Articles tagged with New York Times

Friedman talks about ‘hyperconnected’ world at NSBA’s first General Session


In a “hyperconnected” world, public schools need to make Garrison Keillor’s whimsical idealization of America become reality, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman told the opening General Session of NSBA’s 74th Annual Conference Saturday. “All the children need to be above average.”

Being ordinary in any endeavor is no guarantee of being able to thrive, or even survive, in today’s economy, he said.

“Woody Allen’s line about 80 percent of life being about showing up? Not anymore,” he added.

“Every middle class job is being pulled in three directions at once,” Friedman explained:

* Up, as employers expect workers to update and improve their skills.

* Out, as jobs are threatened by outsourcing and replacement by robots and expert systems.

* Down, as jobs are being made obsolete faster.

Speaking without notes, the three-time Pulitzer Prize winner argued that the ability of anyone to make a living in the 21st century will depend in large part on being self-motivated and “innovation ready.”

That’s because no human endeavor is untouched by a “Gutenberg-level change” that is occurring amid the “flattening” of the world through the simultaneous effects of globalization, the Internet, and information technology.

He said that includes his job as a journalist, which often takes him to China. His goal used to be to find a morsel of information that would be interesting for a reader like his mom in Minnesota. But since 2011 The New York Times has had a Chinese-language edition, so “I have to tell my Chinese readers something new about China.”

For educators and school leaders, this means new challenges in preparing students for the globalized, hyperconnected world. “We had to find jobs; they will have to invent them.”

What to tell kids?

“I have five basic pieces of advice:

1. “Think like an immigrant.” Take nothing for granted; be a “paranoid optimist” in every endeavor.

2. “Think like an artisan.” Contribute something unique and be proud of it.

3. “Always be in beta.” Like makers of software, consider nothing finished. Always be working on a better version of your products and yourself.

4. “Think like a parent.” Realize the Internet is partly a sewer with misinformation, bias, hate, and pornography. That means modeling good judgment, because that’s the only way kids can learn it.

5. “Be like a waitress at Perkins Pancake House” by exploiting what you control to maximize customer satisfaction. Friedman said he came up with this suggestion after a waitress delivered a plate of pancakes and said, “I gave you extra fruit,” which prompted Friedman and a companion to leave a 50 percent tip. People who give others a little extra will get ahead.


Eric D. Randall|April 5th, 2014|Categories: School Boards, 21st Century Skills, Student Engagement, Computer Uses in Education, NSBA Annual Conference 2014|Tags: , , , |

New Orleans hosts NSBA’s 74th Annual Conference


Welcome to New Orleans! The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is thrilled to be back in the Crescent City for its 74th Annual Conference, held April 5 to 7.

The conference will draw more than 7,500 attendees, exhibitors, and guests representing nearly 1,400 school districts. This conference will feature distinguished speakers as well as hundreds of workshops, presentations, and other events that will help you develop your leadership skills, boost student learning, and improve your school districts’ operations.

The Louisiana School Boards Association has taped a welcome video that shows why New Orleans is one of the world’s most unique and celebrated cities. Lee Meyer Sr. and John C. Smith, president and past president of LSBA, respectively, are tour guides and they have plenty of recommendations. “The food, music, and more is a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds,” Smith says.

Keynote speakers include New York Times columnist and bestselling author Thomas L. Friedman; basketball legend, entrepreneur, and public school advocate, Earvin “Magic” Johnson; author and technology guru Sir Ken Robinson; and leadership expert Simon Bailey.

Once again NSBA’s mobile app holds a wealth of information about the conference as well as handouts and supplementary materials. The app allows you to create a schedule, review session descriptions and locations, access handouts, and search for exhibitors right from your laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Go to You can also download the online conference planner at NSBA’s Annual Conference website.

Don’t forget to read highlights of all the day’s major events in Conference Daily, which is again available online at and through the NSBA mobile app.

If you are using social media, the official conference hashtag is #NSBAConf. Be sure to share the knowledge you gain this weekend with your colleagues and community.

To ensure that you get credit for attending educational sessions, we are using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Wear your badge to all conference events to get credit for your attendance, then go to the Continuing Education Credit desk, located in Lobby E, for a list of all the sessions you attended. You may also access a report through the mobile app.

The conference also uses a QR code, found on page 40 of the conference program book, which will allow you to download handouts directly to your Smartphone or tablet.

The ever-popular Exhibit Hall is now the Exposition Campus. More than 260 companies will be exhibiting and there will also be dozens of “Study Hall” sessions (formerly Learning Lounge). These are interactive 30-minute mini-sessions with the latest knowledge on hot topics, led by experts and their school district clients. We’ve more than doubled the number of Study Halls held from 2013 and will offer sessions during exclusive hours. Check your conference program book for a complete schedule.

The Exhibit Hall will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The Annual Conference even has movies this year. On Saturday and Sunday, NSBA will show The Freedom Writers Foundation’s new film, “Stories from an Undeclared War,” which tells the personal stories of the 150 at-risk students once considered unteachable who were inspired by teacher Erin Gruwell. The movie will be shown at 1 p.m. in the Lounge at the back of Hall E.

NSBA will also be holding a special screening of “12 Years A Slave” tomorrow evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel’s Versailles Ballroom. NSBA has partnered with Fox Searchlight Pictures, New Regency, Penguin Books, and the filmmakers to distribute this important film to high schools in the United States this fall.


Joetta Sack-Min|April 4th, 2014|Categories: Leadership, NSBA Annual Conference 2014|Tags: , , , , |

The week in blogs

No jokes today — not even lame ones.  And no trenchant analysis. (And if you say, “What trenchant analysis?” please reread Sentence #1, carefully.)

I’m a very busy man. I’ve got a debt ceiling to worry about. No, actually, I’ve got a story to finish, and a meeting to go to, and tomorrow we’re taking our kids to Colonial Williamsburg. Really early. But not as early as it was for my elder daughter’s class trip a few weeks ago, when she traveled to the same destination. The buses left the elementary school parking lot at 7 a.m., for a three-hour trip. Several classes of fourth graders. On a bus. For three hours.  One way. My neighbor volunteered to chaperone; and, yes, he is a saint.

Now, just the facts — or rather, the blogs. Read Alexander Russo’s This Week in Education for an insightful critique on Paul Tough’s recent New York Times commentary, “No Seriously: NO Excuses.”

Anne O’Brien, blogging for The Learning First Alliance, comments on the recent back-and-forth between Times Columnist David Brooks and education historian Diane Ravitch, as well as Brooks’ penchant for falling for the “reformers” versus “establishment” construct. I don’t have to tell you what he means by these terms (or why they’re off base).

In The Quick and the Ed, Richard Lee Colvin writes an illuminating blog about the cheating scandal in the Atlanta schools and how to recover from what could only be described as an educational tragedy. (The two responses are also worth reading.)

And finally, back to Ravitch again, but this time in lighter vein: Read The Answer Sheet’s Valerie Strauss on “Ravitch Rage” and its symptoms.

Lawrence Hardy|July 8th, 2011|Categories: School Boards, Week in Blogs, School Reform, Board governance, Assessment|Tags: , , , , , , |

Rhetoric around America’s biggest issues don’t always fall along party lines

alice-wonderland“Curiouser and Curiouser” – those words from Alice and Wonderland  popped into my mind today as I read page A8 of Monday’s New York Times.

First there was the story about the head of a major political party, who said of the war in Afghanistan: “This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in…. “that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Asia.”

Green Party Platform?  Musings of the (new, old, resuscitated) Left? No. Michael Steele chairman of the Republican National Committee, letting his thoughts run on. And on. His GOP colleagues, understandably, were not amused.

Then, on to education and to Column Five:

“Today our members face the most anti-educator, anti-union, anti-student environment I have ever experienced,” Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, said at the union’s annual conference in New Orleans.

Naomi Dillon|July 6th, 2010|Categories: Governance, Policy Formation, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , , |
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