Emmett Carson

Making Politics Work for Public Education

Someone asked me last week if there are underreported stories about public education in the Bay Area. Absolutely there are. People and ideas are converging in Silicon Valley, and they have the potential to alter the landscape of schools and learning.

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Bay Area Math Report Deserves Local School Districts’ Consideration

A new study from the Brookings Institution places the metro area of San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara as No. 1 in patent filings per capita in America. Certainly, the distinction is reflected in the fabric of our economy and the high price of housing. It would follow somewhat logically that this honor must also demonstrate the effectiveness and innovation in our public schools, especially in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. Unfortunately, this is not the case in most schools, districts and classrooms in Silicon Valley.

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County Can’t Miss on New Superintendent

The Santa Clara County Board of Education is nearing completion of its most important statutory responsibility: the hiring of a new county superintendent of schools. The new county superintendent must be willing to encourage the utmost in school district transparency relative to the dollars expended, the test results, the grades, etc. Without transparency, public education can continue to obfuscate rather than improve.

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Future of Public Education in Serious Doubt

While participating in last week’s Game Changers 2012 event, which focused on Silicon Valley’s economy and was sponsored by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, I had the sinking feeling that public education was in a baseball “pickle” and down to its last out.

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Bad News in Silicon Valley Index

Last Friday a thousand notables from high tech companies, public utilities, hospitals, local governments and NGO’s filled 96 tables at the McEnery Convention Center to hear about the State of the Valley according to the 2010 Silicon Valley Index, released by Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.  “The Index has a lot of bad news this year,” said Russell Hancock, Joint Venture’s president.

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