National Standards are the Wrong Bet: Interview with Professor Yong Zhao

Yong Zhao
Yong Zhao books

Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. He is also a professorial fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University in Australia. He previously served as the Presidential Chair and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the College of Education, University of Oregon, where he was also a Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership. Visit his site at: zhaolearning.com.

Terrance Jackson: You begin your book, World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students, writing about Suhas Gopinath, an entrepreneur who started a company at the age of 14. Why is this an important story about education?
Yong Zhao: It is important for three reasons. First, it says that young children, regardless of their background, can become great individuals with a global impact, thus education should focus on helping children achieve that potential. Second, it tells us current education is not helping young people like Suhas to become great individuals, as Suhas became what he became outside school or by not attending school. Third, Suhas represents what we need in the future–entrepreneurially-minded individuals who create jobs instead of employment-minded individuals who keep looking for jobs that may not exist.

TJ: In an 1995 interview, Steve Jobs said:
Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.
Would you like to comment on this quote?
YZ: Love this quote. I always believe that each and every child has the potential to be great. They do not walk into a life created by others, they are the creators of their own life. This is the point that I elaborate in my upcoming book Teach for Greatness.

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Why is the U.S. One of the Most Unequal Countries on the Planet?

One key factor is a fundamental shift in nature of the economy.

Steve Denning’s Forbes article, “Roger Martin: How ‘The Talent’ Turned Into Vampires” also sheds light on why we need to rethink our education paradigms:
How did America—a country dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal—become one of the most unequal countries on the planet? Why do the nation’s leaders now spend so much of their time feeding at the trough and getting ever more for themselves? Why has public-mindedness in our leaders given way in so many instances to limitless greed?
These questions are being raised, not in some anti-capitalist rag from the extreme Left, but in the staid pro-business pages of the Harvard Business Review, in a seminal article by Roger Martin, the former dean of the Rotman School of Business and the academic director of the Martin Prosperity Institute: “The Rise and (Likely) Fall of the Talent Economy.
One key factor, argues Martin, is a fundamental shift in nature of the economy. Fifty years ago, “72% of the top 50 U.S. companies by market capitalization still owed their positions to the control and exploitation of natural resources.” But in the latter part of the 20th century, a new kind of organization began to emerge: an organization that prospered not by natural resources but through “the control and exploitation of human talent.”
“By 2013 more than half of the top 50 companies were talent-based, including three of the four biggest: Apple, Microsoft, and Google. (The other one was ExxonMobil.) Only 10 owed their position on the list to the ownership of resources. Over the past 50 years the U.S. economy has shifted from financing the exploitation of natural resources to making the most of human talent.”
This inequality is also addressed in a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, by Peter Temin, an economist from MIT. Temin argues that, following decades of growing inequality, America is now left with what is more or less a two-class system: One small, predominantly white upper class that wields a disproportionate share of money, power, and political influence and a much larger, minority-heavy (but still mostly white) lower class that is all too frequently subject to the first group’s whims.

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Fundraiser to Reverse Climate Change, Diabetes, and Unemployment

We are having a t-shirt fundraiser to reverse Climate Change, Diabetes, and Unemployment with our Prayer Breakfast and Genius Farm.
Our t-shirt design

Pieta t-shirt

By local artist and librarian Roxanne Mapp

Roxanne Mapp

Don’t try to interpret faith in terms of science and logic. Religious imagery is telling you what is becoming.

"Miracles happen" ~ Pope Francis

“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Matthew 21:22
Our t-shirts are:
  • Grown in the USA
  • Certified organic cotton
  • Made in the Carolinas
  • Transparent supply chain
  • Water-based inks
  • Environmentally-friendly print process
  • Medium weight: 5.4 oz
Be proud each and every day you wear your tee knowing that your purchase supports more than 500 American jobs! Since it’s made from super-comfortable ringspun cotton, you’ll want to wear it every day. And because it’s made from a medium weight (5.4 oz) fabric that’s constructed for durability, you can actually wear it every day without it showing signs of wear.
Ask, and it will be given to you;
Seek, and you will find;
Knock, and it will be opened to you.
~ Matthew 7:7

Seven Magazine - A R Bernard

Click, and it will be opened to you.
Click the image above or below for a rough draft of Seven Magazine.

T-shirt fundraiser
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$6 Billion in 20 Minutes

Jeff Bezos - $6 Billion in 20 Minutes

I’ve made billions of dollars of failures at Amazon.com. Literally billions of dollars of failures. You might remember Pets.com or Kosmo.com. It was like getting a root canal with no anesthesia. None of those things are fun. But they also don’t matter.
What really matters is, companies that don’t continue to experiment, companies that don’t embrace failure, they eventually get in a desperate position where the only thing they can do is a Hail Mary bet at the very end of their corporate existence. Whereas companies that are making bets all along, even big bets, but not bet-the-company bets, prevail. I don’t believe in bet-the-company bets. That’s when you’re desperate. That’s the last thing you can do.
~ Jeff Bezos
According to Fast Company, on Thursday, April 28th, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made $6 billion in 20 minutes, after reported earnings beat expectations. Most people know Amazon as an online retailer but it’s collection of cloud computing services, Amazon Web Services or AWS, is Amazon’s new profit engine. The unit’s $1.9 billion in operating profit in 2015 was close to the $2.8 billion operating profit of the entire $99 billion retail business even though AWS constitutes only about 10% of Amazon’s overall revenues.

Amazon Web Services

It is important to understand that AWS started off as a bit of an industry joke. How could an upstart bookseller possibly compete with real data specialists or persuade companies to outsource data storage? Yet that’s what has happened. In Jeff Bezo’s 2016 annual letter to shareholders, he wrote:
This year, Amazon became the fastest company ever to reach $100 billion in annual sales. Also this year, Amazon Web Services is reaching $10 billion in annual sales … doing so at a pace even faster than Amazon achieved that milestone….

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Crazy Enough to Change the World

Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

The Genius Factory

A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
~ Steve Jobs

Michael Lewis author of "Flash Boys"

[Silicon Valley is] a hard place to write about because there’s a lack of emotional content. It’s a cold place.

Google is an old business…. Google has never really been about human psychology.
~ Tyler Cowen

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Advertising Creates a Climate of Violence Against Women

Advertising is an over $200 billion a year industry. We are each exposed to over 3000 ads a day. Yet, remarkably, most of us believe we are not influenced by advertising. Ads sell a great deal more than products. They sell values, images, and concepts of success and worth, love and sexuality, popularity and normalcy. They tell us who we are and who we should be. Sometimes they sell addictions.

“We all grow up in a culture in which women bodies are constantly turned into things, into objects.”

budweiser-bikini-girls-violence

“Of course this affects female self-esteem. It also does something even more insidious. It creates a climate in which there is wide-spread violence against women.”

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Larchmont Magazine

Larchmont - Jessica Alba - Blue Hill Farm

Google has more revenue than all U.S. print newspapers and magazines combined, yet direct mail is still the biggest single direct marketing channel, worth around $45 billion a year in the US alone. But it’s increasingly clear that printed marketing communications work best when used in conjunction with digital channels, with response and conversion rates improving by three or four percentage points respectively when printed direct mail is combined with email, personalized web pages (PURLs), database marketing, and mobile elements.
Larchmont Magazine is a free community magazine that will combine print and digital using variable data printing (VDP). Larchmont will initially be mailed to all the residential addresses in the 10538 zip code (Larchmont, NY) in October. We will follow-up in November by mailing Bronxville Magazine to all the residential addresses in the 10708 zip code (Bronxville, NY).
New York State has 11 places listed in 100 highest-income places with at least 1,000 households, 8 of those places are in Westchester County:
  1. Armonk, New York (17)
  2. Scarsdale, New York (18)
  3. Bronxville, New York (20)
  4. Chappaqua, New York (41)
  5. Rye (city), New York (50)
  6. Pound Ridge, New York (54)
  7. New Castle, New York (58)
  8. Larchmont, New York (60)
Our personalized community magazines will create real innovation and real value for local businesses by understanding people as human beings, not consumers. The basic idea is to build a close personal relationship with each customer that is based on quality, service, friendship, loyalty, and communications. And, not based on discounts and deceptions.

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