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The Common Core State Standards focus on core conceptual understandings and procedures

Lesson Plans and Classroom Resources for Teaching To Core Standards


The Brain If I only Had A Brain

Silver and gold will rot away but a good education will never decay.

"Everyone has the right to education."

Article 26 Universal Declaration of Human Rights December 10 1948

How can we set our children free?
How can we set society free?

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Evaluation, Assessment, Drop Out Rates, and Retention.


2016 No Child Left Behind has been unsuccessful, says bipartisan report
Report says US has been outperformed by a majority of advanced industrial nations as well as some less-developed nations since bill was passed in 2001. The authors include 22 state lawmakers, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. Robert Behning, an Indiana state representative who served on the study group, said the participants were able to set politics aside to agree that they needed to call out the failure of reforms. When it comes to improving teachers, the report’s authors did not find that a lack of teachers’ unions or a reduction in tenure protections was key to improving student performance.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), proposed regulations give states clarity in rethinking their accountability, data reporting, and consolidated state plans. The draft accountability regulations for states and districts under the Every Student Succeeds Act cover everything from what states measure in the areas of school performance and quality to how they make that data public and use it to boost school improvement.

These regulations would replace the narrow, one-size-fits-all approach that defined ESSA’s predecessor, with new flexibility for states and school districts, a more holistic approach to measuring a quality education that will help prepare students for success, and strong protections to ensure the progress of all students. They would also reinforce ESSA’s commitment to transparency and meaningful engagement and an active role for parents, teachers, students, community leaders, and other critical stakeholders in implementing the law.


A Harvard MBA who grew up in a trailer park addresses his graduating class with inspiring words

Dean Light, Sir Ronald Cohen, faculty, administration, classmates, family, and friends - thank you for the privilege of speaking with you today. It's a special day for many reasons, not the least of which is that this is the closest many of us have ever come to Baker Library. To those in the audience and on this stage who have spent the past two years teaching us, thank you for your dedication, preparation, and attention. To those in the administration and on the Class Day committee, thank you for your tireless behind-the-scenes work. To those in the student loan office, well, let's just say I owe you so, so much. And for those graduates playing section bingo, "David Hasselhoff."
Of course, our deepest gratitude today is to the family, friends, and especially partners who carried us this far. I don't know how your family is handling it, but mine is pretty pumped. My parents are out there somewhere, wearing their "Harvard Dad" and "Harvard Mom" t-shirts for maybe the 500th time. And my wife, currently the sole breadwinner in our family, is just relieved I'm finally getting a job. From up here, I can see that all of you have brought a collection of ecstatic friends, beaming grandparents, and bored little brothers. Well, from all of us in the class of 2010 to all of you: "Thank you." You've helped make what once seemed like an outlandish hope a reality. We never could have done it without you. And I know, at least, that I wouldn't have been here without a lot of encouragement, help, and inspiration from the people who care about me the most.
You see, like many of you, I didn't grow up with Harvard as an expectation. When I was born, my family lived in a trailer park in Central Florida. My dad, a former rodeo cowboy, was scraping by finishing an undergraduate degree; and my mom made it her job to find ways for me to develop and learn with the limited resources we had. This involved a lot of imagination. She read books to me almost every day - the "Berenstain Bears," "The Poky Little Puppy" - until I memorized them and made their words my own. We turned little red wagons into race cars, can recycling into treasure hunting, and firefly catching into dragon chasing. Perhaps the greatest gift my mother gave me was that fantastic capacity - the gift of creativity. By day, I was a just little boy trying hard in school. But at night, in that place between wakefulness and dreams, I was an astronaut, archaeologist, or, to my parents' great dismay, a rock star. Every obstacle was an opportunity, and every struggle a chance to create.
I'm willing to bet that you had similar dreams, too, didn't you? And are some of the very people who taught you to dream sitting with you here today?

Of course, a lot of time has passed since any of us rode in little red wagons; and it's been years - hours at least - since we wanted to be rock stars. These days, most of us just dream of landing jobs, avoiding cold calls, and finding an extra ticket to Commencement in Harvard Yard. But as we cross the stage tomorrow and step out into the world beyond this school, what if it's more important than ever to recapture that child-like spirit of imagination? What if, in a world so vastly transformed by crisis that it barely resembles the one we left in 2008, what matters most is not Excel proficiency or accounting acumen, but a passion and capacity for creativity?

Famed economist Joseph Schumpeter once called capitalism "creative destruction" - a formulation that perfectly captured both the dynamism and danger of the economic system that's been adopted almost everywhere in the world.
The latter half of Schumpeter's phrase is now self-evident. Our two years here have been a season of destruction. Hundred-year-old institutions have fallen like dominoes and markets have plummeted - endangering pensions, college funds, and retirement plans around the world. We've witnessed Masters of the Universe in business and politics who have exercised more creativity in evading the law, amassing power, and harming their fellow human beings than in conceiving of solutions to make this world a better place. And millions of people have lost their homes, their jobs, and their hope. MBAs like us have been keenly sensitive to the crisis because we've born at least some share of the blame.
But as we graduate tomorrow, the primary question for our class - for our generation - is not "What happened?" but "Where do we go from here?" In this time of crisis - when passion, innovation, and leadership are so desperately needed - how do we restore balance to the system? And in a world that is stumbling, can we be creative in the midst of destruction?
I believe the answer to that question is a resounding "yes." If my three, yes three, years at this institution [as a candidate for master's degrees at both HBS and the Harvard Kennedy School] have convinced me of anything, it is that HBS, despite its flaws, really is dedicated to educating "leaders who make a difference in the world." And my classmates and I, despite our flaws, overeager pit dives, and skydeck moments share that dedication. We have a long way to go. We have a lot to learn. And we must keep with us the humility we've learned in this crisis; but if we can harness two essential components of creativity - imagination and dedication - I think we can be part of the solution to our world's problems rather than their perpetuation.
The first element of creativity, of course, is imagination - that ability to think of the world in unbounded terms and produce new things where nothing existed before. This was easy when we were kids. If you asked us about career paths, we might have a tough time choosing between president and Spiderman; but we always set the bar high. As we mature, sometimes reality encourages us to think in slightly smaller increments. But HBS has consistently impressed on us - through class work in leadership and innovation, exercises in personal reflection, and the challenging advice of alumni and friends - to be imaginative with both our careers and our solutions to the challenges we face. One great evidence of this is the MBA Portrait Project, which you can find scattered throughout Spangler Lounge today. For it, MBA students, echoing poet Mary Oliver, were asked to write about what they intend to do with their "one wild and precious life." And the responses - whether to be great parents and spouses, innovative social entrepreneurs, or world-class karaokeers - are both imaginative and hopeful. Reflection and innovation are further encouraged through cultural activities like the HBS Show and Sankofa; and this push for imagination often culminates in the various business plan competitions around campus - activities that, in recent years, have produced companies and social enterprises dedicated to everything from recycling unwanted electronics, to treating Lou Gehrig's disease, democratizing fashion, and combating illness and drought. No, I don't think imagination will be the problem - particularly if we classmates can find a way to encourage one another's dreams and aspirations long after this experience has passed away.
But in order to transform imagination into creativity we must couple it with dedication - devotional persistence in the face of time, challenge, and struggle. Our New England neighbor Ralph Waldo Emerson highlighted the necessity of dedication when he said, "Without ambition, one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it." My friends here are nothing if not dedicated. This is readily apparent when you watch an HBS rugby match or a Section Olympics tug-of-war. But it's also more subtly demonstrated by students' dedication to lasting impact and the school's dedication to facilitating long-term thinking. I'm proud to say that I've seen my peers here help out - on the ground - in almost every major crisis we've experienced in recent years. Katrina. The Chinese earthquakes of two years ago. And most recently, Haiti, where a first- and second-year student at HBS have been pioneering the development of electronic medical records and where more than a dozen students have traveled over the past two weeks alone. Dedicated to long-term social impact, HBS students have set up the Harbus Foundation, the nation's only foundation run by MBA students. And in classes like Leadership and Corporate Accountability, we are taught, persistently, to think beyond quarterly returns. Tenacity is almost second nature to many among us, but it will be essential to addressing the long-term challenges we'll face. And it's a place where our family, friends, and former professors - all of you - can help us most by encouraging us, supporting us in difficult times, offering us a little wisdom when we need it, and holding us accountable for the promises we make.
In a way, I think it's simple. Imagination and dedication. Creativity in destruction. Depending on your perspective, fellow graduates, we've been blessed or cursed to leave this place in the midst of interesting and urgent times. But despite the very real pain and difficulty of the current environment, it is an opportunity. Up until this point we've lived in a world built and cared for by our parents, grandparents, and forebears. But tomorrow, for those of us in caps and gowns, things change.
Our generation is tasked with creating something new and undreamt from the remains of this crisis, and I think that history's perspective on us will rest on our ability to fight through the destruction and recapture the child-like creativity that once allowed us to chase dragons, cherish red wagons, and believe that, no matter where we came from, we could one day make it to a place like this. Thank you, once again, for the honor of addressing you, Class of 2010. Many of you will belifelong friends, and over the past three years you've taught me about character, community, leadership, and compassion. Leave this campus tomorrow as creators, and remember to take the time to dream. We may not end up as rock stars, but it never hurts to have a little imagination.


Harvard Business School graduates its 100th class of MBAs. The student-led MBA Oath, pledging to "not advance my personal interests at the expense of my enterprise or society" and to "remain accountable to my peers and to society for my actions and for upholding these standards." According to student leaders, approximately 300 members of the HBS Class of 2010 have signed the Oath, joining over 3,000 MBA graduates at 15 schools in the U.S. and around the globe. For the complete oath and further background, see

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