I will post a longer article based on my interview with Merryl Tisch, Chancellor, New York State Education Board, Board of Regents in a few days.

Here are some of her quotes:

Q: What is your vision for online education and technology innovation within mainstream education in the next decade?

Tisch: I truly believe that right now we are woefully behind in terms of our ability to engage students with technology and the competencies that have moved businesses forward. There is a world of possiblity out there that we have not engaged in and I think we are going to focus on this. I am very hopeful that over the next decade the opportunities for youngsters in the US will expand exponentially.

Q: What’s the best role for government-related bodies to promote innovation?

Tisch: First, we have to preapare school districts across the state to start to think about this.

There is an enourmous gap in the ability of school disticts to enage in these types of things. The state ed department can become, if well thought out, a resource for districts to come to us on how to develop manage and maintain these types of programs.

There is some negotiation that need to take place … issues of seat time, these are issues we have to sort out with the teacher’s union. What the state will look at to accredit a course. Those are all very significant issues that need to be thought out.

There are districts that are not equipped to be able to think about these issues and the potential for these types of opportunities. That’s what it means to me. That’s where state ed departments can really be helpful.

We have leadership in New York that I believe will embrace these capacities. I’m talking about the new comissioner David Steiner. I also believe in a large school district like New York City, where they have programs like School for One, they are showing a deep commitment to exploring these technologies. I think there is a lot of synergy.

Q: What is your assessment of how the debate will play out in the next year or two?

Tisch: There are a lot of people that need to come to the table. I believe that haranguing people or double crossing people is not politic and it is not a way to create good social policy. I believe education at the heart of it is good social policy, because I believe good public schools make for a great society.

There is going to have to be significant converstation in terms of making this happen in the state.

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