Racing to the top in Baton Rouge

Duncan’s Race to the Top is not simply a race to beat out other states for funding, or to pass “qualifying” language at the last minute, it is a competition to see who can work collaboratively and innovatively with real commitment to education reform.   The challenge is so great that no amount of money is going to “fix education” but RttT can promote behavior–cooperation, innovation, entrepreneurship –that over time will make a big difference.
VA/R isn’t just a public affairs firm–we’re an advocacy shop.  We only work with organizations committed to real reform–personalized performance-based public education.  A good example of that is Advance Innovative Education in Baton Rouge.  They run statewide alternative certification programs for teachers and leaders and lead important innovation projects.  This year they worked with BP and LSU to design two innovative new high schools that focus on science and technology and blend online learning with onsite application.  This project exemplifies what the Race is all about.  Read CEO Kristy Hebert’s op-ed to learn more.

Tom - Speaking Engagements

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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