Sunday, June 28, 2009

Advancing Education In Illinois

The Sunday, June 28 editorial in the Chicago Tribune was titled "Advancing education". It said "Illinois lawmakers and schools need to be pushed" and pointed to a new group called Advance Illinois, led by "heavy-hitters" such as former Governor Jim Edger and former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley (the Mayor's brother).

I encourage people interested in education issues to visit this site and learn more from the information it provides.

However, I also encourage you to visit the blog of George Siemens, who is an elearning innovator from Canada. In his article Siemens talks of "complex learning" and "problem solving"

I point to articles like this because solving the education crisis in Illinois and other states requires on-going learning by many citizens. It also invites the leaders of education reform to use some of the tools of the information world to help make their ideas and solutions easier to understand.

For instance, I encourage the Tribune and groups like Advance Illinois, and the Illinois State Board of Education, to publish maps showing locations of poorly performing schools in the state, like we do on the Tutor/Mentor Program locator.

Using maps we can begin to focus attention on the different reasons in different areas for why kids doing stay in school and how what happens in the community and the non-school hours influences these decisions. We can also look at the resources and assets in a neighborhood or a region, and mobilize more support from the private sector, faith groups, colleges and health care systems to support the social, emotional and economic reasons kids and families struggle, and why school in these areas also struggle.

Using the internet, we can also create visualizations, or blueprints, which help more people see ways they can get involved in efforts that lead more kids through Illinois schools and into jobs. Such maps invite others to share this responsibility beyond teachers, administrators, parents, youth and elected officials.

Much is written about Social Networking, but unless readers share this information in their networks, too few people will see these recommendations, and too few leaders in media, or business, will begin to apply these ideas into their own learning and leadership.

Thus, I encourage you to pass this blog on to members of your network, just as I attempt to do.

Thank you.

No comments: