Saturday, April 9, 2016

NSBA Opening Session: Dan Rather

posting once we get there
so much ground I want to cover with you today
Lincoln: never take the time to deny it; the audience will find out soon enough.
moment of silence for "people serving in dangerous places far from home"
product of public schools, including "little Sam Houston Teachers' College" (at the time had 900 students)

"got all the education I was capable of absorbing"
teachers "cared deeply about their students"
Walker County "had never had an intellectual...if you could listen to the William Tell Overture and NOT think of the Lone Ranger, YOU were an intellectual"
service you offer on school boards "is essential"
grew up not in a privileged part of town, was in the lower ratings for the time
"Miss Simmons (the principal) was given a lot of leeway by the School Board, and she ran it as sort of a benevolent dictatorship"
"gratitude for the principals and the teachers I had coming up knows no bounds"
"I was an incredibly poor speller, which is a hell of a weakness if you want to be a newspaperman"
was chosen to succeed Walter Cronkite: "note that I didn't say I was chosen to 'replace' Walter Cronkite"
was told that ratings would fall; they did not; had become conceited about it when his wife took him down a notch
in schooling, "earlier is better"
school systems sending a letter to a family of a new baby "not intrusively"
"it's not too early to let them know that the school system cares about them"
concerned that the teaching of history and social studies has waned a bit due to emphasis on STEM
"bears a second look"
"what can we learn from other school districts, other countries around the world"
US was where the rest of the world came to see how to make education work
"education for the masses"
"other countries have found some very good ways to run school systems"
"we have some school systems that can match school systems anywhere in the world, and that needs to be noted"
on an ongoing quest to improve our system
"what we could do to improve our schools is out there, just beyond our own borders"
established about 100 years ago to provide about an eighth grade education to most kids; a higher amount that 20% who goes higher
Singapore, Finland spend less, get better results
no, he didn't mention spending on health care...sigh...
in Finland, the neediest kids get the most funding
teachers highly respected, as well, and it is hard to become a teacher
working conditions in other countries are better in other countries
teachers make about 40% less than other college educated professionals
teachers spend about half as much time in front of their classes as teachers in the US
extremely low teacher turnover in Finland; US, half leave in five years
"no country" uses even close to the number of standardized exams that we do in the US
education seen as a national priority to find out what works in schools
notes lack of attention to education in presidential race
leaders, among the most important in the country
"cannot and must not waiver, hesitate or get distracted"

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