Brad Meltzer -- The teacher who changed my life didn’t do it by encouraging her students to stand on their desks, like John Keating in Dead Poets Society. Or by toting a baseball bat through the halls, like Principal Clark in Lean on Me. She did it in a much simpler way: by telling me I was good at something.
Colin Powell -- I believe that if you develop a reputation for kindness, even the most unpleasant decisions will go down easier. People will realize that your decision must be necessary and is not arbitrary or made without empathy. As the old saying goes, “To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”
"In almost every area of human endeavor, the practice improves over time," says Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. "That hasn't been the case for teaching." This month, Gates is sounding the alarm about public education in Waiting for "Superman," a new documentary from An Inconvenient Truth's Davis Guggenheim.
In September, Edward O. Wilson, a respected professor emeritus of biology at Harvard University, caused a stir when he said, “Games are the future in education. I envision visits to different ecosystems that the student could actually enter...with an instructor. They could be a rain forest, a tundra, or a Jurassic forest.”
Low graduation rates affect America's ability to compete in the global workplace. "To get this economy back on track, we need to lower our high school dropout rates," says U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "These students need an education, and our economy needs these students."
Starting this August, elementary and middle-school students in one school district in Westminster, Colo., won't be assigned to grade levels based on age. Instead, they'll fall into multi-age levels based on what they already know and will move up only as they master new material.
"There are no second acts in American lives,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Since he died at the age of 44, poor Scott could never prove the truth of his observation. How was he to know that in the 21st century, 44 would be regarded as extended adolescence?