Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age - Day 1

Uploaded by Google on 12.11.2009

Ladies and gentlemen, would you please welcome the Chief Executive Officer of Google, Dr.
Eric Schmidt. >> SCHMIDT: So, it's my job to welcome you
to Google and to our events. It's a no-brainier that Google would support something like this,
something about--something about learning and enjoying it. It's all the people that
I know in the audience care passionately about this. We've got some partners that are pretty
important here too, obviously, the Sesame Workshop and the Common Sense Media. We've
also got partnerships, and donations, and representatives from the MacArthur Foundation,
the Hewlett Foundation, and the Pearson Foundation. When I think about education and learning
and the rate at which it changes and then I think about the internet, it's just such
a gap. And if anything, the gap is getting wider. And I think our challenge today and
tomorrow is to try to narrow that gap. To put it more bluntly, the children seemed to
be ahead of the teachers and the parents in an awful lot of ways. And it's great to see
your grandchild educating the grandmother, but ultimately, you're supposed to have some
things going the other way. And I would say that we have not, in education, whether it's
science education which a number of people I know and I have been involved with, or even
general education at almost any level, except maybe at the collegiate level but even maybe
not there. We have not really seized upon the power and the tools that are now available
to us in the internet age. I can give you example after example. It's obvious that there
are gifted teachers. Why are we--why do we not have them as famous as basketball players
and is well-known all to mechanisms as YouTube and so forth? That's an obvious thing that
we could do. It's interesting that when I was a child in Virginia, I was required to
memorize the names of the counties of all of the state of Virginia, which I managed
to actually do. Now, this is a ludicrous assignment at that time, right? But I managed to do it
anyway. And now, it's even crazier because, wouldn't you just ask your favorite search
engine? And it just doesn't make any sense. And in fact, Bill Joy offers the following
sort of experiment, what would happen if when you taught--you taught by asking people a
question and gave them an assignment to learn by looking things up. So the whole modality,
the whole way in which people learn is fundamentally, in my view, now under attacked by these new
tools. Furthermore, we have this very interesting observation that an awful lot of education
and an awful lot of learning is going to occur through peer groups and user-generating content.
Another way in which the traditional textbook model that we've all grown up with, and all
of us did pretty well at, is under attacked in this new model. I don't know that one is
better than the other. But what I do know is that the existing infrastructures, the
existing taxonomies, the existing biases have not taken full advantage of the observation
that the internet has arrived and it's arriving in education as well. There are all sorts
of funny examples. Nowadays, the most recent survey, two-thirds of all children for ages
of, you know, basically nine and thirteen are watching television and online at exactly
the same time. There's literally no difference from their perspective. An even better story
is that two children, two girls aged 10 and 12 were stuck in a storm sewer in Australia.
And rather than calling for help, they just updated their status on their Facebook page,
and were rescued. All right. Not something I would have done makes perfect sense to them.
The gap for those of you that have children and grandchildren is getting larger between
our model and our experience and how we relate to our child and the opportunities before
us. So for my perspective, we have a lot of work ahead of us. Everybody here knows the
statistics about American education, the American system. We have a number of heroes in the
audience who have really gone into an educational system, and you really fought a bureaucracy,
as a political structure, or whatever to make the kind of changes at significant personal
sacrifice. I know we have the leadership in this conference to pull it off. We are, for
example, joined today by Leaders and Education Policy, Martha Kanter, who's the undersecretary
for DOE; Mike Smith, who's from the Department of Education; Blair Levin, who's now in the
Omnibus Broadband Initiative of the FCC, who I have been working with for a while. We have
all of them representing the government. We have all of you. Together, I think, maybe
we can finally build a consensus around with a new form of education and learning that
is going to be--that will take advantage of all the tools that are before us. And that's
why I'm here, that's why Google is part of this, and that's why it's so great to have
you all here. Thank you so much for being here. I want to introduce Gary Knell, who's
the CEO of Sesame Workshop, to sort of continue and get started. Gary? Thank you very much.
Thank you, Gary. >> KNELL: Thank you, Eric. Good afternoon
everyone. And thank you, Eric, for your leadership in running this amazing place and hosting
us here. It's a--it is a bit of the center of the world, I think, for many of us each
and everyday. And I also want to thank my good friend, Jim Steyer, for his leadership
in helping kids in this country, and parents understand a little bit about what all these
media means and help drive them towards their potential. Connie Yowell and the MacArthur
Foundation, also for your leadership in digital learning as well. Last week, a week ago, today,
I was in Jerusalem pretty much shuttling between Ramallah and the West Bank in Jerusalem, which
is a world in which you have a very literate society on both sides of that wall. But misunderstandings
and radically different narratives have creative to avoid a gap of valley which divides people,
which you all know. And these vibrant cultures are divided and they'll--even though there
is a literate society, there is a lack of respect and tolerance for the other side.
And as I was going there and meeting with the ministers of education in Israel and Palestine,
I was struck again with media's power and it's potential in bridging these gaps to be
able to approach a new generation in figuring out ways in which those kids who are tainted
with prejudices and animosities can actually hope for the future, and find a way to be
able to be successful in their lives. And through digital media as Google and many of
you in this audience prove over and over everyday; we can take those possibilities of connection
into places like the West Bank and to Israel and deal with the reality that can actually
tap into a shared future for all of us around the world. Joan Cooney was a TV producer 40
years ago, and had at a dinner party in New York City with the foundation executive, Lloyd
Morrisett, an "ah-ha" moment that you could use the power of television to teach something
other than simply how to buy sugared cereal. Let's find a way to build a culture of learning
with letters and numbers, and they got the Harvard Graduate School of Education which
didn't know a lot of about television, and a bunch of TV producers who didn't know much
about education and a guy who showed up with a green sock puppet who they literally thought
was a member of the weather underground, it turns out he had Kermit the Frog on his hand,
named Jim Henson, threw them all in a room, locked the door and caught lightning in the
bottle which was Sesame Street and the beginnings of that. And today, we all know 40 years later
and more Emmys than any show in television history, Sesame Street thrills kids in this
country and 140 countries around the world. Now, we believe that we can do more. And we
wanted Joan to introduce this panel in these two days of deliberations. And we have a special
message from her that I'd like you to view right now. Thanks.
>> COONEY: Greetings. And welcome to all of you. In 1966, we asked a question. Can emerging
media help children learn? Sesame Street answered that question and started a revolution in
educational media not just in the United States, but in Mexico, Egypt, South Africa, India,
and then over 140 other countries around the world. Sesame Street transformed television
into an educational tool that proved to be both financially viable and engaging. Today,
it's not just television; it's the internet, cell phones, gaming platforms, and virtual
worlds. But the question remains the same. How can emerging media help children learn?
Sesame Street is more than just a television show, a home video, a book, or a Website;
it's a movement, a commitment to help children reach their highest potential. I'm asking
you to join the movement to harness new technologies, discover new breakthroughs, create new platforms,
and design a 21st century model of learning. So that all children, starting an early childhood,
master the skills they will need to compete and succeed in a global age. Let's once again
push the boundaries of innovation that have made this country a world leader. Let's reach
out to the children and make the world a better place for them and for all of us. Thank you
for coming and have a great meeting. >> KNELL: The little guy, Elmo, is always
there somehow. We have a lot of work to do. I grew up a few hours drive south of here
K through 12, the L.A. Unified School District where the majority of Hispanic kids are not
graduating high school. In Detroit, 71% of kids are not graduating high school. Something's
not working. And we have in this room an ability, I think, to push the envelope for something
bigger to bridge those divides between formal schools. And we have some of the nation's
leaders here, like, Joel Klein and others, Geoff Canada, to bridge that gap between formal
school and so-called informal learning which as you know, by the way, engages children,
in case you haven't noticed. To promise and promote this engagement today, we are doing
one specific announcement. We are going to be launching the Joan Ganz Cooney Center,
prices for innovation and children's media starting today in which we will be publicly
challenging the valley and social entrepreneurs across the country, industry leaders, university-based
media to develop the next digital educational innovations, a competition that will be launched
at the end of this year in two categories; mobile learning and digital literacy learning.
We will be presenting a significant cash award to incentivize folks to participate in this
award. It's a chance to incubate your product and bring it to market. This will be launched
in January, and details are available now at Now, these awards
can begin us on a journey through these material incentives that we're offering. But I hope
that each of us are really incentivize by the possibilities of change we hold in our
hearts for the kids in Tel Aviv, in Ramallah, in Los Angeles, or Chicago, or San Antonio
to create that tipping point for them where each child can learn, and grow, and dream.
After all, if we can make cookie monster, teach kids how to eat healthfully, we can
pretty much do anything we set our minds to do. So thank you very much, and have a great
conference. I'd like to introduce now the founder of Common Sense Media, my friend,
Jim Steyer. Jim? >> STEYER: Thank you. Thanks, Gary, very much.
Eric, thank you, and all of the fellow Googlers for inviting us here today, and for all of
our friends and supporters who have made this an extra special group of people. I just want
to spend a minute and say that this is a pretty rare moment, and I want everyone to reflect
on that just for a second before we have our opening discussion because I think that this
is a rare moment in terms of the extraordinary world of technology here in the heart of Silicon
Valley and the heart of the technology world at Google, but also an extraordinary moment
in terms of education in United States. But if you actually stepped away from a little
of the hoopla that's going on in Washington today and think back just about a year ago,
I think we're in the extraordinary moment in American political history too. And hopefully,
if we tie that together with the opportunities, and technology, and education, we can finally
do something to meet the challenges that all of us are here to talk about today. We all
in someway or another are focused on helping young people and their families and oftentimes
their teachers navigate this extraordinary 24/7 media technology world that our kids
are involved in. And in Common Sense, we try to help parents and kids do that, and teachers
do that. We try to provide a strong voice in Washington and elsewhere to do that. But
at the end of the day, it's really about one thing, and one thing most of all which is
changing the world for our kids and giving them the opportunities that they deserved.
And if you look around the room today and tomorrow, and you see the assembled cast of
characters that we have here, I think it's a chance for all of us to stop just for a
second and realize that we do have an extraordinary moment to--for the first time certainly in
two or three decades to remind ourselves and ultimately to go out and remind the rest of
the world that it's time to put kids and education first on our country's agenda. And I do think
that's what ultimately we should be doing and thinking about here today. I would argue
that what happens to our kids and quite frankly what happens to them in the context of their
schooling is more important even than the healthcare reform debates that are going on
in Washington, certainly than rebuilding whatever we're trying to achieve in Afghanistan and
other countries. And it goes to the heart and soul of what this country has made for
and build to that, and there is a moment here politically because of the leadership that
we have in the industry, in the education world represented in this room, in the non-profit
sector and for the profit sector right in here in this room, and at the top of our political
leadership's spectrum, a moment where kids and education have the chance to finally be
at the top of our national agenda. Now, Gary, just announced the new Cooney prizes for innovation.
And I think that's a challenge that all of us in the tech world or the education world
ought to speak to and lead to. And I would tell you that Common Sense thinks it's sort
of two challenges to lay out to everybody today as well as we begin this conference.
The first is basically a simple preposition that I would argue as eminently achievable
which is to ensure that over the next four years, we make sure that every child in the
United States is on a very basic level, digitally literate by the time they reach 8th grade,
by the time they finished 8th grade. You cannot tell me we do not have the resources in the
education system, in the world of technology, in our government and most of all in our families
and communities around the country to make sure that every child in this country is digitally
literate by the time they graduate 8th grade. So that ought to be something that everyone
here can agree to and that we all work to change, whether it's in the school level,
the community level, or at the national political level. And we at Common Sense will work with
all of you and everyone here and abroad, groups of people that we represent to make sure that
that's achievable. That ought to be a fundamental national goal that all of us sign on to and
make happen in one form or another. The second piece of this equation, I think, is to actually
reach out to the point, that Eric was making in his opening remark, about parents and communities
who weren't necessarily as knowledgeable about this digital media revolution as their kids
are. And that is I think that we need a broad sustained public education effort, a public
awareness effort to make sure that every family, every community, every home understands the
basics of digital media reality, the pros and cons of that for their lives, for their
children's future and why it's so important to our nation's future. That is the second
thing that all of us in this room have the power to transform whether we're industry
leaders like some of whom will be coming up on the panel in a minute, whether you are
educators, leading political figures, philanthropic or NGO leaders. All of us need to educate
everyone in this country about the pros and also the downsides of media because it's coming
as the Broadband movement evolves across the county, it will be ever here. And we can give
those basic tools and a basic education to every home in every family, in every community
in the country. So to me, that is the second pillar of what we ought to leave here tomorrow
in mind with. If we do that, then we do have a chance to take the opportunity to truly
seize this moment and to put kids and their educational futures on the forefront, bringing
the intersection of this extraordinary new digital media world and making the promise
that Google represents to every child here in the United States and across the world.
If we ask any child that we know what Google is over the age of five, they could probably
tell you. But we ought to make sure that they are literate in this and that their parents
are literate in this and that their teachers are literate in the basics because if we do,
we will all together transform the education system and the lives of our nation's children.
It's my honor actually now to introduce the moderator of the panel who's going to get
everybody up here and get the discussion going. And he is quite frankly one of the great journalists
in the United of America. His name is James Bennet. He's the Editor-in-Chief of The Atlantic.
Last week, he was awarded by Ad Age, the title as the Editor of the Year, which is reflection
not just on James' leadership, but I think that the extraordinary quality that The Atlantic
has taken on over the past few years under his aegis. The other thing I would mention
to you about James is before going to The Atlantic, he was at the New York Times where
he was not only one of their key national political reporters, but Gary, you were talking
about Jerusalem and Ramallah, he was also the Jerusalem Bureau of Chief for three years.
So if he was able to survive that, I'm sure he can handle the six personalities who are
going to have managed on the panel. So with no further ado; James Bennet in our panel.
Thank you, guys, very much for coming. >> BENNET: Thank you. Thanks, Jim. I--if you'll
forgive me, I'm actually going to tell one quick story to start off, bouncing off something
that Eric Schmidt said a few minutes ago, in the hopes of providing a little framing
for the conversation we're going have. My wife and I have two boys, they're seven and
five. And I got home last night, kind of in a hurry to pack to come here today. And our
seven-year old had gotten a hold of his grandmother's laptop, and he wanted to go to a site that
a kid at school I told him about which is called, he said, Penguin Baseball. So we went
and looked at this thing, and it's a game. There's a polar bear standing at the bottom
of a cliff--at the cliff with a baseball bat in his hands, and the polar bear bats left.
And a penguin dives off the cliff and the polar bear hits the penguin which flies to
the air and you win by sending your penguin further than anybody else's penguin. And the
seven-year old took a couple of swings, then I said, "That's enough." This looks like a
stupid game, and this not going to teach you anything, it's going to teach you cruelty
to animals. And at this point, our five-year old pipes up to advance three propositions.
The first was that the penguin was obviously enjoying this experience because it was going
wee, wee, wee as it flew to the air. Secondly, that as I should know, penguins were flightless
birds, so this made sense because it would enjoy the experience of flight. And third,
and most important, that it was just a game. It wasn't real. No animals were being mistreated,
and I should lighten up. And I did, and backed down, and they each got five minutes or so
playing this game. And this is a story first and foremost of hapless parenting, but I think
it also reflects something it's true not just to me but a lot of us and us as a society
which is that when it comes to our kids in this technology, we're often kind of back
on our heels playing defense in the digital age. And the point of the panel we're going
to now have, and I hope what the conference--the conference more generally is to talk about
how do we--how do we go on offense particularly for kids whose grandmothers don't have a laptop
around the house, and talk about how to take advantage of this extraordinary moment that
Jim just described of new commitment of resources and apparent real determination from the administration,
a lot of good ideas bubbling up in school districts all around the country, and technology
that's revolutionizing every other aspect of our lives. How do we take advantage of
that to create the kind of opportunity for our kids to make them the happy productive
citizens, to have a kind of civic culture and economy that we all dream I am going to
say a quick word about process. I'm going to have a bunch of questions for the panelist.
We will also be taking questions from the audience, and we will also be using Google
Moderator. And Christine Ferdela (ph) of Google wisely chose not to trust me to explain the
technology, and she will now walk you through it.
>> FERDELA (ph): Thanks, James. Hi, everyone. Okay, so really quickly, I'm just going to
take you through Google Moderator. In your programs, if you're in the live audience,
you receive the card. On your card are some URLs, or if you have an iPod touch, it was
preloaded into your iPod touch, and there's a little check on your iPod touch. You can
actually click on that to get to Google Moderator. So Google moderator is an interactive tool
which allows you to post questions that are important to you and vote questions up and
down. Good questions get voted up, bad questions get voted down. Here are the URLs to get to
Google Moderator. The top one is for your laptop. The bottom one is for your handheld.
They'll take you to this site in a sec. Okay. You'll get to a site which is Google Moderator,
that's great. And you'll see here, when you get to Google Moderator, you can actually
click on one of the links, it will take you to the panel. If you're on a handheld however,
scroll down and choose a topic. Under choose a topic; you can actually click on one of
the questions. Once you got there, you can actually, at the bottom of the page submit
a question. Any questions you want that are relevant to the particular panel or you can
vote a question up or down using the check or Xbox. That's it, very simple. Hope you
guys enjoy the show. See you later. >> BENNET: I really appreciate that this technology
does not enable you to vote on my questions. I am now going to simply introduce Martha
Kanter, the undersecretary of Education who is going to make brief remarks to set the
table. And then we'll bring the panel out and get going. So without further ado…
>> KANTER: Thank you, everybody. It's just a torn meniscus, so don't worry. It's on the
mend. I'm delighted to be here and bring greetings from President Obama and Secretary Duncan.
I'm going to frame a little bit of a national agenda for you that really drills down to
the children that Eric, and Jim, and Joan talked about. President Obama wants to see
America have the highest proportions of graduates in the world by 2020. He said that we are
behind. And in a simple phrase that he talked about in April said that he's vision is for
America to have the most highly educated, the most competitive workforce in the world.
We'll measure our success as to whether that will be true, as to whether we become first
in the world, and have the highest proportion of college graduates of any country in the
world. Today, the United States is about 40% of college graduates. The goal would be to
increase that by 50% so that we'd have 60% of Americans with Bachelor's degrees at a
minimum and hopefully populating Masters and Doctoral degree as well from that. And this
would include both four-year and two-year colleges and universities. To reach that goal,
the vision includes educating about five million more students from the community college system
and somewhere between one and five million more from the university system. Now, think
about that in the context of having 10 years to do this, and I was really encouraged to
hear sort of a four-year push for people in the seventh grade now who will be in 2020,
that graduating class with Baccalaureate degrees. Right now, we have a situation where 27% of
young people dropped out of high school. Every year, 1.2 million teenagers leave schools
for the streets, and that's about one kid every 26 seconds. We also have about 90 million
adults in America that have little or no college and have lower levels of scientific language
and math literacy. So when we talked about digital literacy, let's remember framing literacy
in the digital age with the kinds of skills everyone in America is going to need for us
to be as the president has asked the most competitive, most highly-educated workforce
in the world. Right now in higher Ed, we have 40% of students who start college fail to
earn degrees within six years from that institution. To reach the goal, the vision includes starting
with early learning which at the federal level we're defining from when you're born to third
grade, so I love the overlap with elementary school, K-12 into higher education and the
work force. Thinking about the work force as part of higher education because two thirds
of undergraduate work while they attend college, it's not the way it was 30, 40, 50 years ago
when only the elite went to college and didn't work predominantly. But today, two thirds
of the students, the 21 million undergraduates, a little less than half or in the 2-year colleges
and the rest are in 4-year colleges and universities are working while they attend college. And
work has got to be better integrated with the college education. To reach the goal,
we're going to start with early learning, look at K12 and focus on higher education
all at the same time. And coming here, I was reminded of a meeting I went to where I had
the opportunity to sit next to John Seely Brown, and that's where I really learned what
multitasking was. Because he had his computer on, he had his iPhone on. He had a cell phone
on and he was listening very carefully to every word that was said on the podium. And
that was sort of the ultimate in multitasking. And we're going to have to do that to reach
the president's goal in 10 years. We're going to have to work at all levels of the education
spectrum. Now, Arne Duncan, our new secretary has posited four assurances that we're framing
everything within. One of them has to do with assessment. Our students in the United States
aren't measuring up on international assessments. On a special supplement to this year's condition
of education which compares kids in the United States to their peers in other countries,
our students are stagnating. These studies are from the Progress in International Reading
Literacy Study, the Program for International Student Assessment known as PISA and the Trends
in International Mathematics and Science Study which is known as TIMSS. And Science across
America are 8th Graders are behind in their peers in eight countries that also participated
in the original assessment. In Math, although the scores have improved a little bit since
1995, our 15-year-olds now lag behind those of in 31 other countries, and four countries;
Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Finland out performed the United States students on Math,
Science and all other subjects. The NAEP scores will release knack last week and we didn't
show the progress in Math skills our students are going to need. The 4th Grade scores were
flat, although, the 8th Grade scores increased a little bit, they aren't improving fast enough.
And we're not making progress and closing the achievement gap. So, sort of that was
then and this is now, and this is why it's so important that you all come together and
to work on these problems using digital technologies in a wide range of areas. As the Carnegie
IIS Opportunity Equation reports stated, we must transform education in the United States,
so that every student is going to reach higher levels of Math and Science learning. And you'll
see a lot of focus in the federal government on stem priorities. Increasing our national
performance, of course, though, means raising the bar and closing the gap for all students.
Poor students, African-American students, Latino students, disadvantaged students, students
who need not only rich proficiency, but also have to go on and do advanced work. As the
president has said, 30 of the fastest growing fields in America are going to require a minimum
of a Baccalaureate degree. And to truly measure the success of our education system, early
learning in K12, we should look at how many college graduates are coming out and how many
students are we putting into the work force? Do we have the vibrant economy that we expect
and are going to need going forward. So, we've got to do a better job in the assessment side.
We're looking to Cognitive of Science, new forms of assessment using technologies. And
the department will be offering some initiatives in assessment challenge grants to really get
the best assessments going ahead for students so they'll know what they know, they'll know
what they don't know, teachers will know that and they should know it 24 by 7, by 365. It
should not be the industrial or the agricultural assessment system that reviews for 30 or 40
years. So, I think some of you are experts in this area and we're really be looking to
you for the new ideas. So in addition to assessments, we've got to have standards that mean something.
I came from California; I was here for 35 years. We haven't a high exit exam based on
10th Grade Reading and 8th Grade Math that makes absolutely no sense. We need to increase
the standards that we have for, you know, for going through the entire K12 spectrum.
And the good news is that 48 of our 50 states have already agreed to adopt common standards.
They're out now in the first review at We ask you to take a look at those standards
in Math and Language English. See if they're high enough, see if they make sense. Talk
to the assessment experts you know and weigh in on that. Another part of Arne Duncan's
agenda is high quality teachers. We have experts like Linda Darling-Hammond here with us today.
Research shows that if poor and minority students learned from a great teacher for three consecutive
years, we would eliminate the achievement gap. That is not happening today, unfortunately.
I was on New Haven yesterday; we announced the new contract between the New Haven Public
Schools and the American Federation of Teachers. And it's very exciting because they are going
to tie student learning and performance to teacher quality, teacher evaluation. It's
very exciting, it maybe a model for others in the country. So, we're working very hard
on ways to develop new teachers to use the funds that are at federal level to really
promote that as ways to innovate and really improve the way teachers are evaluated, retained
in their profession and compensated. And we have experts like Joel Klein from New York
and others who can really talk through this. We're going to need a million more teachers
just in the next state years. So, we've got to look at it and send us to get those--the
best and brightest teachers into our classrooms especially the classrooms that need them the
most. Data is another part of the agenda. We want data systems to track kids from preschool
to high school, and from high school to college, and from college to career or college and
career. And we've got to have the data systems linked back to our schools, to our teachers
and our students. We don't have that now; we have a ton of side load data systems. I
think some of you who are technology experts can take a look at what we have which is quite
dysfunctional and maybe make some recommendations about how to link the data systems that we'll
need. And the last part of the agenda is to turn around low performing schools. We'd like
the 5,000 poorest, worst schools in the country to be as good as the 5,000 best schools in
the country. And this is a priority wherein we'll have 3.5 billion dollars to be devoted
toward that of federal funds. We also--you might have heard about Raise to the Top, that's
a 4.3 billion dollar fund, that's going to reward states that are leading the way in
these four areas of reform that I talked about. We need to act quickly. The students who were
going to help us meet the president's goal are now as I said in 7th grade. And they're
the ones who are going to need a seamless transition to a quality pro-secondary education.
We're also providing the biggest investment in Student Federal Aid since the GI Bill.
The Fiscal 2010 Budget is going to provide $129 billion dollars in new grants, loans
and other assistance which is a 32% increase since Fiscal 2008. And more than 14 million
students and their families will use this assistance to pay for a college education.
We've also started work to simplify the Federal Student Aid application. You'd be able to--actually,
if you pay taxes as a young person, as a family, you'd be able to port from the IRS tax information
that is sitting there. And one of the goals that we want is to use information that government
already has. And again, your expertise can help us do this. We don't want to reinvent
new barriers that make it harder for students to get an education. The administration also
has reduced recent graduate student loan payments through an Income Contingent Repayment plan.
This plan is now the law and these lower payments are going to help recent graduates in a tough
job market, graduates who choose to go into public service. If they stay for 10 years,
they're going to have their loans completely forgiven. They will pay based on income during
that 10 years, but the end of those 10 years, they will have no Federal Student loans. And
that's very exciting because we can use this as a way to inspire teachers to stay in teaching
and have their loans forgiven. We also need nurses. We also need doctors in county hospitals.
So this will allow us to really promote public service as an agenda for young people. Over
the next decade, the higher education plan is going to increase Pell Grants. Provide
Pell Grants to 2.7 million students and allow more students to get Federal Student loans.
We're also going to start a new effort to expand access to higher education and ensure
that students complete their degrees. In July, you may have heard President Obama talking
about the Graduation Initiative, the American Graduation Initiative. That is going to be
focused on helping and doing the right things, so that more of those 21 million students,
hopefully growing to 30 million over a decade, a decade and a half will complete a college
education and be ready for the jobs that all of you know will be out there. So what's going
to happen there is really to focus on a fund that's being proposed, $87 billion dollars
would be saved by putting in an agenda for Federal Student Aid that would be direct lending.
Direct lending will save 87 billion dollars over 10 years and half of it will be devoted
to increasing Federal Student Aid over time and the other half 10 billion will be used
to reduce the federal deficit, and the other funds will be put back toward education to
improve college completion, college access and the like. So, we're very, very excited
about that because we have so many new and emerging fields, Green Tech fields, healthcare,
teaching, information technology, where we're going to need educated students to take those
jobs. And our goal is to have students from Detroit, students from New York, students
from Chicago, students from the rural parts of America that don't have the chance right
now, to be ready for those jobs. And this is where the digital technologies can make
a huge difference for us. I'd also like to highlight the last part of the American Graduation
Initiative. Not much has been spoken about this, but it has been in the news a little
bit and it's called the part, it's called Open Educational Resources. Hopefully, you
will know about that, but it would allot half a billion dollars, $500 million dollars, $50
million over every year for 10 years to reduce not only the carbon print that--footprint
using digital technology, but really providing online education, the best in online education
to students in this country. We believe that the federal government should support world
class online college and high school courses to be freely available as I said 24 by 7,
by 365. And we're going to invite not only colleges and universities, but publishers,
other NGOs and anyone to compete for these funds. So that we can find and award the very
best in online courses and assessments that would be truly open source. We think that
this is easily accessible system of robust courses are going to produce the most profound
equalization of access to cutting edge, knowledge and information since the creation of the
public library. And our secretary has issued an editorial on his and we're very excited
about that. We hope that the creation of these courses is going to lead to new companies,
new ways of doing business, perhaps, even new industries that are situated squarely
in the knowledge sector. It's very crucial to our future that we leverage all of the
work that's been done and that the federal government really makes an investment in this
area. We think that colleges and universities are going to play a big role of course in
drilling down, pulling down, whatever from the materials they want to use and decide
how, and whether, and if they will grant college credit for these kinds of learning experiences
because Academia has been slow in that regard and I think, probably many of you share that.
In fact, now I go back to John Seely Brown, talking about floating islands of knowledge,
universities being these floating islands and, you know, can we leverage in the new
technologies to bring the information together. We're looking at this as a new avenue for
the federal government. It has been controversial. We have some groups that don't want to see
this happen at all, but I think this group here really understands the power of what
we're proposing. And we think that successful completions of these kinds of courses are
going to encourage lots of students to complete the educational paths that they've only dreamt
about before. So, in closing by creating a cradle to grave, cradle to career, cradle
to a lifelong learning agenda, we're going to be working to reform and improve schools
at all levels of our system. This is an agenda that we think is vital to the health of our
economy. And by opening up the digital doorway to the best online higher education, we can
provide, and the best high school early learning, and college courses we can muster, we're going
to give millions of Americans new knowledge and skills that they need, so that they can
succeed socially, economically, politically and in all forms of life. We've seen it happened
before, we can do it again. We've seen from turning on the light bulb, to landing on the
moon or searching on Google, America has led an innovation. You have a secretary, Secretary
Duncan. And under secretary, who have Facebook pages and return their own email. You have
a government that wants to communicate, wants to learn, wants to listen and wants to form
the best in public policy based on the best ideas and the best work that we can garner.
So, I want to congratulate you for coming here this morning, this afternoon. And I look
forward to the rest of the conference and want to do our part as the federal government
to support this kind of work. Thank you so much. Thank you.
>> BENNET: Thank you very much. I need to actually.
>> KANTER: Watch me get up on this. >> BENNET: Can I help you with the...
>> KANTER: No, I'm fine. >> BENNET: I need to apologize to the undersecretary
and to our other panelists because having been the beneficiary of an overly generous
introduction myself. I'm providing marginal introductions to everybody else because we
have what Bill Clinton used to call a first class problem. We have a really big panel
of great experts with very, very diverse backgrounds. It would consume all our time for me to introduce
them properly. So, I'm just going to bring them--bring them out. Linda Darling-Hammond
is a Professor of Education at Stanford and led the Obama Transition Team on Education.
Chancellor Joel Klein, New York City Public School System has, I think, 1.1 pupils...
>> KLEIN: 1.1 million. >> BENNET: 1.1 million pupils. Also, I'm not
better at math. Mitch Kapor, the Director of Level Playing Field Institute. We have
John Miller, the Chief Digital Officer of News Corp. Mitch, are you here? Oh, there
he is. And Ram Shriram, the Founder of Shepalo. And one of the founders of this company, as
well. I'm going to--as I said earlier start off with a round of questions for each of
the panelists. My hope is that we're going to have a real conversation here. I'm going
to ask them to speak fairly, concisely, hopefully holding a remark of two or three minutes as
we get started. And then, I'm hoping they'll start responding to what each of them said
and we'll have a little bit of constructive dialogue, maybe a little bit of arguments,
and then, bring the audience into the conversation, as well. Mitch, I was hoping to start with
you and because you have a history of recognizing opportunities, the rest of us don't see. And
ask you to maybe question the premise of this a little bit. I mean, the undersecretary just
laid out a very, very detailed agenda. This is extremely hard work. A lot of education
reformers are two yards in a cloud of dust. And often, when we talk about technology,
we're almost Utopian in our visions for how transformative it could be. Do you see this
as potentially transform of moment or is the wrong way to think about it, just an incremental
approach the right one? >> KAPOR: I think technology is potentially
transformative, but we have to ask how and where? Is digital technology a substitute
for failing schools? I would argue absolutely, not. And to the extent that there are any
closet and techno utopians in the audience, I mean, that is something that we should probably
argue out. It was interesting backstage as we were talking, all of the conversation was
about how schools can succeed in low income communities where typically they have not,
and you can have two schools right across the street, one from another and Joel Klein
was talking about this and Jeff Canon who is speaking tonight as, you know, an example
of running such schools, how was it possible that some schools do incredibly well defying
all the expectations. And the same set of kids across the street don't, it's not about
technology. Where technology comes in and I'll just leave it here, I think is when we
begin to ask the question, given that some schools can and do succeed with kids where
others don't. And they have high quality teaching and the kids go on and achieve amazing things
and I'm not talking about privileged kids, how do we scale those successes more broadly
because charter--the successful charter schools are maybe two or three percent of the total
school systems. How did the things that they do well become available very broadly? And
there, I think scaling an information technology go hand-in-hand and that can be transformative,
but I'm afraid that conversation has just barely started.
>> BENNET: Chancellor, picking up on that, then if I could come to you, if it is about
outcomes using technology in a targeted way to where it works to achieve the outcomes,
as the undersecretary described earlier. You were talking earlier this afternoon about
the promising program you have underway in New York and I wonder just to put a concrete
example on the table if you can talk a little bit about the school of one.
>> KLEIN: But first let me underscore what Mitch said. We got to get the human component
of this right and we haven't remotely gotten that right. And so, when you see schools like
Jeff's or others that they're getting entirely different results with these kids, that many
people have told us we're going to under perform no matter what. You understand that first
piece of this thing is built on real accountability, the use of data, high quality teachers, rewarding
success, consequences for non-performance, all the kinds of things that every other organization
does, we've to get that right in education. Now, the second thing though is we've got
to think even as we perfect the human resource piece. You got to think about the intelligent
integration of technology and human resources, and how you can maximize those things that
work in a scale up along the lines that Mitch talked about. So, for us, if you think about
of this way, in any class of 25 kids and one teacher, you've got kids who learn differently,
you've got kids who learn in a different pace and one teacher is trying to basically work
across that system. And when you do it they teach toward the middle and what we've tried
to do in New York is really rethink the basic premise and we created the same. Joel Rose
is here today with his brainchild called The School of One. And what we do basically is
we don't think of the classroom as the place where the action takes place. We think as
a kid as the place where the action occurs and we differentiate for each kid who may
have different learning styles, different challenges, moved at different paces. And
for each of them, one maybe online, one maybe using the game to learn quadratic equations,
one maybe in a small group, one maybe with a tutor, one maybe with a master teacher in
a large group of people and each day we're constantly differentiating and assessing so
that the individual child gets to maximize event in the educational arena. And we did
this summer, piloted for the first time and it really took off in a very, very effective
way and each day we rebuild and add to our algorithm. So that if James is doing something
really well and games are working for him, we double down on games for him. If games
are not working for you but small group or working with colleagues is working other kids,
and working for you, we do that. And so now, we're looking at all the data we accumulated
over the summer and got very positive independent evals on this thing and Arthur Levine, who
is the former president of Teachers College. He said he thinks you've seen the future of
education in The School of One. We're going to open it up in three schools and sixth grade
Math in the spring. But for the first time, we're actually using technology to change
the service delivery that hasn't happen in education in anybody's memory. We still argue
about whether there's one teacher and 22 kids or 25 kids, that's the wrong argument.
>> BENNET: So, Linda, let's stay with the teacher piece of this? In the adaptability
of our teachers to the environment that Joel is describing and their ability to embrace
this technology, generally or I mean, we take it as--it's kind of cliché that the teachers
are behind the kids. I don't know if that's actually true and I don't know if there are
model programs already in place where--if it is true, teachers are being brought up
to speed. >> DARLING-HAMMOND: They're actually two parts
of what Joel is talking about. One was the skillful use of technology. The other was
the ability of the teacher to be diagnostic and teach in a heterogeneous setting. And
so, all of those things matter but there are teachers who are ahead of the curb, some of
the--I mean, it's clearly the new generation of teachers are coming in with this in their
background and they are programs that have created a very strong technology training
for teachers. The Clinton administration had a large scale program, places like Stanford.
They had to build and other places have got money to, you know, bring technology into--teacher
and curriculum had transformed what we do. The part of the problem is that when teachers
go out from a program like ours to the urban schools that we've trained them for they often
don't have computers in the classroom. They have a computer lab at the end of the hall.
They have--maybe one or two computers, usually old and out of date at the back of the classroom.
You can't do the kind of, you know, one to one learning. So, there's a teacher training
agenda that's needed and we have to bring back the kind of program that the Clinton
administration had to bring people have to speed. And we need is to take advantage of
expert teachers, Esther Waljeski is here, older than 22, an expert in the use of technology
in the classroom who can train, you know, other teachers in that, but we also have to
deal with the systematic problem. We don't have enough--we have a huge digital divide,
Mitch can speak more about that. We have to have the hardware and software there. We also
have to have a new vision of learning and teaching because our curriculum in many places
is geared toward the past, so technology isn't in the curriculum. Teachers don't always decide
what it is that they're going to teach. They have to teach, you know, around the textbooks
and the curriculum that are required. It's badly out of date in many places and then
there's the testing system that reinforces the curriculum. Study recently found that
there was reduced use of computers in the classroom as the result of testing under No
Child Left Behind, because what kids needed to be able to do was write by hand in the
short answer of the test and bubble in. And so, actually a lot of places stopped using
computers for writing because it wasn't called for in the testing system. We need a vision
about the uses of technology as Joel was beginning to help us think about, what should kids be
doing? They should be doing researching, and inquiry, and investigations, and projects,
and the assessments, like they do in other country. We should evaluate those things and
then teachers of course, should be trained to support that system. If we don't do this
systematically, we're not going to get where we need to go.
>> BENNET: Joan, can I bring you in a conversation on the subject of what's happening outside
the classroom? If this is an experience our kids are going to be having with technology
24/7 as the undersecretary said. How--the common sense and Joan Ganz Cooney center did
this very interesting survey earlier this year that found that parents overwhelming
thought that their children needed to learn digital skills and we're excited about the
possibility but at the same time, they were very skeptical about the ability of the digital
media to actually foster those skills or even help them communicate with each other, and
as someone who oversees vast digital properties that are being used by lots of kids. Do you
challenge that perception first of all, and secondly can you point to evidence of where
kids are actually using the technology to acquire the sort of skills their parents suspect
they don't have. >> MILLER: Yes, I actually I would challenge
that. I do think that we're at the period now, and entering a period, and hopefully
for a long time where these tools are essentially disseminated and people in their homes have
access to them, particularly as we become a Broadband nation which I assume also Blair
here will talk more about tomorrow but being full penetrated Broadband. But, as it happens
you have access to kinds of tools including what the undersecretary mentioned the coming
in an open library, but it's already tons of stuff out there. And my son, for example,
he collaborates regularly with his peers and his classmates and actually people from other
schools on different assignments. You can sort of query, you know, your community, your
friends, or you know, on Facebook or whatever and you can get answers back from that community
or at least leads that will you lead you someplace. And he does that regularly and all his friends
do that regularly. And the other night he was doing a Math problem and that went and
it was difficult Math problem to me. And I was asking, how he was getting this online
and he was going to something called Wolfram\Alpha, which some of techies may know, it's--they
call it a decision engine, almost like a search engine that Google doesn't own yet. And you
know, it was really providing a real nice service on a very tough educational Math problem,
I mean, not just, you know, grade school Math hard. And I'm sure that you cannot only do
it for the easy stuff but they're now becoming these engines that you can do and use more
broadly. So, I think there's both a whole thing of organized efforts like the Chancellor
was speaking of and the undersecretary. And I also think there's a general dissemination
of technology that is available and completely becoming widespread, that if teachers, and
schools, and students harness, much of it is already there to be used.
>> BENNET: Shriram, do you think that the technology community if you can use that term
really sees it in its own self-interest to do something about the cause of American education
and do you believe it's actually in the interests of the tech community to get more actively
involved in the schools? Yeah, please. >> SHRIRAM: Yeah. Well, I absolutely think
it's in the interest of the tech community to follow up do somebody about this. The challenge
has been that, you know, they haven't all been engaged. In the early evidence of some
of the business school partnerships have been spotty at best. So, where can tech help? And
I think, you know, I think that the major themes have already been hit by all the panelists,
which is, I think a good part of the problem is in the teacher training and how do you
solve this problem at scale. I think at the very short to medium term, one of the things
that tech can do is, for example, take the best teacher talks in Math and Science because
we know a lot of our teachers are unable to teach Math and Science, they're not--they're
out of the field where they're in the classroom teaching about that subject and as you said
the students usually know more about the topic than the teacher. And that's a really bad
situation and it demoralizes the kids. And only the self-learning kids can actually get
through and even when they do they're not up to par. So, we could take the best teacher
talks, put it up on YouTube or other media, under a creative comments or other license.
Colleagues are doing that. Berkley is doing that with all of their best professors' talks.
Why couldn't there be a national movement where teachers who can't teach Math and Science
in the class are told to advertise about where the links are to go find the teacher talk
on that topic. If they're teaching calculus and they know nothing about calculus, well,
let's get the best teachers around the country who actually knows something about this. Put
it all together in a place that is easy to find and have the teachers in the classroom,
ashamed as they maybe disseminate that information. So that's one simple sort of thing that they
could do. The other is I think this peer learning experience is actually very, very valuable
and I think to the extent that, I think, Joel Klein touched upon, Linda did and others.
I think it's very important for the student to especially, a student that's embarrassed
something that they feel uncomfortable about would rather go to another student than go
to a teacher. And in a lot of cases that's true and to the extent that they could collaborate
outside school hours and do this. And if we could create better tools for that and some
of those tools already exist and I think they hopefully will get better in the months to
come. For example, there are new hardware products that are coming out early next year
where it's going to try and make it easy to integrate the whole stuff and learning process
where you know who else is online and at the same time working on the same problem. If
you could figure that out then I think it's a lot easier. I think products like, I mean,
in that work services like Facebook and MySpace are certainly another form through which you
could do that better. >> BENNET: John, did you want to weigh in
on this? >> MILLER: I was just going to sort give my
clarion call to the tech industry; I've been involved in it for, you know, 15 years. And
I think we as an industry have done great things, but we essentially have been concerned
with ourselves. We've been building this new industry and we've been concerned with ourselves
and whatever the new, new thing is. But I think now we--the challenge of all. We have
real companies that have established themselves as industry like Google and others, and we
have also a real need that the lifeline of this industry is trained people and educated
people. And we're not going to have that lifeline in the way that we've had as this industry
unless we solve some of these things. So, it is not just a question of it, you know,
the right thing to do for many, many reasons, it also has a direct bearing on this industry.
In some ways, probably more immediately than the other, I think we need some mature, and
that's sort of my call to the industry. We need to mature, do some of the things as Shriram
was saying, use the tools that have been used for this general applications and make them
really relevant to these issues. And you know what? It isn't that hard to do what he just
said about like that using social networks to find out whose online that's interested
in the following things at this moment in time. That's actually relatively easy to do
in the scale of things. So, I think there are a number of things that we as an industry
can really step up to and I think we need to have that mission and very much foremost
in what we do. >> BENNET: Linda, we're sort of moving to
the lightning around here. >> DARLING-HAMMOND: Okay. I just want to suggest
that as tech leaders get involved increasingly in solving these problems. That it's really
important to bring some understanding of not only learning to the table and how do people
learn. Some people learned by listening to someone talk but other people don't learn
that way. They're variety of ways and also what 21st century learning is about. And you
see this in the countries around the world that are leading the world. I've been studying
Singapore, Finland, Hong Kong, Australian, many other places. They're moving more, and
more, and more towards the kind of learning where kids are faced with substantial problems
that they have to plan, and design, and organize around, where they have to use technology
to access information, synthesize it, figure out what the meanings are, conduct investigations,
collect data, look at evidence. We have to be thinking about the uses of technology around
21st century learning. In ways that really allow our kids to the opportunity to do things
that in many cases the curriculum does not now allow them to do. So again, we have to
think about how do we engage with policy makers, because policy around curriculum and assessment
is actually set at the state level and the federal level, and that--moving that policy
to focus on 21st century learning, getting the tools so that they support that, and then,
enabling teachers to be able to teach that is what's going to get us there. Otherwise,
we're going to end up training our kids for the 19th century skills that many of our current
curricular already organized around. >> BENNET: Chancellor, Klein, and actually
can I ask you a specific question to you on top of this--because I'm sure that there are
people in your office all the time pitching ideas for and what to do at the schools, you
probably hear a million proposals a day. What do you need from this group of people? What
would--what besides resources? What would be most helpful in terms of doing the work
you're trying to do in New York? >> KLEIN: To me actually, this is actually
intersects with the point I want to make. The whole system is misaligned. The incentives
are all wrong. So, if you say to tech people come play, these people won't play in the
field in which they think there are going to be rewards. If we're only going to appeal
to their philanthropic instinct it's not going to succeed. So, to me, I get all these ideas
but the question is, can we build the political support for some other tough things that the
secretary and the president are talking about, because the school system is enormously resistant
to change. So, let me give you one example; we did, and believe me, I still have the scars
on my back from this. We created a platform of data to drive information so that the schools
where teaching goes on actually had information that they could use to improve the mission,
rather than the information flow from the school to the beaurocracy so we can report
it to the next beaurocracy, to report to the next beaurocracy. It causes $80 million dollars
to develop it. It is, I believe, the most sophisticated system and now four years later
it is getting real uptake, both as an accountability system for consequence but also a system to
illuminate the teaching and learning challenges so that people work off of data. The secretary
came to New York ready to begin anew and sent you to shine the spotlight on it and yet,
every week we hear complaints that how could we spent $80 million dollars for that and
not on an art program. Or hire a few more teachers to lower class size. So, if you don't
create an environment in which people will make intelligent, rational decisions and incentivize
different things from the things we've incentivized you're not going to get it. It's nuts. I have
three kids in school who want to take an AP class and in most states in the United States
they can't take it online. They need to have a physical body before them. Good better and
different as Shriram says. So, if you say to somebody, well, look, if they go online
and take it and they pass it, they can get college credit for it, but they can't get
high school credit for. So, if you have those kinds of things, this goes on all of the time
when you look surprised. So, if you want to know the most important, you want to know
the most important. >> DARLING-HAMMOND: We could give you more
examples. >> KLEIN: The most important thing that people
here can do is to fight like the devil for the kinds of things, real teacher accountability,
real ed-school accountability. I mean, ed-schools, you know, the secretary said last week, I
mean, this are basically cash cows that have zero accountability and I have got to get
a degree for everyone. If you--if I want to hire you to teach in my schools, good as you
are. I cannot hire you. I got to send you to some ed-school to get you a degree. Give
me a break. If we don't create the rational incentives in this system, to drive excellence,
to spare innovations, innovators don't go into spaces where there are no rewards, and
that's the kind of end and until we got the kind of leadership we're now going to see
and a willingness to tackle the status quo that is enormously resistant the change, then
this discussion is going to go no place. >> BENNET: Well, I think I heard--I think
I heard the undersecretary say a few minutes ago that we're going to be hiring a million
new teachers in the next 10 years, which sounds like a huge opportunity actually to me. You
were nodding your head as the chancellor was speaking, why doesn't his database approach
exist in every school district across the country?
>> KANTER: People are afraid to use information. People don't know how to use information.
Teachers, time and time again haven't been trained to use the information about their
students on the one hand or the information just isn't there.
>> DARLING-HAMMOND: Isn't there. >> KANTER: You had to spend $80 million to
do that. That's probably a model for the country. Most schools don't have those resources, that
really are a call to technology to see, can we provide this for every school, can we give
teachers and students and parents and the government and whomever else needs it access
to information that will help student learn? I think there has been, you know, a frightening
fear of big brother not giving enough information. You know, we've had to go out and 48 states
to agree on common standards because we can't, by law, have a national standard. That's great.
We've got 48 or 50 states doing this, but it shouldn't have to be that tough. We just
have a lot of layers in the system that make it hard and it takes us away from what students
really need. So, I loved Chancellor Klein's discussion about The School of One because
really that is, you know, can you get that teacher and that student around engaged in
the academic in a learning process? Can you have good data that talks about where the
student is? Can you use technology to accelerate student learning? I'm talking about, you know,
accelerating American achievement over 10 years. Maybe those tools can accelerate learning,
but again, it's going to be the people that use those tools to get that knowledge as to
what that student needs at that point in time on the learning trajectory.
>> BENNET: I'd like to go to some other questions from the audience and the virtual audience
out there. And this is, really, I think a good one for you, Mitch, from Mark Wagner
of Vernon, California. It's, how can we not only encourage innovation by educators but
also innovation by students? That is, how can we make risk taking and learning through
failure okay in schools for educators and students? And again, if there are any specific
models you would point to for where competitions have been created.
>> KAPOR: Sure. I'd say this. My observations in 30 years in high tech and going back to
the founding of Lotus before is that real change really almost always starts at the
margins. And I used to be hardcore, save the public schools--I didn't like charter schools,
but I understand now that the real opportunities for change when the system is stultified have
to come in places that have some freedom to try something different for students and for
teachers both, whether they're pilots in the New York City system or any of the successful
change of charter schools like KIPP. And as I said before, those are the places where
things have already started. We have new schools that are succeeding, and the bigger question
is how do their successes get translated upscale? And let me amplify what I was saying about
education technology before today, there hasn't been much real innovation in the mainstream
such as it is of education technology. It's mostly been drilling practice. There's a pretty
big industry for home schooling because they need to have something, but the kind if innovative
types of education activities that we've been talking about here, there is almost no, you
know, real--there's no industry around it. There's all this sort of homebrew custom crafted
pilot stuff, and the fact there have not been incentives for that. Rama alluded to something,
and I'm going to amplify it. I believe that 2010 is going to be a sea of change here around
that because I believe there will be no new platforms which will come out, which will
be dramatically more attractive and interesting as things on which you could build educational
software. And, you know, we're all familiar now with the phenomenon of the iPhone and
the 85,000 applications. And I believed that there will be derivatives from this platform,
not just from Apple but from other companies, but--and there's a lot of rumors about tabloids,
but simple inexpensive connected highly powerful robust devices. So to that--and the question,
and this is something we should be watching is if there are some terrific new platforms
that come out, will they attract investment by the tech industry? And I think, I can just
disclose as Rama and I happen to be co-investors, full disclosure in a company that is placing
that bet. It's not the only one. But look at 2010, it's all about the platforms because
before the iPhone, there was really nothing exciting going on in mobile. It wasn't thought
as something where you could actually have an idea and build something. And that's now
two years that has completely changed, and not just act one. And we're going to have
an act two and act three. We don't know what the ending is going to be. I'm not saying
it's going to solve everything. But sometimes there is a disruptive innovation which sets
the stage for possibilities, and it will be very exciting to see what happens 2010 and
beyond. >> BENNET: We'll go to Linda, and then to
John. >> DARLING-HAMMOND: So we want the innovations
after it's disruptive to also scale up. We have to look at state education policy by
Constitution, states control, education policy, the rims of regulations, some of which Joel
alluded to, mostly come from the states, some of them from the federal government, and they
are rooted in a 19th century conceptions of schooling. So we will get lots of little innovations
here and there. They won't scale up because they're living at the margins as exceptions
from the policy that bears down on all schools, and so, we ignore that level of government.
So in California, the A thru G curriculum to get into the university system is basically
based on what The Committee of Ten in 1893 decided you should study if you're going to
go to college. If you want to study technology, engineering, microbiology, it's not in the
A thru G curriculum. You won't get credit, you know, in the A thru G for that. We can't
move that whole system. We have schools that are living in kind of on the margins. There
are wonderful schools in this state that have exciting new tech high, High Tech High, exciting
technology-based, innovative curriculum project-based moving towards the 21st century. Everything
they do is outside the paradigm of what the state is doing around curriculum, assessment,
and so on. So we have to really think about how we're going to change that system. I was
in a meeting recently about new assessments with folks from the Department of Education
looking at what other countries are doing. Our kids are bubbling in multiple choice tests,
and their kids are doing project and science investigations and writing research papers
and, you know, getting ready for what faces them. And the Americans were kind of down
on themselves. People from the U.S. were saying, "Oh, you know, we got this problem and their
problem." And the woman from Singapore felt very sad for us. And she said, "Don't feel
so bad because you guys do great innovation. And we come here all the time," and it's true,
"and we look at your innovations and then we take them back and we put them in the system.
We scale them up." So their system is an innovative system. And we can't just do innovation and
ignore the fact that we've got to change that system.
>> BENNET: John. >> MILLER: Yeah. Just to--actually, taking
off on that and what Mitch said about that, how does innovation actually occur? How do
you scale innovation? On the one hand, how do you create the platforms to do that? One
of the things I've been involved in for a couple years is not really heading its scale
point. It's an open innovation, open collaborative platform for innovation. And it's essentially,
I think, most people heard about the idea of wisdom of the crowds, but this is wisdom
of the experts. So how do you get a whole bunch of experts focused on specific problems,
on issues, on opportunities and challenges? And, you know, I think it was Bill Joy at
Sun Microsystems said that line that, you know, most of the great, by default or by
definition, most of the great engineers don't exist at Sun, you know, they're all over the
place. And so the thing is, how do you get people who are all over the place focused
on specific things so you can really get the wisdom of the experts? And that's what this
platform does. And I think what it allows is specific issues to be gone after to have
experts come together and companies come together and try to solve some of this. It was started
as a for profit, and now, we're in a process of gifting it as an open source not for profit,
to the government itself, to the U.S. Government. So if there was to be the scaled platform
where you can have, you know, literally thousands, if not tens of thousands of experts in any
particular area focused on issues and kind of create the communities of expertise around
this stuff. And I think that's an example of how new platforms can be created, how you
can use digital means to have scaled answers to, you know, really meet the issues.
>> BENNET: Going back here. And this is actually a good example, I think, of what Linda was--some
of the 19th century technology or systems that we're still living with. There's is a
question from Mike Lawrence (ph) of Queue (ph), and Chancellor Klein maybe this is one
for you. As we marched toward the inevitable death of the flat paper-based traditional
textbook, how do we encourage publishers to embrace new business models to produced interactive
digital textbooks? >> KLEIN: That's what the School of One is
all about. We've got them embracing it. They are so afraid to be left out because we're
piloting this thing, and that the content is flowing to us. And in addition to that,
we're going to learn a lot more about which content works with which kids and where. So
this goes to back to this point that I kept want to making, Jim, which is if you create
the right incentives, systems will work right. So when you get all this macro--micro regulation
at every level, starts with the government and in the union--I mean, we got rules about
who can teach kindergarten, who can teach 3rd grade. We got rules about how many hours
a day, how many seconds a day, how many minutes a day. If they ran Google away, we ran the
public education system in America and shut it down tomorrow. And so you've got to create
an environment in which for example real innovation is incentivized. Just a simple one will make
us save the public schools. We're all for saving the public schools. But, you know,
I opened up a charter this year. The guy did it. It was his idea. I bring in all this external
capacity to decision. I believe there's a lot of more thinking out there that I want
to bring in here. So I let lots--if I close down schools, I let lots of people open up
new schools. So this one guy decide, young guy, brilliant guy, he's going to double the
starting salary by more than double for teachers and hire fewer teachers. So he's hired teachers
at 125K to start. It doesn't give him a defined benefit pension, gives him a define contribution
pension. Front loads it. He's attracted all sorts of incredible talent to the system.
Is that better than the model we have? I don't know. But do we want to find out? You bet
we want to find out. I've got an entire school built on applied learning. It was from a gamer
who came from outside the system to put in an application. We said, "Open the damn thing
up." The whole thing is called Quest to Learn. It's one of the first schools The Economist
has written about as an entirely different--or the kind of Linda is talking about--where
everything is a quest. Is that going to work? I don't know. But I'll tell you something,
if we don't try anything new and different, I surely know what the outcomes are going
to be. >> BENNET: Ram? You're smiling. I can't tell
if it's skeptically or… >> SHRIRAM: Yeah, well, just to follow-up
on that question about business models and courseware. I think just like radio, it didn't
go away and the newspaper won't be going away even though they're been talking about it,
they could go away, but they--I think what you will see with the textbooks is there will
be new business models because, you know, there are going to be areas where textbooks
are still going to be required where kids can't afford than new laptop or the schools
can afford it and so forth. But in this areas where the textbook can go digital, there will
be a business model that supports the companies whether it's Pearson, McGraw Hill, Scholastic,
etcetera, and that is being worked out. And I think they understand that this is helpful
to them because the content will be dynamic. It won't be static. Second, that it will be
interactive for the student, so it will be interactive and that they could actually respond
to the content and have some sort of return back. And then the third thing is it allows
for collaboration on that platform which I think is both peer group and with teachers.
And I think that's also helpful it creates--because you can't legislate innovation. I think this
is to create a more creative learning environment so kids learn better. And this is, again,
as Joel says, I think this has to be tried. I don't think there's been a president for
whether it will work or not, but I think it will work. The other thing I want to say on
this question of the systemic failure that Linda talked about; could we--and this is
sort of a rhetorical question, could we learn processed literacy from Singapore? And could
the government learn? Because education shouldn't be a monopoly of the government, and that's
why it's good that we have charter schools because at least it creates some competitive
pressure on the teachers and the public school system to perform. But we need more charter
schools I think, and certainly more process literacy from other countries that the federal
government or the state governments can learn from where it has worked. Perhaps, they don't
have the scale in Singapore that we have here, and so, this problem is more daunting, but
we certainly can learn, I think, and we should at least invite those people to come and tell
us how they make it work. >> BENNET: Undersecretary, yes.
>> KANTER: Yeah, I was just going to mention a couple of things. Publishing business models
are changing. You can go to flat world knowledge, they've signed up, you know, 20--20 courses
make about 50% of the college curriculum for undergraduates in the first two years. They've
got 20 professors signed up to produce textbooks, they'll be open-sourced, and they'll be free
to everyone. The business model is they're going to sell features around those textbooks.
And so, there are models like that that are already being piloted. The State of California
adopted a number of textbooks from CK-12. It was started by the Neeru Khosla. It's very
exiting because California is taking the step to look at open-knowledge. So, I think, you
know, those business models are changing. And I think a lot of industries can learn
from that shift to really individualize education for all of our students. I do think that on
the systemic side that it would be very interesting to leverage technology to educate the government.
I think there needs to be some open-education resources really applied to help states and
governmental officials understand what the new education is going to look like, that,
you know, the education that Joel is talking about. Most people in government don't have
a clue about it. And I think it would be very important to really showcase where it is working
in the public and private sector, whether it is a charter school like High Tech High
or it is a public school that's gone beyond anyone's expectations. I think you'll find
it across the board. There's no magic bullet, but we've got to understand those, those levels
of success and then look at all the bureaucracy. I know--I spent 35 years on the community
college system. We had statutes in California, 3,000 statues. The joy of the University of
California System was that they had 300, and they wrote, mainly the entire university of
California from Berkley down to UCST on 300 statutes. So, I think, we can simplify what
we've created and really put all of that use to much better, you know, really target student
learning and success. >> DARLING-HAMMOND: That's a real key because
until you get rid of some of the regulations, charters, there are great schools in the regular
public school sector and some of the charter sector and bad schools of both places, but
you can't learn from that if part of the sector is so over regulated. It can't adopt the innovations
that other people create. Texas sun-setted their entire education code back after Ross
Perot, you know, led that reform there and then asked the question, "What do we actually
need to run a new system?" I think we ought to think about, you know, what could be brushed
away and then what do we really need to run a system that is a 21st century because much
of the problem we have is that we have very active school boards and legislatures dreaming
up new regulations. I hate, I don't want to offend anyone Mark Twain once said…
>> BENNET: Feel free. >> DARLING-HAMMOND: Mark Twain once said,
"First for practice, God invented idiots. Then he invented school boards." I don't--I
think there some good school boards and so on, but the issue about who is regulating
education? How much regulation is there? Everybody who has a good idea writes it into a statute
or another regulation, and schools spend of their time trying to live in those boxes that
are a geological dig, created over decades. So then, we say, well, what about teachers
or parents or whatever? Everyone is constrained until we wipe some of that away.
>> BENNET: I had promised questions from this audience, and I'm sorry I haven't delivered
it. There was someone back there waiting very patiently by the mic. There you are, please.
Would you identify yourself and direct your specific question to one of the panelists,
please. >> PRENSKY (ph): Hi, I'm Mark Prensky (ph).
And this is--I really would love to hear everybody's opinion. It's a wonderful group here and especially
on the panel. There's one group in Education that's missing here and is missing from almost
every conversation about education and that's the people being educated, that's the students.
And my question, we spent a long time when we finally gotten over it ignoring half the
world and women finally got their voice in not too long ago. If you turn that on its
side, under 25 is half the world and I'm not sure there are any people under 25 or very
few over here. My question to the panel is, do we need the voice of those people in equal
measure not just as one representative, in equal measure in order to figure out how to
educate kids in the 21st Century. >> DARLING-HAMMOND: Yes, and they'll tell
you how they want to be educated. >> BENNET: And Chancellor Klein, how do you
hear from the students in your system? >> KLEIN: In multiple ways I have, I think
I call it the Chancellor Student Advisory Committee and I meet with them and they give
me input. But let me also say and maybe mine is just slightly out of date, I think we do
need to listen to children but I don't think we're going to let our children design our
education systems in the 20th Century or the 21st Century. I mean, this is a slightly different
function and in some ways their families are the consumers of what we've produced, not
simply the kids. That doesn't mean you want it--you don't want to hear from them. So when
the school or one thing we actually survey our kids repeatedly on which, which technologies
work best for them, which projects engage them best? We do a survey every year in New
York City for all of our students, all of our parents and all of our teachers. And we
post the results. All about which working at the school so the school then has that
kind of information, but I don't think this is one where we can just have a totally consumer
driven enterprise. I do think there is some responsibility of design for the adults and
the community, not for the school Boards however. >> BENNET: Mitch, were you looking to weigh
in this question? No. Do we have another question from the audience?
>> BRANNON: Sure. Let me actually stick with the similar theme.
>> BENNET: Tell us who you are, please, sir. >> BRANNON: John Brannon. So sticking with
the similar theme, we know that the majority of America's children are or will soon be
racial minorities. I looked up at the panel, the majority is white. What's the reconciliation
there, is that important and how as I look at superintendents across the country, state
superintendents that seems to be disconnect your thoughts.
>> KANTER: I'll take it on. Diversity is tremendously important. I think in the schools of education,
we have a big problem attracting faculty, attracting young people to go into the profession
of teaching. We need to professionalize the entire profession again across the Board.
I asked Linda one question a couple of weeks ago when she visited me in Washington, of
the 1200 schools of education, how many, how many are really a high quality and she said
about 300, 600 mediocre, 300 should probably be closed down. We're bringing people into
that environment that is broken. So we need to--and you've heard our secretaries; Secretary
Duncan talked very well about this last week at Columbia University, talking about teacher
quality being perhaps one of the most important elements that increases student achievement
and student success. I know Joel wants to say something.
>> KLEIN: No, no, but this is such a--I meet with Ed-School Deans all the time, right,
and they ask me what can we do for you, Chancellor? So that's a very noble question. And I say,
"Here's exactly what you can do for me. Open up a school and take full responsibility.
Run one of my schools in Harlem, or the South Bronx or Central Brooklyn. And when you show
me you can educate my kids. I'm going to be really excited about you educating my teachers.
>> KANTER: Right. >> KLEIN: And they won't take me up on it
but they like the campus life. It's a much better life than the life in the trenches.
And as a result, they don't create the positive feedback loop to get the information. So I
go to my state and say, "Here's what I'll do. I'll take one out of four that we have
to train. Three out of four we send the Ed-Schools, one out of four I'll train. And we'll do a
long term longitudinal. Let Linda evaluate it and see who does a better job.
>> DARLING-HAMMOND: So we'll just say there are--I want to get back to the diversity...
>> BENNET: Oh, Linda, let Mitch go first then we'll come back to you.
>> KAPOR: It's interesting. The whole reason I have anything to do with education and got
into it is because when I was--when my son who was privileged and able to go to Andover
where he got the secondary education that I always wanted. I realized that it was so
unfair that there were, right where I live in San Francisco and in the Bay Area lots
of kids with as much potential who were simply not getting the opportunity to demonstrate
what they could do, that's actually why I started and though I give credit to my wife
Freda Kapor Klein for founding Level Playing Field Institute, for creating education programs
that serve under representative students secular. And my message to my fortunate colleagues
in Silicon Valley is to ask, "What will it take to create an empathic connection to understand
that those kids have deserved every bit as much of chance as they give their kids where
they have all the money to buy the best education possible. I remember my grandparents were
immigrants and my father went to City College of New York, so I'm only a generation removed
from that. One of the biggest things that could happen is more of a connection between
those who have been fortunate enough to do well in the system and make money and technology
and turn some of that to making opportunities available to absolutely everyone.
>> BENNET: Linda. >> DARLING-HAMMOND: Yeah, I just want to come
back to the diversity question and on route just agree with Joel that university should
take responsibility for schools. So we've started a couple schools in East Palo Alto
from Stanford, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Clark, Berkeley, many places
have started and run schools from education schools and you got--you know, it keeps you
real but the more important question is who's teaching in those schools, how well are they
teaching in those schools, who are we bringing into the profession, how well are we training
them. The issue about who we're bringing into teaching which you addressed as critically
important. As we know, you know, California is a so called majority-minority state, that
the transformation of the student population is underway about 80% of school teachers are
white. When I went to Stanford, 15% of our candidates who are teachers of color, within
two years we have more than 50% of our candidates' teachers of color partly because we put in
place the recruitment and the financial aid to bring people in, and we have to do that
across the Board. Also we need train white teachers to ready to work effectively with
students of color, but it is very important to have a diverse teaching force, a diverse
leadership force, you mentioned state superintendents, a very little change a that level so far although
in cities where, you know, that have been under restorers for years and that are struggling,
it's more and more likely that a person of color will have the opportunity to come try
to take them out, I mean, that's, you know, another whole story. But we have an obligation
I think both to get smart about how to do schooling, get smart about how to bring people
into the profession and then train them so that they are excellent teachers. And, you
know, so that when they come into the classroom we know there are places that do that so that
from day one they are teaching as effectively as a fifth year teacher but we need to then
put the incentives in place for that and for the leadership programs that will make that
the norm and not the exception. >> KANTER: And also we have to follow models,
like, Oregon where you can get a four-year-undergraduate degree and a teaching credential and all the
qualifications to go right into the classroom when you couple that with the reforms and
student federal aid that I talked about that will have a loan forgiveness, that that entire
loan would be forgiven for that 10-year-period that a student then could go and become that
teacher that Linda's talking about. >> BENNET: Do we have one more question from
the audience? Yes, sir, please. >> VINCE: It's Vince, sir, I'm from Google.
Let me start out by congratulating in on focusing on the word "learn" as oppose to "teach" in
this conference because I think that's the operative issue here. A hundred people learn
I think they, they learn many of them by doing things. Second, I think that the American
Educational System K-12 Educational System is an incredibly complex ecosystem, and it's
going to take some careful analysis to understand how to motivate different pieces of that ecosystem
to do something different then they've been doing up until now. Third question for any
of you who wish to respond, are we in fact measuring the right things? When you talk
about poor scores and things of that kind and then we listen to some of the other questions
about what it is that kids are learning or maybe what it is they are being taught. I
wonder if we're actually measuring the right things. And finally I have this belief that
I think Mitch shares that technology is not going solve this problem alone, in fact not
even partway. The real issue here is making sure that we create a system where kids can
discover things by doing things as opposed to being told about them.
>> BENNET: I like to--please don't go away from the mic. We'll take one more question,
there's a young lady waiting. I think we'd like to hear what she has to say. Undersecretary
Kanter, can you address the question of measurement which it sounds like we are measuring very
well in New York City right now. What is your view of "No Child Left Behind"? What do we
do to that program to improve the measurements that we're getting back?
>> KANTER: I think we need to have and I think I said this in my remarks, whole new models
for assessment. I think we have to look at Cognitive science coupled with academic content.
I want students in the 21st Century to be able to write, read, think critically, analyze,
do the kinds of projects that you were talking about then and be successful in that. We need
systems that can measure all of that engagement of the student and the quality of what they
produce, and we don't have that now. We ought to have continuous loop so students get immediate
feedback on what they'd know and what they don't know. We should not have paper and pencil
kinds of test that nobody reads that go into a computer that spit out a score that doesn't
mean anything that can't be used, that can't be given back to the teacher so that they
can amalgamate all of the learning in their--for the students that have responsibility for
and then deconstruct that immediately to then format, programs of study that will enable
more, you know, increase student learning and success. So I just think we need whole
new forms of assessment. The good news is that we have millions of dollars that are
going to be put out in assessment competition so that, you know, there will be a chance
to maybe leverage some of the new technologies combined with an understanding in the Cognitive
Sciences to get us at least a little bit closer, but the systems are broken, No Child Left
Behind, we want to take what worked there but it was very compliance oriented. Our secretary
has talked about really trying to turn that into a continuous improvement model that provides
a kind of feedback with the high-quality assessments and high-quality standards that we all want.
Our standards, again, are too low. We don't have the expectations for our children that
they deserve. >> BENNET: John, did you want to say something?
>> MILLER: I just going to ask, Madam Undersecretary. Would you change the standards in Math and
Science in any particular direction that, again, to me it's not only a tech-industry
question getting to train people we need for the industry but I think it's a nature national
competitiveness. >> KANTER: Absolutely, Math and Science--the
Math standards are out now. You can take a look at them. Science is going to be next.
You only have to compare Mike's methods here in the audience. He was at the Elite Foundation,
now he's with us. In Washington he only had to show me what a senior in China knows compared
to what a senior in America knows in mathematics, to look at the difference, and to look at
how the interdisciplinary, you know, statistics in that, you had cognitives, you had all kinds
of stuff that people are learning and we're not. So we have to accelerate...
>> KLEIN: Kids in Korea in the sixth grade are doing what our kids do the 8th and 9th
grade in Math. Raising standards while essential is the easy piece. We know we have to do that.
Anyone who's looked at our global performance understands the difference between places
like Singapore, Finland, Australia, Korea, it's dramatic and watch what's, what's going
to happen if you haven't seen to look at 2 million minutes in what's going on in India
and China where they look at kids in India and China, but if we don't talk about the
professionalization of teaching, rewarding success, however you want to measure it, even
bubble tests tell me that some of my kids can't do fourth grade Math in the sixth grade.
So why want to raise the standards we want to make sure we have the mechanism to get
our kids there. So let me give you a couple examples, we reward length of service, period,
end of case and indeed the greatest economic opportunities are when people are retired
from the profession. We make it rationale for the good people to stay involved. Second
of all, we pay Math and Science, did you ever going to take about stem. We pay Math and
Science teachers the same as we pay every other teacher in the system and you know what
that means? The Law of Supply and Demand, I am short in Math and Science teachers because
good people or people that are good in Math and Science, they recruit them here at Google,
and so, I am short of those people. You know why I'm short of those people? You know which
people don't get Math and Science teachers? The people in my high-needs community, the
kids of color, so you want to talk about diversity. So we give them a warm body but we don't give
them somebody as Shriram was saying who can really teach them Math and if you don't know
Math, you can't do this the day ahead and the kids. So why don't we create differential
pay for the areas where we need it, make sure that we get high-quality teachers in our high-needs
communities and reward excellence and have consequences for non-performance, that sort
of the way it works in the real world but that isn't the way it works in education and
if you don't do that and you just set the standards way high and you don't have an ability
to execute it, all you going to do is frustrate another generation of Americans.
>> BENNET: The last, please. The last question. Please tell us who you are.
>> DANA: My name is Dana and I have troubles learning Math and I really, really love music,
so how could computers help me? >> BENNET: Who wants to take that one?
>> KLEIN: So here--let me--I have one example, I don't have a good answer for you but let
me give you an example that worked for me. One of my daughter's best friends came from
college to teach in New York City taught in a high-poverty neighborhood and actually used
music to teach Math by listening to the notes, the quarter notes and the half notes and got
the kids into the music and then what she did was brilliant. She went back in taught
the Gettysburg Address in the way Lincoln actually used lyric and music in the Gettysburg
Address and then took it forward to Barack Obama and sort of drew all of that and got
the kids much more interested in Math. So what I would suggest is start thinking about
what's the difference between a quarter note and a half note and how does that sounds differently
to you? And using that, I think, music can become really a way to launch lots of kids
in Math. In fact there are studies that suggest that kids who study music early on do much
better in Math later on, so there maybe something in that connection that works, I hope so.
>> BENNET: Can't think of a better note to end on, actually. Thank you very much for
your question. I thank the panel very for a really terrific, spirited conversation.
And now I'm going to screw up one of my duties here which is to tell you what to do next
is--because I lost the card but there's a reception outside that everybody is welcome
at and I believe that's the next step in the program. So please--and thanks to the panel
again. >> KANTER: Thank you for being such a good