Thoughts on Education by Gov. Bob Wise
“Thoughts on Education” is Gov. Bob Wise’s commentary on education issues and policy. Somewhere between a blog and a column, it represents Gov. Wise’s personal thoughts about education and what must be done to achieve true reform.
Transform Education with Digital Learning
December 7, 2010
Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, Bob Wise, former governor of West Virginia and president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, and Michael B. Horn, cofounder and executive director of Education of Innosight Institute, joined together to write an Op-Ed about transforming education with digital learning. The piece was published in The Hill on December 7, 2010:
All children should have an education that allows them to maximize their human potential and pursue their loftiest dreams. Through the power of digital learning, we can transform the American education system to make that elusive vision a reality.
Everyone has different learning needs at different times. We all have different background knowledge, experiences and aptitudes. And everyone learns at different paces. Digital learning can customize and personalize education for those differences. Read more ...
Paving the Rural Road to High School Success
September 29, 2010
On September 23, the Federal Communications Commission approved an overhaul of the $2.25 billion E-Rate program—which offers discounted telephone and internet services for eligible schools and public libraries—to give schools more options for faster internet connection and service, allow for community internet service, and begin pilot programs for mobile learning devices, like digital textbooks. According to the New York Times, the program mostly serves schools in poor and rural communities.
Will Congress Take on Another Ruptured Pipeline?
June 29, 2010
Two months in and still the issue dominating the Obama administration, the Congress, and the media is the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Thousands out of work, a rising economic crisis, blackened beaches, and anguishing photos of oil-soaked pelicans drive the constant congressional attention that feeds round-the-clock media attention and vice versa. Suddenly, a previously apathetic American public is focused 24-7 on the environmental and energy disaster in one part of our nation.
Now imagine the outcry of another major pipeline-related disaster. Different from the Gulf debacle, this is a case in which a different major pipeline is spewing a vital resource at countless breaks across the country. This other pipeline disaster should be the worst fear of every American—that the pipeline crisscrossing our nation will burst in numerous locations and cause multiple spills and unleash its devastation on almost every American community.
A General Motors Moment
June 7, 2010
West Virginia is undergoing what almost every state is currently experiencing—the convergence of several critical forces, each with its own momentum, that bring the opportunity for major change. The first is the growing demand for greatly improved student outcomes. The second is continued budget shortfalls.
These two factors alone create a “General Motors Moment.” The product was already lackluster, and now there is far less revenue to continue turning out what people weren’t buying anyway.
The Race to the Top competition should be more like a soccer league for six-year-olds in which every child who makes an effort receives an award. Some get a bigger trophy; some go on to be higher performers, but everyone who shows up at least gets attention.
Here is my suggestion for the U.S. Department of Education: Make the first round about the truly top applicants. These should be the shining examples for what all states should strive to accomplish. Make the second round also about high performers. But also set aside a series of awards, perhaps one million dollars each, for states that are making a good faith effort and can use the dollars for increased planning and implementation for the next round.
Like much of the rest of the east coast, I had been essentially trapped in my house for almost a week thanks to back-to-back winter storms dumping unprecedented amounts of snow. It was somewhere during the second day of seemingly nonstop snow shoveling that I gained an even greater appreciation of online learning.
Rural Schools Can’t Be "Out of Sight, Out of Mind"
January 27, 2010
Much of the recent debate over high school reform at the federal level has not involved rural schools; big cities tend to dominate the discussion. “Out of sight, out of mind” may be one explanation. When one out of every four students fails to graduate from our rural high schools, it’s not just a “local” issue; it’s a national crisis. In Gov. Wise's latest installment of "Thoughts on Education," he addresses these questions: Why should education reformers pay attention to rural high schools? And why now?
January 27, 2010
During his January 27 State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In Gov. Wise's latest installment of “Thoughts on Education,” he reacts to President Obama's commitment to reauthorizing the ESEA and reemphasizes the importance to enact—this year—an ESEA that meets the needs of children in all grades. Gov. Wise writes that the Alliance will constantly press that high school graduation rates rise sharply and diplomas truly mean a graduate is college and career ready.
Rachel, Josh, and Louis
July 15, 2009
In his latest installment of “Thoughts on Education,” Gov. Wise examines the human side of high school reform by talking about his encounter with three homeless Albuquerque high school students at a recent Dropout Summit. He writes that these students’ stories reinforce the advocacy efforts that he and the Alliance champion and demonstrate the importance of what the next year-and-a-half in Congress offers: a chance to have a positive effect on many more students.
"Over the Top" Campaign
May 28, 2009
In his latest installment of “Thoughts on Education,” Gov. Wise discusses why the convergence of economic, political, legislative, and social forces mean that 2009 will provide the greatest opportunity for enacting far-reaching education reform in fifty years. As Education Secretary Duncan’s bold “Race to the Top” initiative intends to push states and school districts to bring innovation, Gov. Wise writes about how the Alliance is working to build public support for, enact, and implement a comprehensive federal education reform agenda through an “Over the Top” campaign over the next two years.
Getting the Education Car Out of the Ditch
January 15, 2009
In his first “Thoughts on Education,” Gov. Wise expects 2009 to bring about unprecedented challenges, but also an opportunity to take the bold steps necessary to transform secondary and postsecondary education so that the United States truly becomes an education society. How can he be so optimistic? Because, in his words, “Often the greatest political and legislative change comes only when we are faced with the greatest adversity. When the car is ‘deep in the ditch,’ everyone needs to jump in to push it out.”