There are literally hundreds (thousands?) of creative people in communities throughout our state taking a leadership role by sticking their neck out to instigate positive change. To honor their work and to honor the work of specific individuals who have earned our respect and admiration for their creative accomplishments, the Create WV team launched the first "Creative Cone" awards on the last day of the conference.
Why a "creative cone"? Because we're all working in creative communities "under construction." Some communities are a little further down their path, but we're all at various stages.
Please join us in celebrating the work of this year's honorees:
Jeanne Mozier,Berkeley Springs - We're not sure it's possible to think of Berkeley Springs without thinking of Jeanne. She's the entrepreneurial heart and soul behind the creative power of this little town in Morgan County who has earned multiple "top arts town" designations and is the first certified arts community in West Virginia.
Keith Pauley, Charleston - Keith is the CEO of MATRIC, the research non-profit launched in 2004 that has put the Kanawha Valley on the R&D map again by putting Ph.D.'s back to work in the Kanawha Valley. Under Keith's leadership, MATRIC has hired dozens of new highly-paid researchers and spawned new commercial companies from their work.
Marlon LeBlanc and Jason Staples, Morgantown - OneWVU arose, according to Sharon Mallow, program coordinator for the
President’s Office for Social Justice, after an incident occurred at the
University in which a student athlete was called a racial slur. WVU soccer coach Marlon LeBlanc has been a founding visionary leader for the initiative, and Jason Staples a key leader in delivering tangible efforts to build awareness and commitment to diversity at West Virginia's flagship university. Reverend Matthew Watts and Reverend Ron English, Charleston - West Virginia has had its share of ugly incidents and bad PR in the past year that forced us to ask many difficult questions to confront both our public image and our personal commitments. Luckily, we have two long-time civil rights and community champions working in Charleston who have helped build connections, share balanced insights via the media, and championed the urgent need for the Kanawha Valley and all of West Virginia to value its citizens from all ethnic, racial, and age backgrounds. Their accomplishments are too numerous to name, but their impact is felt across many realms such as mentoring youth, creating job opportunities and building diversity leadership.
Dr. Stephen Kopp, Huntington - Dr. Kopp is a champion of building creative communities in West Virginia through 21st century education, technology and research. Under his leadership, Marshall University has aggressively launched their implementation of "Bucks for Brains" and personally participated in the Create Huntington initiative. Dr. Kopp is a passionate, shining example of how leaders in our state can lead us into the new economy and greater prosperity.
As we mentioned earlier, there are many, many folks doing fantastic creative work throughout the states. But we thank the honorees above for their examples of leadership and creative problem-solving in our great state. Thank you to all of them for their leadership!
As we get set to launch the Create WV 2008 Conference today, we asked ourselves "Has there been any impact on West Virginia in the past 12 months? Do we see tangible progress towards building the New Economy?"
We asked in a survey "Is your community actively including key pillars of building creative communities for the new economy in your local growth and development plans?" And here's what you said:
We're actively infusing new economy thinking into our plans - 33%
We're just getting started, but we're committed - 38%
Not sure - 5%
Not yet - It's not well understood, but we're open to the possibility - 14%
Not at all - It's not understood or accepted in our area - 10%
That's pretty good momentum. We also asked you to help us build a list of what's going on out there. And boy did we come away feeling excited! Here are just a FEW of the highlights from the last 12 months:
QUALITY OF PLACE
Community Development Hub launched
40% increase in total arts funding in West Virginia
Create Huntington and the Old Main Corridor Project
WV Music Hall of Fame launched
Chuck Mathena Center in Princeton opened
Gary Bowling's House of Art opened in Bluefied
Clay Center Community Arts Programs in Mingo, Logan, Kanawha, Lincoln, Clay
30th Anniversary of the Morgan Arts Council!
American Mountain Theater opened in Elkins
Pocahontas County Artisan Co-Op and Opera House
Charleston's East End Wi-Fi program launch
Diversity Leadership Academy and Communities United Against Hate forums in Charleston
One WVU Campaign
Five Inclusive Communities program members in WV: Morgantown, Parkersburg, Clarksburg, Huntington, Ranson
"Communities in Schools" in Greenbrier County
TECHNOLOGY and R&D
Bucks for Brains and Bucks for Jobs program passes
NETL Tech Support Facility in Morgantown
CWP Inc - Fossil fuels research partnership with WVU, Carnegie Mellon and Pitt
Statewide broadband plan revealed
Robert C. Byrd Science and Tech Center at Marshall
Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research launched
MATRIC expansion in South Charleston
Tech Connect WV reveals Blueprint for Tech-Based Economic Development
State support for SBIR grants
Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute
WV Angel Investor Network
EDUCATION AND TALENT
21st Century Learning Initiative by WV Dept of Education
Center for Educational Technology at Wheeling Jesuit
STEM initiative at Marshall University
Come Home to WV campaign by WV Dept of Commerce
Globaloria program - learning via online gaming
We know there are more, so please take the 5-10 minute survey to let us know what is going on in your community! There is nothing better to build momentum in our state than to share the progress that is happening in every county.
One the eve of the CreateWV conference, I want to close out my discussion of the book, Disrupting Class, with a simple, but profound statement made by Dr. Johnson, the book's co-author, the last time I sat down with him in person - "CreateWV is all about creating something that is not there."
Public education, if it is to be effective and relevant in the 21st Century, will not resemble what it is today. Disrupting Class makes a compelling argument that public education's long-term survival requires a "separate space" in order to execute innovative strategies in school and schooling.
"This process will require taking into account of certain realities that are now obvious. It is obvious the existing arrangement of public education does create obstacles to improvement. It is obvious that state policy leadership does not have to be constrained by existing arrangements. It is obvious that policy could make it possible to start schools new as well as to change existing schools. It is obviously possible to create professional communities of teachers that exist, legally, and for these collegial groups to be given responsibility for the success of the school or department. It is obvious that the information revolution represented by the internet and the world-wide web creates the potential to individualize and personalize learning, and that this will make it necessary to change the old notion of 'instruction'...
Nothing is as encouraging as the fact that all these things are necessary. Things that are necessary tend to happen....
To do what is necessary we will need to expand the current theory of action...state policy leadership needs to break out of present arrangements, needs to move agressively to create an open sector in public education in which new entities are creating new schools that motivate students to work hard and to do well. These students will need to be open to new technologies, open to the desire of students to individualize and personalize their education, open to radically different uses of the year and the day and open at last to leadership roles for professional teachers." (Creating the Capacity for Change, How and Why Governors and Legislatures Are Opening a New Schools Sector in Public Education, Ted Kolderie, p. 183-184)
Things that are necessary tend to happen. So it will be in your community. See you at the conference.
Trade Tech High is a prototype for career technical education across the United States. "No longer will students have to choose between 'college prep' or 'career prep' as Trade Tech provides the opportunity to earn college credit, participate in work-based internships, and begin an accelerated apprenticeship program." View their operating model:
It is all about student and teacher motivation and that should be at the core of any learning opportunity.
The Education Track this year is a chance to hear from individuals who have been involved in these discussions across the country and can help our state start the conversation now.
After learning about some of the different schools and schooling that is occuring right now in other states, do you believe that creating an opportunity in WV for these types of schools to emerge is a fight worth fighting?
That will be the topic of my last post before the conference, the connection between this conversation and creative communities.
“The Big Picture Company believes that schools must be personalized, educating every student equally, ONE STUDENT AT A TIME. Each student’s learning plan should grow out of his or her unique needs, interests, and passions.”
New Tech's mission is to re-invent teaching and learning for the 21 st Century by offering a proven model and a fully integrated suite of tools designed to facilitate the creation and management of a relevant and engaging 21st Century education.
New Tech Foundation is a 501c(3) that helps schools change to this model.This is perfect example of how a different learning model will be made available to public education and supported by a network of educators and students, what Disrupting Class called “facilitated user networks”.
As with most all change, leaders can run into frustrating resistance from many angles: those with vested interests in the old ways, those with unpleasant past experiences with change, and those who just don't understand or buy into things as quickly as others.
Mastery of core subjects and 21st century themes is essential for students in the 21st century. Core subjects include English, reading or language arts, world languages, arts, mathematics, economics,science, geography, history, government and civics.
We believe schools must move beyond a focus on basic competency in core subjects to promoting understanding of academic content at much higher levels by weaving 21st century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects:
• Global Awareness • Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurial Literacy • Civic Literacy
Not surprisingly, some parents have concerns, such as this situation in Putnam County. It is important for all leaders who are promoting, or being asked to accept, 21st Century Learning models to fully understand the rational. Our education leaders at the community level must be able to proactively communicate the changes to parents who often scratch their heads at some of the "new stuff" coming at their kids.
We are very excited about the "Education and Talent" track at the Create WV Conference coming up Oct 20-22 at Snowshoe Resort. We hope you will take the time to personally invite your board of education and superintendent of schools to attend. It will be a great opportunity for learning, sharing and dialogue towards a West Virginia that can lead the nation and compete globally with kids prepared for the 21st Century marketplace.
"School reformers have repeatedly tried to bash the system and confront it head-on. A major lesson from our studies of innovation is that disruptive innovation does not take root through a direct attack on the existing system. Instead, it must go around and underneath the system. This is how disruption drives affordability, accessibility, capability, and responsiveness."
"When the task simply is to improve individual components, the organizational structure facilitates these improvements. But when a system needs to be fundamentally reconfigured (and that is what we have been talking about in Chapters 1-7), an organization's compartmentalized structure impedes the work it must do.. they often need to use the tool of separation."
Functional teams work on the "simplest category of improvement, a functional or departmental problem that occurs at the component level within a product or at an individual step within a process."
Lightweight teams handle a project that has "a predictable interdependence between groups...to ensure that their work fits together" across multiple units.
"When the architecture of a product or process needs to change, however, unpredictable interdependencies often arise...to address these challenges, organizations must create heavyweight teams."
"Schools are built on functional and lightweight teams.....Only heavyweight teams can functionally redesign schools."
The tool of separation is "a space where heavyweight teams can have the power and the authority to rethink the architecture...Though the specifics of how and where they (heaveyweight teams)are implemented might differ, the principles that underlie them do not...Architectural change requires a heavyweight team. We are not engaged in an effort to find a single best architecture that fits all students. We need 'If.... , then...' statements: We must define school architectures that work best for teachers and students in specific situations...the definitions of those situations is just beginning..."
This is where the connection between CreateWV and Disrupting Class becomes very visible. There are "definitions of these situations" in communities across our state right now that need "heavyweight teams". Situations include: teacher compensation, teacher shortages, where/when school occurs, seamless curriculm, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Academies, community schools, early education and 21st Century Learning to name a few.
In the future, I will be posting some examples of different "school architectures" for your review.