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 Response Page - C. Johnson  Interview -      

These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Curt Johnson Interview of

The Questions:

On a scale of (0) most disagreement , to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is your view on the following:

1.  _8.5 average response_____  Technology-aided learning is producing a major shift in how education takes place: from classroom-based standardized teaching  to individually-based personalized learning. 

2.  _9.9 average response_____  Schools and colleges will be unable to stop the movement.

3.  _8.8 average response_____  As a consequence high schools and  two- and four-year colleges will undergo fundamental changes in their structures. 

4.  _2.9 average response_____  The Christensen-Johnson commentary is overstated.  Education is not undergoing massive change.  Perhaps some efficiencies and a few tweaks, but nothing major.

Roger Heegaard (9) (10) (9) (1)

Malcolm McLean (6) (9) (8) (4)

I have heard Curt talk on many occasions.  He is a brilliant, original and stimulating thinker.   Hence, I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt when he announces a new (to me) idea.  I agree that there is a great need to change and maybe a lot.  More IT is the way to go.  It probably is.  There is, though, another truth which is that the essential center of educational success is competent, motivated teachers who will not stop in their restless desire to see their students improve.  I am not sure how to join Curt's message with that insight.  Perhaps a combination of both.  And I certainly agree that the question is urgent. 

I have volunteered for many years in the first grade of what is now the Wellstone Elementary School in downtown St. Paul.  I see highly gifted students from all ethnic and class elements - although Wellstone is an overwhelmingly low-income school.  But I also see too many kids who do not get the help they need at home  and need desperately at least one or more caring adults who take an active, almost daily interest in what is happening with the child's education..  Those break your heart.  How the IT emphasis would work with them is not quite clear to me but maybe more "disruption" would be useful.

Bob White (10) (10) (8) (2)

John Adams (10) (10) (10) (0)

Rick Bishop (10) (10) (10) (8)

It needs to undergo massive change, however not in this vein.  Please refer to the work/writings of John Taylor Gatto.

Tom Abeles (5) (10) (5) (8)

M of those who focus the Christensen model on K-12 schools neglect to include the universities in general and the Colleges/depts/schools of education in particular. They tend to see the universities maintaining their structures and just changing their content for teachers in the K-12 schools and the schools themselves. In point of fact,  one fundamental resistance to change rests with the fact that the universities are reluctant to change and can resist unless Washington and the State which make the K-12 schools have performance based measures also apply this same standard to the universities.

Rick Krueger (8) (10) (10) (0)

If you want to do a follow-up on this topic, my brother Keith is considered one of the top experts in the world on technology and education.  Although he lives in DC he is still a Minnesotan at heart. About a year or so ago he was listed in Electronic Learning Magazine as one of the top 10 most influential people in the U.S. on technology and education.  He has been interviewed on NPR and CNN on the topic and the Wall Street Journal.  He heads  the Consortium on School Networking which identifies and promotes best practices in technology education.  He speaks at all sorts of national and even some international events.  If there is any interest, I am willing to bet I can get him to one of your sessions Ė but you canít pay him more than you paid me a few years ago when I was heading the Transportation Alliance ($0). 

Another thing worth mentioning is that Bill Norris at Control Data back in the late 60s or early 70s had envisioned what he called computer aided instruction and computer aided management of that instruction.  When I served in the legislature, Bill sent me some of his writings and thoughts on this topic.  He truly was a visionary.   He ultimately created the PLATO system that did much of what he envisioned.  However, he put it on a mainframe computer platform at a time when things were moving towards the PC (personal computer).  But no one should doubt that Bill basically had the concept right decades before others even were thinking about it.

Bert LeMunyon (10) (10) (10) (0)

Question 2:  Unions may try to slow it down.


The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political persuasions, reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

   Verne C. Johnson, chair;  David Broden, Charles Clay, Marianne Curry, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  Marina Lyon, Joe Mansky, John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  and Wayne Popham 

The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
8301 Creekside Circle #920,   Bloomington, MN 55437.
Verne C. Johnson, chair, 952-835-4549,       Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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