Friday, March 19, 2010

Are Our Schools In Checkmate?

I am a member of the School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC) for the Sibley-Ocheyedan Community Schools Distict (S-O CSD). It is a committee made up of community members, teachers and students. Our mission is to formulate and prioritize recommendations for our school board. They in turn, will consider these recommendations when setting goals for the 2010-2011 school year.

Jeff Herzberg, Superintendent for S-O CSD, posted the following video on his blog, Superintendent Herzberg. The video is a speech given by Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., at an international schools conference in India, where 1-1 initiatives (meaning all students get laptops) are being considered and implemented. Dr. McLeod also wrote The status quo no longer suffices: An open letter to the Ames (IA) School Board, presented this topic to the National Education Association Board of Directors and the Dubuque School Board.

How does this relate to chess? It was amazingly fascinating to hear all of the presenters at our second SIAC meeting (teachers explained the Iowa Core Curriculum) use key phrases associated with chess; critical thinking, problem solving, planning ahead, deductive learning, social interaction, etc.

Of interest is, "A Word From the Wise", an op-ed piece written by New York Times columnist, Thomas L. Friedman. It is referenced in Mr. Herzberg's blog and relevant to the discussion.

I invite the members and visitors of this website to share your thoughts on Dr. McLeod's video or presentations regarding the challenges our schools face. Please consider asking educators and others in your communities to share their perspectives. You may do so on Superintendent Herzberg's blog or below.


Joe Erjavec said...


I read that Thomas Friedman article a couple of weeks ago. I think he correctly states some of the fundamental challenges America faces.

JBFlores said...

Joe, thank you for commenting. It is certainly an eye-opener.

In one of the videos, I believe the one for the Dubuque School Board, Dr. McLeod talks about implementing pilot programs at our schools, as a way to begin to turn the tide.

That is something I have shared with others and will propose to the SIAC.

What other proposals or discussions should we be having?