I was privileged recently to present at an "IgniteDC" venue, an interesting format where you provide 20 slides for a five minute talk. The slides are automatically advanced every fifteen seconds. The results can be interesting, occasionally disjointed, and occasionally memorable. I don't know where mine landed, frankly, but it led to great conversations afterward - and I was doubly privileged to meet a few teachers in the audience who thanked me for the presentation. It is sobering to have heroes thank you just for talking about the challenges that define their careers. They are the ones who must be thanked.
Nevertheless, the state of U.S. education is somewhat dire. There are a few bright spots coming up this year: federal dollars tied to innovation and accountability; a new film that spotlights the needs of our most under-served children; graduate degree programs focused on leading a new education system, rather than navigating the current broken one; and more.
My hope was to begin the conversation, and trust we would have a more noble exchange of views than has characterized other public policy initiatives lately.
UPDATE 5/3/2010 - the video has been posted to Blip.tv and iTunes - embed below: