This afternoon in Washington, DC, people who are instrumental to the conversations around education reform in this country—including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, Tennessee’s own Governor Phil Bredesen, and neighboring Kentucky Education Commissioner, Terry Holliday—will gather to talk about the imperative of implementing and using data effectively to change student learning for the better. I am referring to the Data Quality Campaign’s “Day of Data,” during which we highlight the annual progress of the states in implementing longitudinal data systems to improve student learning and set the agenda for the coming year.
You may have noted in my title my reference to “sparkly people”—this in no way has anything to do with the Twilight saga. Sparkly people, like Duncan, Rhee, Bredesen, and Holliday are those who get people’s attention; they galvanize people—move them to action, to excitement, perhaps even to anger.I'm delighted to see Dr. Holliday as a marquee name, and even more delighted by McMahon's closing push to broaden data engagement:
These days anyone can be part of the changing conversations around data and education in their state, and the country as a whole. You don’t have to be sparkly—just willing to nag, ask questions, push back, and beg for more—to help effect change. Of course, the more you do that, the more people will pay attention . . . and eventually you might just be sparkly too!I may never give another presentation in Kentucky without that quote!
[Hat tip: Myrdin Thompson]