Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Knowledge Alliance Calls for Bipartisan Action in Education

Knowledge Alliance Calls for Bipartisan Action on Education in the 112th Congress
Research-based knowledge as the arbiter for bipartisanship

Statement of Knowledge Alliance President Jim Kohlmoos

The results are now tabulated for most of the Congressional and gubernatorial elections for this unique and volatile mid-term election cycle. It is now time to put aside the harsh words and uncompromising rhetoric and look forward to turning the page to a new chapter of governance in Congress. When it comes to education, it is particularly important to do so and to do so in the spirit of bi-partisanship. That's because education urgently needs and deserves to be a top priority in the 112th Congress. Funding education to appropriate levels and fixing the No Child Left Behind Act should be high on the agenda when Congress convenes in January.

It is our belief that knowledge generated through scientific research should be an arbiter for bi-partisan action in education and play a prominent role in decision making moving forward. Knowledge Alliance and its members stand ready to work with the leadership in Congress to help get the job done on behalf of all the children in our great country.

Friday, October 29, 2010


The Sourcerer loves this time in the election cycle. The final few daze before the elections bring out the great speculators about what will happen. The cottage industry of pundits becomes a veritable industrial complex. So let us add to the speculation by inviting you to make some predictions about the House, Senate, and Governors seats. Among the many web sites that are into the prediction business we love the simplicity of Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball. Check it out and then enter you predictions in "comments" below. Here are ours:

* House--- 53 seat gain for GOP
* Senate--- 8 seat gain for GOP
* Governors --- 9 state house gains for GOP

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sept 11 reunions and reflections

In the early the morning of September 11, 2001 eight of us from around the country were having a breakfast meeting about urban teacher preparation in a conference room one block from the White House. The horrific surreal events of that morning in DC and the ensuing panic that we experienced together created a lasting bond. On each subsequent 9/11 we have had an email re-union. Here are excerpts from this 9th year:

"(911) reminds us how important it is that we not forgot how fragile life can be and the perils that challenge our nation and the world. All one can do is continue to contribute to the good of society."

"Our annual email gathering always evokes a complex mix of emotions for me: first the gratitude, then the recollection of the day itself. I was running late to our meeting and passed blocks of people lining the streets. I remember hearing sirens and wondering whether there was some dignitary coming up the street. It wasn't until I saw you all coming out of the building that I learned what was transpiring. And I still never think about that time without remembering the great silence of the skies I never travel to DC, as I will tomorrow, without recalling that time".

"The ninth anniversary of our infamous day(s) together is arriving. It is reassuring and comforting to contact you again as a group. I am hope that the insanity in Gainesville, FL will not spill over into another tragedy. As we remember the past, we also need to learn for the future, yes?"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Innovation and the federal role

Tough on ed innovation and the federal role --- We think that in his recent commentary Paul Tough is asking the right questions about the federal government as a venture funder for education innovation: Should Congress finance unproven but promising experiments to fix America’s troubled education system? How much evidence does the government need before trying something new? Should there be airtight proof that a pioneering program works before federal money is committed? Is it sometimes worth investing in promising but unproven innovations? We think there is a new emerging fed role in R&D and innovation as demonstrated by i3. Tell the Sourcerer what do you think.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Racing to the Top and Beyond

The Knowledge-able Sourcerer congratulates the nine states and the District of Columbia for their winning applications in the round 2 Race to the Top (RttT) competition at the US Department of Education. The competition was extremely intense and challenging over the past 12 months. We are hopeful that the immense reform efforts that were triggered by this program will reap lasting benefits for all involved. We also hope that Congress will take notice of the unprecedented interest in this incentive-based program and continue to fund it in the years ahead. Kudos to the Obama Administration and the US Department of Education for a very difficult job well done.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Urgency, anyone?

Urgency, anyone? --- For us commuters in DC, using the Metro has been a godsend and, lately, a rather harrowing experience. Accidents and equipment failures have become the rule rather than the exception. Last week the National Transit Safety Board filed its report about a terrible accident last year and emphasized the need for a major change, if not transformation of the system. We heard the Metro commentators say the change to a safer system will take time --- years not months. How do you think it made us feel riding the Metro the next day? Probably the same way parents feel when they send their kids to schools that need to be transformed.