ECS gives out an annual lifetime achievement award named after James B Conant (the guy who chaired the commission that standardized high school courses and credits).  A friend (and previous winner) asked if it was time to give the award to learning technology or someone associated with technology.  I told him I’d be reluctant to give an award to a particular technology but would consider folks behind it.

Following is a quick and far from conclusive list of  folks that deserve a Conant Award but haven’t yet won:

  • Jim Hunt given his central leadership to national college/career ready standards
  • Joel Klein made big contributions to portfolio strategy with an emphasis on innovation in NYC
  • Joel Rose, thru School of One (now Next Classrooms) advanced the idea of a customized playlist
  • Steve Jobs for the mobile learning disruption we’re experiencing
  • Jeb Bush for advancing data driven accountability
  • Marjorie Scardino for leading the start of a big transition
  • Barbara Dreyer and Ron Packard for expanding online opportunity
  • Allan Olson for building adaptive assessment powerhouse NWEA
  • Sal Khan is making big contributions to the tools and understanding of competency-based learning
  • Doug Thomas, Dennis Littky, and Elliott Washor for beginning to undo what Conant did to secondary schools
 Who else belongs on the list?


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