Friday, June 12, 2009

Outrageous Learning by Scott Oki

Scott Oki was a top Microsoft VP in the early years. He left a millionaire and was able to get involved in education, including being a Regent at the University of Washington and more. Oki combined his experience and knowledge in a book - Outrageous Learning. He is a fascinating guy; hear him/ meet him:
Tuesday June 16 - 5 pm to 7 pm Four Seasons Hotel Seattle - 99 Union St. (at First Ave.) Refreshments By reservation
Washington Policy Center: New Book by Scott Oki Offers Foundational Ideas for Truly Reforming Public Education Washington Policy Center has released a new book by local philanthropist, entrepreneur, and education reformer Scott Oki. Outrageous Learning: An Education Manifesto describes the real problems facing schools today and offers 11 foundational thoughts for bringing constructive change to public education. Outrageous Learning is intended to start an ongoing discussion of genuine education reform, and so in addition to the book, WPC has launched This interactive website provides a discussion forum for sharing ideas, asking questions, and continuing a broad conversation about improving public schools. Update: Liv Finne of Washington Policy Institute recommends "Beware the Easy School Fix" by Jay Mathews in the Washington Post on Prof. William G. Ouchi of UCLA. His research on school leadership finds that when the principal controls the school resources he/she makes things different and better:
... they tend to make changes in staffing, curriculum and scheduling that sharply reduce TSL, the number of students each of their teachers is responsible for. Some urban districts have TSLs approaching 200 kids per teacher. But after principals get budgeting power, the load drops sharply, sometimes to as low as 80 kids per instructor. When that happens, the portion of students scoring "proficient" on state tests climbs. A group of New York schools had a surge of 11 percentage points after they reduced average TSL by 25 students per teacher.
I don't think they can have that control in this state. The central office has it. But in other states it's been tried and tested and found to work.

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