Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Leading American Universities for Sending Students Abroad

The Institute of International Education released some figures of overseas education recently.

Here's their top ten list of the leading US universities that send students overseas, ranked in order of numbers of students sent each year.

New York University remained the leading sending institution, reporting that it gave academic credit for study abroad to 3,395 of its students, followed by Michigan State University (2,969), University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (2,521), University of Texas – Austin (2,342), University of California – Los Angeles (2,330), University of Wisconsin – Madison (2,216), University of Washington (2,124), Penn State – University Park (2,101), University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign (2,086), and University of Georgia (2,058). Open Doors 2009 reports that 53 U.S. campuses, primarily large research institutions, awarded academic credit for study abroad last year to more than 1,000 of their students.

But there are actually schools that send the largest percentage of their entire student body to study overseas during some point in their educational career.

Open Doors 2009 data on study abroad participation rates show 23 institutions that reported sending more than 80% of their students abroad at some point during their undergraduate careers. These institutions are (in alphabetical order): Antioch College, Arcadia University, Austin College, Berea College, Carleton College, Centre College, DePauw University, Earlham College, Elon University, Goucher College, Hamline University, Hartwick College, Kalamazoo College, Lee University, Lewis and Clark College, Oberlin College, Pepperdine University, Saint Olaf College, Taylor University, Transylvania University, University of Dallas, Warren Wilson College, and Wofford College.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Town Hall, A Wall, Opportunity for All

There is a saying in Cantonese, that when you cross the ocean you will be kings. [ed. note: I have looked all over the internet and not found the Cantonese phrase, so any help would be appreciated]

President Barack Obama was either a puppet or a truly naive country mouse making his way through China and East Asia for the first time earlier this month, when he held a staged town hall, visited the Great Wall and seemed disoriented, and claimed that he never touched Twitter, even though he apparently has his own twitter feed.

For America's first "Pacific" president, he didn't seem to know a whole lot about China, America's certainly largest, and relatively speaking nearest neighbor, if you don't count the Philippines, Russia or Taiwan.

Much has already been written about what a fool's game the whole diplomatic trip to East Asia appeared to the rest of the world. I won't hash over it. Read through the link if you like.

However, Obama presented one gleaming and golden opportunity for America's youth, for-profit education and the future of China - U.S. bilateral relations and the possible creation of a new multilateral regulatory and financial system.

China and the United States agreed that they would renew efforts to bring at least 100,000 students from the United States to China. Currently, there are only 20,000 American students studying in China while there are nearly 100,000 Chinese students in the United States, and nearly 100,000 students from India studying in the United States.

I'm sure the effort was started in the hopes that these students would bring all the democracy and hope and glory back with them to their countries of origin. So why don't we send more students to China?

Do they just not want to go? Are they unable to go, because of finances? How is the government going to pay for these expected 80,000 students to go to China? Does the federal loans program enable that right now? I don't think it does.

Efforts have been made to extend this cross-cultural partnership before. I am a by-product of one of those efforts. So is 27 - year old Cornelius Rahn, a journalism student at the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre.

The vision there is simple: train foreign students to be journalists in China. Introduce them to China, spread the word about China, help China at the same time enrich and develop its burgeoning media.

Ying Chan, a celebrated investigative journalist, who has won many awards for her reporting, especially on the snakeheads that traffic humans into the United States from China, laid out this vision several years ago and has been steadily building on it. She not only directs the program in Hong Kong, she also, with backing from Li Ka-shing, helps run his journalism school at Shantou University in mainland China.

Ying always says, "Learn Chinese. The future is in China." I never doubt her. "Understand China," she also says. And she is right. Obama's trip to China shows the perils of not knowing the people you should and could be doing business and politics with.

Why did people pay Chinese snakeheads thousands of dollars to travel illegally and covertly to America? There was opportunity there. For some it was to be forever. For others, as China began to open up, it was temporary. Take what is best in America and bring it back. They call these people Sea Turtles, in Chinese.

But now, the future is going to be shaped by a strong China and US relationship, which could produce a much stronger multilateral global financial system.

As I always say, it's already tomorrow in China. And it started out as a joke.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

George Soros On China: U.S. Can Help Score a Win for China

If you read this through and like it, email me, or leave a comment if you want the whole pdf. I can email it to you. dcrets [at] iirusa [dot] com

It's too bad that none of the major "western" news organizations wrote about some of the great comments George Soros made recently about China's new power in the global economy. Maybe President Barack Obama would not have appeared so passive in front of the Chinese delegation who welcomed him on his first visit to the Middle Kingdom.

Under reported -- to the detriment of financial executives everywhere -- is a series of lectures George Soros has been giving around the world about what he considers to be the true implications and opportunities created by the economic collapse and the seizing up of the credit markets after the Lehman Brothers collapse.

The only good story that I have seen so far on the issue is by a former student colleague I worked with at the University of Hong Kong, Vivian Kwok, who now works at Forbes.

She points out that Soros, a billionaire, worth something like US$11 billion, who escaped the Nazi death squads in Budapest, Hungary during World War II, just made a spent a combined US$126 million on subscriptions for new shares of China Minsheng Bank and Longfor Properties in their initial public offerings in Hong Kong.

But his real achievement to date is a series of lectures where Soros is calling out the G20 countries, but especially the United States, for not only precipitating the failure of the economy, but not doing enough to embrace new partners in re-establishing a global economic order. Partners like China, for example.

Despite doing what almost all of the Bretton Woods Agreement and Washington Consensus countries have done, propping up the financial system by offering massive loans to banks with balance sheets saturated with questionable assets and liabilities, the United States and other G20 nations stand to lose ground significantly during the economic recovery if they do not make partnerships and reformulate the IMF and World Bank strategies to foster new power positions for emerging economies. Why? As of September 2009, China owns US$789 billion of U.S. Debt

On Oct. 30 Soros gave a lecture called "The Way Ahead, Comments On China" at Central European University that clearly delineates a new policy agenda for the United States and the Bretton Woods countries.

Soros claims that "the Washington Consensus [of keeping global capital moving around the world] has failed". New potential leaders of the global economy stand to benefit from a failure of this fundamentalist strategy of globalization, and:

The United States stands to lose the most, and China is poised to emerge as the greatest winner[...]China has discovered a remarkably efficient system of unleashing the creative, inquisitive and entrepreneurial activity of the people who are allowed to pursue their self-interests, while the state can cream off a significant portion of the surplus value of their labor by maintaining an undervalued currency and accumulating a trade surplus.

China can either spread the use of state capitalism to the detriment of the global economy, or they could work in a multilateral system to further a kind of hybrid internationalist system of economic and financial markets regulation.

China could help re-write the rules on financial regulation, introducing a new role for emerging market countries, who have until now suffered the brunt of, ironically, the speculation against currency led by people like Soros, causing massive loans given out by the World Bank and IMF, offering sometimes impossible terms of agreement, and further troubles.


That is what a new Bretton Woods conference could accomplish in one fell swoop. It would reconstitute the IMF to better reflect the prevailing pecking order among states and revise its methods of operation. It would decide how to treat financial institutions that are too big to fail and it would consider new rules to control capital movements. The total freedom of financial capital to move around internationally has proved to be a source of instability and needs to be curbed.

The process needs to be initiated by the United States, but China and other developing countries ought to participate in it as equals. They are reluctant members of the Bretton Woods institutions which are dominated by countries that are no longer dominant. The rising powers need to be present at the creation of the new order to ensure that they will be active supporters of it.

BIG PROBLEM, though, credibility and relationship trust-wise: China has engaged in somewhat unsavory behavior by getting into relationships with countries isolated form the world community of nation-states that formerly led the now defunct Washington Consensus -- countries like Burma, North Korea, and now Guinea, whose leader Moussa Dadis Camara is accused of directing soldiers to shoot into a crowd of opposition supporters during recent elections.

There is hope:

Why should China submit to a new multilateral system in view of the fact that it is set to emerge as the winner from the current turmoil? The answer is equally simple. In order to continue rising it must make itself acceptable to the rest of the world. That means that it must move towards a more open society, combining an increased measure of individual freedom with the rule of law. Given the current military power relations, China can continue rising only in a peaceful environment where the rest of the world willing accepts the rise of China.

That last bold statement for emphasis? Well, I don't see that happening. Soon. Even though, as Soros admits earlier in the lecture, keeping things in their current state is in itself still a threat to the stability of the Communist Party's rule.

At the same time, an international system based on state capitalism would inevitably lead to conflicts between states. The first signs of conflict are already beginning to surface because, ironically, China is repeating the mistakes of the colonial powers in dealing with the countries that are rich in natural resources just at a time when the colonial powers have learned from their past mistakes and are trying to rectify them. In order to gain access to natural resources, China is dealing with the rulers and neglecting the people. This helps oppressive and corrupt regimes to stay in power. This is an undesirable outcome but China is not the only one to be blamed for it. When a Chinese company tried to buy Unocal, it was rebuffed. And more recently, Rio Tinto reneged on a deal to sell an interest to a Chinese company. This has pushed China into dealing with those countries that the international financial institutions have shunned—Burma, Sudan, Zimbabwe, the Congo and Angola stand out.

The Chinese and the United States both face equally challenging choices. The United States must take on a new manner of thinking and help China become an equally powerful leader on the world stage. The Chinese, as much as they have gained by their effort to allow America to put itself into so much debt it threatens its existence, must also relent and be an equal partner, emerging as a stable and democratic culture and country.

Otherwise, not much hope of tomorrow. So, what can the G20, President Obama, the Japanese, and the UK do to make something new and positive happen?

China must be brought into situations that are multilateral, and helped to reduce the pressures internally -- the subjugation of free market forces caused by political arrangements, and the rampant corruption that instigates the clear but subtle fear that the center of the Communist Party can not enforce its will, and etc.

But the goal may be a good one. Soros, to close:

To sum up: the world is facing a choice between two fundamentally different forms of organization. We may label them international capitalism and state capitalism. The former, represented by the United States, has broken down and the latter, represented by China, is in the ascendant. The path of least resistance leads to the gradual disintegration of the international financial system as we know it. Yet a system of bilateral relations is liable to generate conflicts between states. A new multilateral system based on sounder principles needs to be invented. That would serve the best interests of both the United States and China and of course the rest of the world.

Spread it around. And email me, or leave a comment if you want the whole pdf. I can email it to you. dcrets [at] iirusa [dot] com

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chair in Space

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Good News For Canada: Overseas Spending on Education Huge

Toby Chu of CIBT Education writes in to alert us to a report about overseas spending on education, or how much money comes into an economy from education-seeking overseas students. It's skewed towards Canada, but:

The report shows the amount of spending by international students and the economic impact it has on the Canadian economy. From “China market” alone, international education services accounted for $1.31 billion to Canada’s export revenue, ranked no 1 on all other export of goods from Canada to China (table 15, Page 31). Total revenue from the Top 10 Student source countries amounted to $5.5B dollars of direct education spending (tuition). Yet, Canada is far behind from Australia, Japan or New Zealand ranked only 4th place in global market share at an annual growth rate of 8% (22% for New Zealand).

The good news is: Canada has the resources and attraction that are appealing to international students, plenty of room for growth and the competition is still light when compared to the big picture. Recent announcements by the Canadian federal and provincial government indicated their strong support on the international education which is also encouraging news for Canada’s international education sector.

At CIBT, our two core business objectives are, from our corporate mission statement:

"1) using Canada as our solid base to export western education to emerging Asia, and

2) using our growing infrastructure in Asia to attract international students to study in North America”.

I am not aware of any other for-profit education player that offers the same service and business model as CIBT, or has the same level of infrastructure ``both in Asia and North America`` that is ready to capture this growing market. Finally, among the Top 10 International Student Source Countries in the world, CIBT & Sprott Shaw has operations or student recruitment teams located on the grounds of 8 out of 10 countries.

Toby Chu will be speaking at the Education Industry Investment Forum.

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President Barack Obama Says the Internet is an Educator

During his town hall in China, President Barack Obama talks about how the internet opened up opportunities for himself and for his daughters. He says that he was able to win the presidency with help from the internet.

And he says that that his daughters Sasha and Malia are able to look up information on China and learn anything they want to learn.

Here's that video clip:

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Video of Obama Meeting with Chinese Youth in Town Hall Style Gathering

这在美国总统和中国人之间的第一个市政厅会议,被带来以一个活格式和通过问题被提供在互联网。 您能观看网上录影这里,但是您大概是,如果您讲中文。 由于it' 在中国网的s。

So, it starts out with an intro from the Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman in Mandarin and in English.

Unfortunately, I think President Barack Obama mixed up the greeting. He said, "No Ho." I think he meant to say "Nin Hao." The Chinese were too polite, or mindful of their international exposure, to correct him. So they applauded generously.

Here is the first Chinese town hall meeting format by a United States president in China.

President Barack Obama receives town hall questions and online questions from Chinese netizens.

"No global challenge can be solved without the Chinese and the United States cooperating." -- United States Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman

Trade between United States and China: US$400 billion per year.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Will Adveritising Support the Social Network Media Model?

I have found some information that would be useful for all the start-up entrepreneurs out there, who are increasingly growing education social networks that support the building of curriculum, lesson plans and digitally-enhanced teaching methods.

Ethan Zuckerman is questioning whether advertising can support a social network media model in the long-run.

Zuckerman writes at his

Internet advertising works extremely well in the context of a search engine. Many searches are intended to lead to transactions, so matching a paid ad to a query is sometimes a good user experience. Advertising can work well in the context of niche content – a website focused on cross-country skiing is a great place to advertise to cross-country skiers, and there’s a decent chance they’re going to be interested in learning about your ski wax. Ads on sites like Facebook work much less well, and while targeting those ads based on demographics may make them more effective, that targeting doesn’t fix the core problem: people are using social network sites to communicate, not to consume content, and they don’t want to be bothered by ads when they’re communicating.

The good news – for users annoyed by ads, not for advertisers – is that we appear to learn very quickly how to ignore online advertising. comScore, a company that monitors user behavior on the web for advertisers, reported in 2007 that only 32% of internet users clicked on banner ads in a given month. By 2009, that number had fallen to 16% of internet users, and that a core 8% of all internet users – “Natural Born Clickers” (yes, that’s what they called the studies) – are responsible for 85% of all banner clicks on the web.

Read the rest. Zuckerman puts information about advertising and click-through rates into perspective.

Essentially, there are not enough new users available to come online and click on the banner ads, for instance, that advertisers use to generate interest and income / revenue.

Pay attention to Zuckerman. He's on to something: people pay attention to what they love. Other people, not advertisers, are likely to pay for the data that erupts from that community collaboration.

I'm reminded of a couple of projects I worked on in Hong Kong. They dealt with marketing, advertising, and the use of participatory media or the focus of niche channels in traditional broadcasting to drive revenue and sales of goods and services.

Some companies in Asia have figured out that you have to link reputation of the blogger or the social network participant with the reputation of the product. [ed note: I focus on Asia, because that's what I know better] This is something that Coca-Cola does quite well in China. Also, Dell was very good at it. And so was, China's largest web portal.

I wrote about this for Media Partners Asia in Hong Kong.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Internet: Two-Way Interactive Education is Both Marketing and Medium

Some interesting WES data that I found on

International student recruitment strategies are focused more on the social media and social networking space.

A little more than half of the respondents indicated that they recruit using social media because almost all (91% of those responding) believe prospects are using it. The most used social media platforms are Facebook (95%), Twitter (54%) and Youtube (43%). The main reason social media is not being used was indicated as lack of staff resources.

Two thirds of the research respondents (66%) indicated that their website was the most important channel for their outreach programs with online advertising a far second at 18%. However, the largest allocation of the marketing budget is for printed materials, accounting for 11-25% of annual budgets. Not surprisingly, the two greatest challenges for recruiters in achieving their international enrollment goals were the availability of financial aid (37%) and travel budget concerns (34%).

How do recruiters of international students link efforts with value, or cost with return in using a social media model?

It's a given that using social media is an extremely low cost way to market to students, because in most cases, the most prized audience is already using the medium you wish to use.

But do you spend money on advertising, or just recruit other students to blog and post your recruitment efforts in the right space?

My general impression of advertising is that the audience for advertising is cynical of advertising unless it is interactive. I think WES is on to something positive here with the effort it's pushing to to interactive webinars and chats online.

StraighterLine CEO Burck Smith, not affiliated with WES as far as I am aware, is delivering low-cost high-quality schooling on the internet. This generation uses almost nothing but the internet.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Being Gladwellian: An Education in Not Listening to Experience

What is cliche? I believe cliche is the uttered evocative statement that has lost its evocation. It is gloss over nuance and the rivets that keep life together.

Maureen Tkacik gets a little gruff with Malcolm Gladwell over his cliches, but I'm not telling how she ends her own essay. You can read Gladwell for Dummies for yourself.

She reviews his work and posits that he is not the Francisco Redihe thinks he is. In other words, he is a person who glosses over truth, and speaks pretty for industry titans. He's not the guy who has found a new way to deduce what is happening in reality.

Here's her take:

Stars! They're just like us. Which is to say, every time Gladwell begins to close in on a conclusion of real meaning or intellectual impact, he clicks his heels and returns to the mental Melrose Place of quippy clichés. What's more, he apparently has no problem espousing the whole-truthness of two antithetical clichés--the innateness of genius and "The Power of Context" (as Gladwell had christened this truism in The Tipping Point) at almost simultaneous moments in time. Reduced further, depending on Gladwell's narrative needs, genius is either nature or nurture, and he has cheerily eaten his cake, wrapped it up neatly in a take-away box and left us wondering where the crumbs disappeared to.

It may seem obvious to some that these are false dichotomies; neither half is ever true to the exclusion of the other. But that is the rub: there are a great many book buyers determined to hedge their bets in precisely this Gladwellian mode. Depending on the situation, they want to believe in the sovereign power of either nature or nurture--to convince themselves that anyone can be a success but also that should one be so unfortunate as to fail, that failure was predestined by an accident of fate. This is the contradictory "story of success" that runs through Gladwell's articles, The Tipping Point and Outliers. The "power of apparent inevitability," as The Economist termed it, is a narrative that his hungriest readers can use to explain any turn their lives might take, and it was precisely these readers who flooded Gladwell's e-mail inbox with raves about how The Tipping Point had empowered them to take control of their lives and "contexts."

And here:

By the time Gladwell produced a sequel to The Tipping Point, Blink, his preference for light vignettes featuring plucky heroes over grimmer fare was proving its own insult. In Blink's afterword, he describes the book as "a journey into the wonders of our unconscious" but one that should not "be confused with the unconscious described by Sigmund Freud, which was a dark and murky place filled with desires and memories and fantasies that were too disturbing for us to think about consciously." Instead, Blink plumbs an unconscious realm that is surprisingly hospitable. Gladwell makes the case that because human existence is entirely too rich and nuanced to be reducible to data or logic (and by extension, to arguments or allegations), reason and reflex blend over time to yield snap decisions that are often better than the best-laid plans.

Oh, but it gets better.

In that case, perhaps Gladwell's intellectual compromises are neither commercial nor unintentional but rather a necessary outgrowth of his higher calling: to explore the secret workings of the world and impart the resulting data to its self-appointed stewards, the titans of industry. This conclusion, if true, may resolve many of the most puzzling incongruities riddling Gladwell's articles: his continued defense of the pharmaceutical industry even as he advocates for single-payer healthcare; his refusal to indict the financial sector's rigged "star system" as the engine of corruption that it is; the meticulous bleaching of his own prose so that he's whitewashed out any real context, any framework in which wars and economic collapses can actually be understood as wars and economic collapses rather than simulations or malfunctions; his near total avoidance of academic thought that does not base its findings on things observed in labs (with the exception of Carl Jung, whose legacy he reduces to the popularization of personality tests); his coyness about politics; and most memorably, his irritating, unrelenting readability.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Did Arne Duncan Save Healthcare?

Arne Duncan part of last minute health care deal

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African-American Workers Laid Off in Strikingly Bleak Numbers

Fast Company, where I maintain a blog, puts up some incredible analysis of a recent New York Times infographic, and it's something that you should pay attention to, with your thinking cap situated firmly on your head.

Take for example that the unemployment rate for what Fast Company describes as "black" men and women "without a high school degree" is 42.7%. How can our economy survive with that statistic? And what is being done about helping these people maintain a high school education to receive the degree, or go back to high school and get a certification?

The other question this raises for me is this: is there proof that completing high school serves in and of itself as an incentive to go and get a higher degree?

How are degrees-to-job satisfaction or job acquisition ratios calculated? Are they tabulated anywhere? I'd like to see how often someone with a high school degree decides not to go to a higher degree course.

You can read the whole thing below:

Jobless Rate for people like you

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Tom Vander Ark: ESEA "Must Reflect the 'good school' Promise"

According to Tom Vander Ark, partner of Revolution Learning and executive keynote speaker at Education Industry Investment Forum, the Department of Education should create partnerships with the private sector to meet the enormous challenge of creating the system of education that American students deserve.

And there's more:

This ESEA should be forward leaning. It should incorporate online assessment and anticipate the continued growth of online learning. School networks that blend online and on-site learning and targeted tutoring should be harnessed in the effort to turn around thousands of struggling schools.

ESEA must reflect the ‘good school’ promise intended by NCLB—every family in America deserves access to at least one good public school. Fulfilling this promise requires strong support and strong accountability, new tools and new schools, and it will require public and private investment. The private sector is ready, willing, and able to help America meet the educational challenges of the next decade.

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Race to the Top Set for FAIL

This seemed to have a bit of the rhetorical flourish, but then, it is something that business people talk about when they talk about how they would like to nourish and invest in the American education sector.

Why Race to the Top is set to fail takes a look at how inefficiencies, improper evaluation of performance and talent, and a lack of clear thinking on curriculum and life skills in American education is setting Race to the Top to fail.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

India: Enabling Investments in Education

This post was written by Rahul Choudaha, who runs Dr. Education.

India's Human Resources Minster Mr. Kapil Sibal aims to increase Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education from current 12% to 30% by 2020.

Mr. Sibal, who is control of the country's education portfolio, says that this translates into a need for 14,000 additional general colleges, 12,775 professional institutes and 269 universities over the next 11 years. (Indian higher education system follows the model of multiple independent colleges affiliated to a common degree-awarding university). Government understands that it would not be able to achieve it without private investment. To achieve this scale of expansion with speed, Mr. Sibal is actively exploring options to streamline regulatory structure and encourage private investment.

Apart from a host of public-private partnerships the minister is also considering to allow for setting up a not-for-profit entity under Section 25 of the Companies Act 1956.

Current regulatory structure only recognizes institutions which are set up as non-profit trusts or societies. While the registration under section 25 as company would still require a non-profit objective it would enable recognition from the regulatory body and help in managing in a more scalable, professional and accountable manner at a national level.

Posted by:
Rahul Choudaha (PhD, MBA, BE)
blog: Dr. Education
New York, New York

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Chris Whittle to Speak at FuturED Symposium During EIIF

We have great news for the third day of the Education Industry Investment Forum.

Chris Whittle, founder of Edison Schools, will be opening up the third day with a keynote on international schooling. We can provide more details later, so stay tuned.

For now, check out our static home site at Education Industry Investment Forum to download the brochure.

We will be adding more information about Mr. Whittle soon.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

TeamEDU Acquires Piccolo International University

It must be the magic of this Education Industry Investment Forum brand. Another speaker writes in to inform of us of good news in his company. This news is about a very recent school purchase

Steve Cooper, CEO of TeamEDU, tells us that he has just purchased the Piccolo International University division of Piccolo Education Systems, Inc., helmed by Laura Palmer-Noone. He sent along a press release.

Piccolo Education Systems announces the sale of its Piccolo International University division here.

Here's a clip from the press release:

Capstone Partners LLC, the investment banking firm that assisted Piccolo in the transaction, has also been retained by the company to secure growth capital and pursue strategic acquisition opportunities. Presently, Piccolo and Capstone are in advanced discussions with various investor groups related to a significant growth investment, a portion of which will help fund an acquisition currently under preliminary agreement.

"This transaction will allow us to focus our resources on larger scale growth initiatives. In turn, acquiring additional educational institutions, or operating as a management overlay to an existing organization, will expedite our core goal of operating an accredited institution of higher learning," said Laura Palmer Noone, president and chief executive officer of Piccolo Educational Systems. "We are seeing excellent opportunities in the post secondary education sector and believe our planned business model, supported by our deep management expertise, will represent a compelling educational offering for students worldwide."

Laura Palmer-Noone is also a speaker at the Education Industry Investment Forum.

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Rob Crawford, CEO, Life Development Institute Invited to Qatar

I received this email from Rob Crawford, CEO, Life Development Institute. Hew was selected as a finalist for the WISE awards, sponsored by the Government of Qatar. He didn't win the award, but he was selected to attend the forum in Doha. We say kudos to him. It's a great moment for him, as he explains below.

LDI was selected as a laureate finalist in Pluralism for the WISE awards, and I say thank you again to the many of you sending expressions of support and good luck.

While not being one of the two awarded this honor, I have been asked to this "invitation only" forum representing a voice of innovation, inclusion, and change for people with disabilities for this international event. There are two breakout sessions specifically focusing on planning a global educational future for the 750 million people identified with disabilities by the World Health Organization. The program and invited participants can be found at the link in the cover letter above.

It is a great tribute to our program and collaborative community partners to be able to contribute to this international dialogue. I am but one voice calling attention to the needs of those we serve as well as to the many more without a voice who have little to look forward to or hope for change.

If you are so inclined, please send me an email or phone call with specific questions or ideas that can be shared at this event as it concerns the movement to improve the quality of life for people with learning and neuro-diveristy issues.

Congratulations, Rob. We look forward to seeing you at the Education Industry Investment ForumMarch 1-3, 2010 in Phoenix.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Education Companies for the BankNote Building

To attract education companies, the BankNote building will build a campus.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How I Work

This is an illuminating article about how the founder of 37signals Jason Fried works.

Key takeaway:

I usually get to work between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Of the 16 people at the company, eight of us live here in Chicago. Employees come to the office if and when they feel like it, or else they work from home. I don't believe in the 40-hour workweek, so we cut all that BS about being somewhere for a certain number of hours. I have no idea how many hours my employees work -- I just know they get the work done.

I spend most of my day writing. I write everything on our website. Communicating clearly is my top priority. Web writing is terrible, and corporate sites are the worst. You don't know what they do, who they are, or what they stand for. I spend a lot of time taking a sentence and reworking it until it's perfect. I love the editing process.

Our blog has more than 100,000 readers, but I don't post every day. I write when I have something specific to say. I recently wrote a scathing piece on the tech media. It really bothers me that the definition of success has changed from profits to followers, friends, and feed count. This crap doesn't mean anything. Kids are coming out of school thinking, I want to start the next YouTube or Facebook. If a restaurant served more food than everybody else but lost money on every diner, would it be successful? No. But on the Internet, for some reason, if you have more users than everyone else, you're successful. No, you're not.

Truth. Being spoken.

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PS22 Is Singing a Song from The Cure

Pictures of You

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Claude Levi Strauss Dies, Father of Modern Anthropology Study

Via BoingBoing, which pastes this glorious quote below the video on their site, which I will also post here.

"Among the more striking conclusions of his work was the idea that there is no fundamental difference between the belief systems and myths of so-called 'primitive' races and those of modern western societies."

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Lunch: Tofu Koans

You can follow us on Twitter, where during lunch I often spout off tofu-induced koans about reality, learning, education and imagination.

Seriously, something about a good Thai food dish sends me back to Thailand, and then thinking about reality in the way that Buddhists might. Questioning the assumption that what I am experiencing is actually real, and what more can be made of that, once it is understood that illusion has a way of seeming real.


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Women NOT Making Money: Addressing a Need

This entry was written by Myra Sawyers, former teacher, current founder of the EPIC Project

When it comes down to it, "doing what you love" is a wonderful motivator for career choices and entry, but this pursuit of a good quality of life issue is more than just choosing a career that is the hallmark of your passion. The most important factor is wanting a salary that is commensurate with your experience, your value and your talent. As Myra Sawyers writes in today's blog entry about women in the workforce, many women are being left out of the salary equation.

Many years ago, I left a job as an aide on Capitol Hill to go into teaching. Many people thought I was crazy, but I was doing what I really wanted to do. I knew what the challenges were going to be, but I was ready for them. Or so I thought. Finally after 4 years of teaching, I left. Sure there were personal reasons, but I knew I was ready to move on. I knew there were other things I could do that would provide me with greater flexibility and pay more.

My passion is teaching. Many choose teaching because they, too have the same passion; however, divert from it because they do not want to deal with the monumental challenges and not be compensated for it. The salaries of teachers have been and continue to be the lowest of any profession requiring the same amount of education and having a high level of responsibility.

Are deeper issues at play here? Is there a greater social truth hidden in the teaching profession that we are ignoring?

Yes, I think so and it is, women professions don't pay!

Here are some interesting tidbits:

Women in life sciences are paid 1/3 less.

A look at world levels of teaching salaries

There still seems to be a belief in this country that professions that are predominantly women, (76% of teachers are women) are not primary incomes; that most women work for "extra" money and that their husbands are the primary bread winners.

This is not true. Currently, 40% of women who work, are the primary income earners in their household. In teaching, the average salary of a teacher in $31,000, but the average salary of a principal is $75,000 (80% of principals are males). Sure, one could argue principals have to work all year (teachers have summers off) and they have more responsibility. That is the perception, but there is very little truth to it. I know. I also suspect, there is a gender "worthiness" problem. Do women in "women professions" think they deserve to make six figures? Why don't they negotiate higher salaries? Currently, there are actually efforts to change this. Teachers making $125,000 with a bonus. Why not? Why should principals make more?

With the recession, there are many "movements" to help women go back to work, and apparently, money is the number one driver for women, career-wise. Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin, graduates of Harvard Business School and authors of Back on The Career Track have developed iRelaunch, which provides career re-entry programs to moms who want to enter back into the workforce. It will be interesting to see how many choose to enter teaching. Will this new wave of women challenge the system to take their work seriously?

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