"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Please Buy Me a Ticket to Sun Valley and a Subscription to "Education Insider" for Just $4,900 per Year

 I was having a hotdog and wowing at the White Board Advisors website below, which had been linked by a reader at the Seattle Public Schools Community Blog. At the bottom of the White Board page, I saw Dutko Worldwide, and it brought me back to good ole days before Gene Hickok found a new home at Dutko, right after he stopped being in charge of handing out ED federal grants to seed the corporate education industry under Rod Paige.  Yep, that was before Hickok decided to spend more time with his family, while avoiding criminal charges by paying $50,000 in a federal investigation of conflict of interest charges involving Bank of America stock and federal grants.  It gets complicated.

Well, I can see Gene has done good for Dutko and helped position them up front among today's edu-"thought-leaders." Huh.  I was wondering, though, who Wireless Generation and Josh Reibel are, when my email popped with a message from a friend on a new Valerie Strauss post at WaPo.  I clicked over and, damn!, there is the answer to my hotdog-chewing question about Wireless Generation:

Murdoch buys education technology company

By Valerie Strauss
[Disclosure: Kaplan Inc. is a for-profit education subsidiary of The Washington Post Co., which publishes The Washington Post, my employer.]

This didn't take long: Joel Klein announces Nov. 9 that at year’s end he will resign as York City’s Schools chancellor to become executive vice president at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Yesterday, the company announced that it was buying a technology company with big financial ties to the New York City school system.

Murdoch’s company, according to a story at businesswire.com, is acquiring 90 percent of Wireless Generation, a privately held Brooklyn-based education technology company, for approximately $360 million in cash. It will become a subsidiary of News Corp.

One of the things Wireless Generation does is build large-scale data systems that centralize student data and is a “key partner to New York City’s Department of Education on its Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS) as well as on the City’s School of One initiative,” the story said.

(The ARIS contracts -- worth tens of millions of dollars -- and the contracts the New York City Education Department has issued for its School of One program were apparently negotiated rather than competitively bid.) . . . .
I did a bit more digging on Wireless and found that their premier product is an early literacy intervention piece called Burst Reading, which allows teachers to sort, group, and track young kids with the ease of operating a hand held phaser:
An insomniac, genius sidekick for every teacher
At the heart of Burst:Reading is a sophisticated algorithm that works overnight to analyze detailed formative assessment data. It groups students based on similar strengths and needs, and provides 10-day sequences of high-quality curriculum synchronized with their abilities. Teachers bring the instruction to life with interactive lessons and materials that engage and inspire their students on the path to reading with comprehension.
Anyway, it seems like serendipity to me, but back to the website and why I am asking you to send me to Sun Valley and to buy me a subscription to "Education Insider."  How else am I supposed to catch up with the "thought leaders?"
Send checks or money orders to: Send Jim Horn to Sun Valley and Buy Him a Subscription to "Education Insider."

Looks great, doesn't it!  Heli-skying and talking smack with Andy, the Eduwank, thought-leader extraordinaire.


Last year, a group of about a dozen education reformers, entrepreneurs and investors met in snowy Sun Valley for a series of discussions on the progress of education reform and the opportunities and risks associated with private sector investment in the space. The result was three days of creative thinking and camaraderie, collaboration and planning. And of course, skiing.

Not surprisingly, this group of intermediate-to-expert skiers and thought-leaders had the time of their lives—which included, for many, their first heli-skiing experience. We pledged to return again, and build a tradition by combining education policy, business, and outdoor adventure.

For this year’s event, we are pleased to announce a series of dinner discussions on topics including:

  • An Insider’s Perspective on Education Policy and Politics, with former White House advisors and Education Insider co-publishers Andy Rotherham and John Bailey
     
  • The Risk and Reward of Education Investing, with Bain Capital Founder and Rocky Mountain Wealth Concepts Chairman, Coleman Andrews
     
  • Growing and Managing the Education Enterprise: The Entrepreneurs Perspective, with Wireless Generation President, Josh Reibel and Curriculum Associates CEO, Rob Waldron
Additional details will follow.  In the meantime, please mark your calendar for this unique opportunity to share an incredible setting, valuable relationships and insight, and spirited discussion.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact: Elliot Parks at Elliot.Parks@Dutkoworldwide.com.



Sincerely,
Craig Pattee, President, Dutko Worldwide
Josh Reibel, President, Wireless Generation
Ben Wallerstein, Managing Director, Dutko Worldwide

And when I clicked on Education Insider, I got this:
Education Insider is a monthly report and webinar that provides real-time insights on federal education policy trends, debates, and issues—from the handful of decision makers that are driving the process.
Trying to follow the ins-and-outs of Federal education reform — a morass of legislation, regulations, grants, mandates and more — is like assembling a giant jigsaw puzzle. It is often difficult to see the entire picture when all you have is a few pieces.  The challenge is piecing together bits of conversations, speeches, legislation, regulations, and other expressions of policy intent to discern what is happening in the debate.  This process is even more complex since other policy issues and political agendas can change the trajectory of education policy.
As with any issue, there are only a handful of insiders that will shape the debate but never before has there been an attempt to tap their collective insights and forecasts.
Organizations must anticipate and react to Federal policy and funding changes need high quality information and analysis and the complete picture that Education Insider provides.
Download a sample.  Subscribe today.

How Does Education Insider Work?

Through an exclusive surveying tool we ask key policy and political “insiders” for their opinion on important federal policy ranging from the timing of key legislation to the support or opposition of policy proposals.  Essentially, this is a regular tracking poll of key education influencers to get their collective sense of trends and issues.  Feedback from the field is coupled with the expert analysis of our co-publishers to provide subscribers with visibility into issues, trends, and likely outcomes. Members have the opportunity to participate in monthly discussions with insiders and experts.

Who Are The Insiders? 

Influential leaders who are shaping education reform including individuals who have or are currently serving as key policy and political “insiders."
  • White House and U.S. Department of Education leaders 
  • Congressional staff
  • State school chiefs
  • Leaders of major trade associations and think tanks
So I can read along with Arne to find out what Eli and Bill and Rupert and the Waltons have in mind for education.
Whoop!  Out of my budget league--unless I get some help.  Check it out:
Whiteboard Advisors offers a number of subscription based products, as well as client-specific proprietary research and consulting services. The following products are available for purchase through our website, including the Education Insider, which utilizes our unique insider survey methodology to track and report monthly on federal education policy developments and trends. Please contact us for additional information or to discuss your organization’s specific needs.
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