Skill begets skill," said Wright. "We must focus on the private sector ... import the talent and export the jobs." Furthermore, she added, "We must focus on growing the talent here, in our own country, rather than lose it to other countries."

Children must learn to first learn to read, then read to learn, added Winters. But it is a sad truth that U.S. support for early childhood education lags far behind that of other nations, she said, including that of most European nations.

"The vehicle for change is advocacy, grants and volunteering," explained Eva Blum. "We want our children to grow up being great. The first five years of life are the most critical for (mind development)."

She noted that economic development across communities is of vital importance. Children without proper education face poverty and may turn to crime, which is a negative burden on the community, socially and economically. Meanwhile, the result of a solid early education is an increase in savings, greater ownership, less special education and less crime.

Within the research agenda are five areas of focus. First, the microeconomic net gains from a solid early education; second, the macroeceonomic gains, including job creation, global competitiveness, fiscal sustainability and economic growth; third, sector analysis of jobs and GDP; and fourth, financial policy, the "how to pay for it all." Finally, the "communications part," or, the best ways to communicate findings and inform policy makers of the results so that change can become a reality.

By 2012, panelists explained, the partnership's goal is to have more than a million members in the coalition. By 2014, the goal is to work toward including in the federal budget the means to make the lifetime well-being of every child the highest priority of the government.

"To succeed, we must work together," said moderator Robert Dugger. So far, 12 donors have committed $3.11 million to help fund this economically vital project, so important for the future leaders, movers, and shakers of our country's economy.

  3:25 PM - 4:40 PM

Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Bolstering U.S. Science and Technology Skills

Speakers:
Ding-Jo Currie , President, Coastline Community College
Ronald Packard , Chairman and Founder, K12 Inc.
Sally Ride , Former NASA Astronaut; President and CEO, Sally Ride Science
Ronald Sugar , Chairman and CEO, Northrop Grumman Corporation

Moderator:
Nancy Grasmick , State Superintendent of Schools, Maryland Department of Education

In 2005 the National Academy of Sciences released a report titled Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. The report warned that the United States is losing its competitive edge because of a lack of investment in education and research.

This panel -- including business leaders, scientists and educators -- examined the situation almost 18 months later. Nancy Gransmick, the Maryland state superintendent of schools, co-authored the 2005 report and opened the session with alarming statistics: "Each year United States produces 10,000 fewer engineers than it needs," she said. "By 2010, 90 percent of world's engineers will reside in Asia."

National levels of investment in technology have historically correlated highly with the levels of economic prosperity, and Gransmick noted that in the past 18 months, all major IPOs happened outside of the United States. Could this be an indication that America is starting to feel effects of our underinvestment in technology? She asked the panelists their thoughts. Sally Ride, a former U.S. astronaut and an activist in education in K-12 math and science education, summarized the problem in an eloquent quote from Carl Sagan: "It is suicidal to create a society dependent on science and technology in which hardly anybody knows anything about science and technology." She reminded the audience that although Americans have a highly optimistic view of the nation's abilities, they occasionally get wake-up calls, such as the launch of the Sputnik by the Russians in 1957. "When we take for granted that we have the best innovators, universities and engineers in the world," she said, "we are living off the past."

Ronald Sugar, a CEO of Northrop Grumman Corp., acknowledged that the problem is serious since "industrial capacity is a major factor in national security." As a leader of a major defense contractor, he addressed the difficulties faced by agencies that can only hire U.S. citizen engineers even though there simply are not enough qualified candidates. He agreed that Sputnik was a wake-up call almost 50 years ago, and that although the "20th century was an American century, this position is not guaranteed by tenure." Several audience members also mentioned that a "scientifically literate electorate" is also important so that voters make educated decisions about national security.

Ding-Jo Currie, the president of Coastline Community College, said she found the situation "alarming." The world is changing all around the United States, she said, but in this country, people seem oblivious to the fact. For instance, China has recently increased its investment in research five-fold, to $10 billion, while the United States investment in research is decreasing in both the public and private sectors. She believes that the problem is so far gone that the United States cannot solve it alone and must collaborate with engineers all over the world in order to solve problems it faces today.

Ronald Packard, the founder of K12 Inc., said he remained essentially optimistic about the use of multimedia in classrooms to draw students' attention to science and engineering. The reality is that today′s children and teenagers are surrounded by technology, he argued, and many aspects of technology are considered "cool." His company strives to capitalize on this trend and introduce videos and gaming to classrooms in an attempt to augment traditional techniques and connect math and science to new and exciting careers.

The panelists noted that the report had started an important discussion, but it had not generated decisive action. Gransmick asked whether the panelists envision a next Sputnik-like crisis event in the future, and they agreed that the next crisis would be slow and gradual, not immediately obvious. Sugar, for example, expected to see further bleeding of jobs and a permanent shift in talent overseas, as educated foreigners choose to remain in their own prospering countries. Packard said he anticipated a slow erosion of individual wealth, and Currie drew a medical metaphor, noting although the country is clearly ill, the "symptoms have not reached the masses yet." Corporations are feeling the pain, she added, but they must seek alternative medicine as they are forced to open research and development sites in India and China.

In addition to supporting report′s recommendations, panelists offered several innovative suggestions. On the problem of aging teachers in many schools and colleges, Currey suggested that retiring engineers, such as those working at Northrop, might consider teaching as a second career. And Ride suggested that the problem of climate change could boost to the next generation′s motivation in science education.

  4:50 PM - 6:00 PM

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: A Workshop

Speakers:
Jeanne Allen , Founder and President, Center for Education Reform
Thomas Boysen , Senior Vice President, Classroom Solutions, K12 Inc.
Cindy Moss , K-12 Science Curriculum Specialist, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Gerald Zahorchak , Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Moderator:
Susan Wolford , Managing Director and Group Head, Business and Educational Services, BMO Capital Markets

There is a shortage of qualified science and math teachers in the United States; only 1 percent of college degrees are science degrees, and experts predict that "within five years, 90 percent of the world's scientists and mathematicians will live in Asia." This is a strategic national disadvantage and a threat to economic performance.

Opinions diverged on how the crisis should be tackled. Federal standards and standardized tests were proposed as remedy, but so were less regulation and decentralized decision-making with respect to budgets. All panelists agreed, however, that "science has been ignored" in policy making, and that that is a luxury that the U.S. school system can no longer afford.

According to Thomas Boysen of K12 Inc., the gravity of the problem is illustrated by the fact that "virtually no improvement has been made ... over the last 30 years." One of the major structural issues with science in K-12, he said, is the fact that it is excluded from standardized tests. "If you have a performance standard and you measure it, people will get it." There must be a coherent strategy to reform the entire system, with substantial investment and the option of letting market forces determine prices for science teachers, he added. Panelists agreed that there is a disincentive for scientists to teach because private-sector salaries are more attractive.

Cindy Moss, a science curriculum specialist, supported Boysen in his assessment that recruitment is the biggest issue. "The starting salary is $29,000," she explained. And while a survey of 15-year-old students from 35 countries showed that they overwhelmingly take science classes before graduating from high school, the United States is the only country where this pattern does not hold. "This is a national crisis," Moss warned.

She outlined two approaches to address the problem: One option is to let the market determine teachers' wages, which would signify a substantially higher salary for science teachers than other teachers. The other approach would be to introduce national science standards, similar to those in reading and math assessments. This would also alleviate some of the issues that teachers face when moving across state borders: in certain states teachers must pay up to $1,000 for a test that determines their eligibility to teach, regardless of how long they have taught in another state.

Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform refuted the argument for federal standards. Instead, she argued, the way to address the problem is to redirect control to individual schools. Teachers, not just students, ought to be evaluated, and there need to be guidelines on classroom content, not just results. "Not everyone who knows science knows how to teach," she said. High-quality products are out there; there is no reason why teachers should not get reimbursed for state-of-the-art teaching materials. But federal guidelines work against this. Competition in the market for education would ensure high-quality teaching, just as it ensures quality in other private markets. Thus there should be room for individual schools, rather than districts or states, to make budget decisions.

There ought to be "no exceptions for background," including ethnicity, parental income and disability when it comes to standards, argued Gerald Zahorchak, Pennsylvania's secretary of education. Acknowledging attainment gaps in practice, he posed the question: "What do we do when students struggle?" Teachers need to be guided on best practices and concepts as they play the key role in the system, he argued. The best economic strategy is to "invest in young people." But privatization and individual school budget decisions are not the solution, he said. There need to be guidelines to ensure quality standards.

Responding to an inquiry from the audience, the panelists discussed the role that private business can play in improving the situation. Zahorchak mentioned an example from Pennsylvania whereby businesses offer cash incentives for taking science courses. Another way would be to offer summer internships, argued Moss. Business executives are trained in leadership, a skill that many principals lack, she charged, and interaction between the two sectors could bridge the gap. Boysen added that the business community could also help with public awareness. If businesses are more vocal in requesting scientists, they could "energize the political system."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

  2:10 PM - 3:25 PM

Saving the Lost Generation: Solving the Low-Literacy Problem

Speakers:
George Boggs , President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges
Joy Chen , Lead Member, Global Human Resources Officers Practice, Heidrick & Struggles
Irving McPhail , Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME)

Moderator:
Ted Sanders , Chairman and CEO, Cardean Learning Group; former Acting U.S. Secretary of Education

The sad fact is that in some U.S. cities, as many as half of all adults are illiterate. One problem is that many illiterate people have become so good at hiding their problem, they do not get remedial help. Another problem is that most cities, communities and companies are unable to, or can't afford to, provide literacy training. What can organizations do to prevent the growth of illiteracy? What kinds of services can be provided to people who are illiterate? What do we need to do to bring this hidden problem out into the open?

  2:10 PM - 6:15 PM

Governor's Committee on Education Excellence
By invitation only

This session is limited to invited guests. If you are interested in attending, please send an e-mail request to jmeehan@milkeninstitute.org.

  3:35 PM - 4:50 PM

The Internet's Next Generation: Web3D

Speakers:
Wagner James Au , Author, New World Notes
James Bower , Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Numedeon Inc.; Professor, Computational Neuroscience, University of Texas Health Science Center
Jean Miller , Director, International Initiatives, Linden Lab
Constance Steinkuehler , Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Moderator:
John Kruper , Chief Learning Officer, Cardean Learning Group

While much of the recent press has focused on YouTube, Wikipedia and MySpace, another Internet-based movement may soon eclipse these and other so-called "Web 2.0" companies. If you've never heard of World of Warcraft, Whyville, Second Life or I Love Bees, you're missing what's fueling the Internet's next generation of change -- what some are calling Web3D. In this session, you can engage with experts who are actively creating, studying and living in this brave new world of avatars, telepresence and collective intelligence. We'll discuss what happens when web technologies merge with digital games and virtual worlds, and we'll debate how these immersive environments can redefine personal identity, social behavior, individual learning and civic engagement. Join panelists for some "serious fun" exploring why the future won't be what it used to be.

  3:35 PM - 4:50 PM

Preschool Education: Ensuring The Best for Our Children

Speakers:
Adam Ahmad Al Saadi , Senior Officer, Office of Independent Schools, Supreme Education Council
Charles Edelstein , Managing Director, Head of Global Services Group, Investment Banking, Credit Suisse
Eric Karolak , Executive Director, Early Care and Education Consortium
Gary Mangiofico , CEO, Los Angeles Universal Preschool

Moderator:
Felicia Thornton , CEO, Knowledge Universe Education, U.S.

Moderator Felicia Thornton, CEO of Knowledge Universe Education U.S., opened the session ready to tackle some of the major questions surrounding preschool education. Matters involving teacher qualification, public and private delivery models, school program characteristics and the economics of funding a preschool education were just some of the issues she laid out for panelists to discuss.

On the topic of teacher qualifications, Eric Karolak, Executive Director of the Early Care and Education Consortium, reported that a bachelor of arts degree, long recognized as a desired requirement for lead teachers, essentially has no bearing on student outcomes. Noting that "there are plenty of people with bachelor's degrees," he said that "the question is, do they have a background in early childhood, are they willing to work in early childhood industry, and are they able to be retained?"

Karolak urged policy-makers to move away from their gut reactions of what "feels" right for children and to learn more about what is supported in the research -- which is that "there is no clear pattern of an impact on program quality or child outcomes from the B.A. as standard for the teacher." Therefore, when resources are scarce, he said, decisions should be made that yield the highest return of investment for whatever the true standards are, and this should be supported by evidence.

From the economic perspective of an investment banker, Charles Edelstein, Managing Director and Head of Credit Suisse's Global Services Group, said, "When you demonstrate to people that it's profitable to do something, money will flow to it and more of that activity will happen." His experience has shown that investors consider the leadership of the organization to be the primary indicator of the types of returns they will see, both at the preschool and K-12 levels. He explained that "a dynamic leader of an organization will hire the right people and will focus on the right things." Even though some of the returns on investment may not be immediate, Edelstein said, it is especially important to help people, (especially in the United States) understand the magnitude of the returns when investing in early education. On average China spends $6,000 to $10,000 on early childhood education, in comparison to the $3,900 spent in the United States.

Sabah Al-Haidoos, Director of the Education Institute, shared some of his experiences and the changes taking place in Qatar. He mentioned that considerable money is being invested in early education in his country because the goal is to combine a preschool with each elementary school as a way of preparing students for the system ahead. This model is soon to be extended to children between the ages of 3 and 6 years. "Students will be socialized, educated and prepared for the school system, grades 1 through 12," Haidoos said. In addition, the teachers will have dual functions as trainers and mentors. Ultimately, these goals are in place to ensure that the students of Qatar will be equipped and ready to compete with their peers around the world.

Gary Mangiofico, CEO of Los Angeles Universal Preschool, stated that in Los Angeles, 80 percent of the preschool market is supported by the private sector. In Los Angeles County, the volume of the preschool market compares with that of the spending in women′s retail, at a billion dollars. However, when compared to the national average of 66 percent, only 50 percent of L.A. County's 4-year-olds are in preschool. As it stands, approximately 75,000-80,000 of those children lack access to preschool for a variety of reasons. Although much has been done to approve upon these factors, "clearly there isn′t the public appetite right now to fund a universal system on a total public dollar," he said. Mangiofico estimated that the cost in LA County alone would probably run somewhere between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion a year."

With respect to returns on investment from a social capital perspective, Mangiofico argued that "we're talking about the decreased spending in the future as a result of making investments today, because children who go to preschool have less need for special education." The dropout rate is lower, delinquency rates drop, these students attend college, and they become higher wage earners, he added, reminding the audience that the question is, would we rather spend $90 million in operations in one year for 14,000 additional spaces in the county's preschools, or socially spend $234 million over the course of 18 years?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

  9:20 AM - 10:35 AM

Managing Talent in a Global Economy

Speakers:
Kevin Bonfield , Vice President, Business Workforce and Capacity Management, EDS
Kwan Chee Wei , Regional Director, Human Capital Group (Asia Pacific), Watson Wyatt Worldwide
Jeffrey Cohn , Founder and Managing Partner, Bench Strength Advisors LLC
Robin Ferracone , Former President, Human Capital, Mercer Human Resources Consulting

Moderator:
Laura Barker Morse , Human Capital Partner, Atlas Venture

Global companies need the best global executive talent in order to compete. But once they recruit the best executives and future leaders, how can they be sure they will continue to be the best? Systems can be upgraded and software can be enhanced, but high-level human capital requires continuous attention, from training to coaching to team-building to leadership development to succession planning. In short, how can a company's smartest people be made smarter? And how can its global teams be made more effective? What can world-class companies do to assure they are led by world-class teams for decades to come? This panel will explore the high-level human capital needs of companies and shed new light on best practices.

  10:45 AM - 12:00 pm

Skills Gaps: Getting the People You Need to Serve Your Global Customers

Speakers:
John Engler , President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers; former Governor, State of Michigan
Charles Knapp , President Emeritus, University of Georgia
Thomas Kraack , Managing Partner, Global Financial Services Operating Group, Accenture
Ted Sanders , Chairman and CEO, Cardean Learning Group; former Acting U.S. Secretary of Education

Moderator:
Joy Chen , Lead Member, Global Human Resources Officers Practice, Heidrick & Struggles

American manufacturers have laid off millions of workers in recent years, yet paradoxically complain of vast skill shortages as globalization and technology change drive the upskilling of jobs in every industry. CEOs who once projected that China and India would be the "brawn" while the US would be the "brains" are now building R&D centers in the developing world. Indian and Chinese companies who started as offshoring centers are starting to march back into developed-country markets. Where in the world will the good jobs of the future be? And how will American companies get the skilled workers they need to stay globally competitive?


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