It’s Everyone’s Job to be a “Job Creator”

I am tired of hearing about jobs programs and job creators. There is something in these terms that implies that there is a small, elite group of people who serve as the job creators, while everyone else prepares for and competes to work for these people and their jobs. In my opinion, that is a deeply flawed view of what makes the American economy great. America became great because everyone has the potential to be a job creator. What we are doing in our Tracy Learning Center (TLC) program is creating a new generation of job creators, not just workers. But frequently, when I tell people about what a great impact the TLC program is having on its students, people look at just their academic performance numbers to validate my claim. Our students do very well academically, but that is only a small part of the overall impact of the program.

To use an analogy; life is like building a house. TLC provides an education that prepares the person to be able to build the whole house, and even be the developer who builds the community. A traditional school focuses only on teaching students how to drive a nail. Clearly our students will be able to drive a nail, and remarkably, they will do it very well. So, if getting a job means being able to drive a nail, we’re good. But we’re much more than good.

Students in our program are taught how to get a job. But they are also taught how to start a company. The career program includes a unit where they work in small teams and have to take an idea and build a business around it. In other courses, TLC students work in small teams solving problems. Tis model of learning ensures that they master the traditional academic content, but it also does much more than that. As a result of their team problem-solving approach, the students learn a broad assortment of high performance skills such as teamwork, communications, problem-solving, researching, creativity, responsibility, reliability, innovation, planning, etc. Our program gives students the confidence and skills to create their own jobs, and potentially jobs for other as well. Every student coming out of school has to feel like he or she is a job creator, not just a worker. The TLC model does that very well.

On one of my trips to the school, I happened to be there on the same day that one of their graduates had chosen to return and thank the school for what it had done for him. He had transferred to the TLC as a high school student because he was having all kinds of problems in his old school – not just academically, but behaviorally and even problems with substance abuse (possibly including dealing drugs to other students). He had come back to the school that day to thank the teachers for not giving up on him and to tell the next generation of students to listen to the teachers because they care and they are right.

A couple of years earlier, he was coming to the end of his senior year and because he lacked the credits to earn a diploma was not going to graduate. As a result of the work with his teachers at the TLC, he realized how important getting the diploma was, so he asked for permission to spend another semester at the school to earn the diploma. Permission was granted, and he did earn it. He worked with the teachers and counselors, wrote letters, and got scholarships that allowed him to attend a local vocational school to learn the HVAC trades. He now has a job in the field, is seeking additional scholarships to further his education, and is already planning to start his own business. All of this success was directly related to the program and teachers at the TLC.

At the other end of the spectrum, I should also mention the story of the young female student who earned her associates degree at the local college while attending the TLC and then enrolled at UC Berkeley as a junior the fall following her high school graduation.

These are just two examples. If you take the time to sit down and talk with virtually any student at the school, you will hear some variation of these stories. The program reaches every student in some individual way. It gives them the knowledge and skills to be successful. But more importantly, it gives them the self-confidence to try.

The Power of US Foundation


The Power of US Foundation is a grassroots organization focused on growing support for transforming America’s K-12 public schools from their traditional teacher-centered model to a new student-centered model that customizes education for every child and in parallel with that effort, to improve educational and digital equity across all demographics.


The Power Of US Foundation, connects teachers, parents, educational communities, business leaders, and government representatives across K-12 who share our goal to create transformation in education with powerful information and collaborative ideas.


To achieve this goal of transformation we are engaged in a number of related programs.

  • Website – We are building a website that will serve as the central clearinghouse for a wide range of research and communications activities.
  • Blogs – establishing communities of interest and providing a virtual place for exchanging ideas and organizing activities.
  • Research – Collecting, cataloging and posting links to relevant research, publications, and reports.
  • Communications – providing a means for people to be kept informed of events and information in which they have expressed an interest.
  • Relationships – There is a wide assortment of interest groups that are working separately on specific components of the larger problems of educational quality and digital equity.  Our plan is to work with them, identify those areas of common interest and assist them in sharing resources where appropriate.
  • Resources –
  • We gather examples of what powerful ideas are needed to transform schools, and then educate communities as to what they can do by example.
  • We are building relationships with a broad spectrum of individuals and organizations that have developed or are developing student-centered educational resources in all disciplines across the curriculum.  We will then provide annotated links to these resources so they gain greater use and impact.  One of these relationships will ensure that all of the resources are integrated into the Discovery Learning System curriculum.
  • Digital Equity – We see the pursuit of digital equity, social justice and an ability to use the new technologies as a new civil rights issue.  Because simply having access to technology does not fix the problem, we are working to fuse the digital and educational equity issues into a single effort.
  • Conferences and workshops – We provide informational presentations and chair panel discussions at major educational, technical, and digital equity events and conferences.
  • Program planning – We initiate and participate in grassroots initiatives to promote change. We participate in formal and informal conferences, forums, and initiatives to gather ideas, information, and innovation.  For those people on the digital dark side of the road or those without proper connectivity, we provide examples, ideas, and information about funding sources.

Most school teachers work largely in isolation from their peers, and many interact with their colleagues only for a few moments each day. In contrast, most other professionals collaborate, exchange information, and develop new skills on a daily basis. Teachers in disadvantaged communities are often in the classroom where the bell and the loudspeaker or PA system may be the most significant technology they see/hear all day.  In many schools the cellphone is forbidden and the Internet, even if accessible, is not a given 24/7 opportunity. We provide new models and examples of teacher communications and collaboration.


The way public education is funded through local property tax assessment results in enormous resource inequities among and between communities.  Providing for equality of educational opportunity at racially isolated, disadvantaged, distant, and rural schools continues to be an important area of concern for educational policy makers. Quality teachers are essential to promoting equal opportunity and for broadening engagement .There are examples of excellence that are shared, shown and talked about that escape even the schools that are connected.  Our programs will give these exemplary programs wider visibility for emulation and adoption.  We are working to provide support for the under-resourced schools and districts to write grants, be involved in the conferences, or to conquer the other factors of their digital divide. We participate at many levels to provide examples of grassroots initiatives, toolkits and professionals to start the conversation, and to create transformational educational landscapes.


Support – We donate most of the intellectual energy required for pursuing our goals.  Living in Washington DC allows us to be involved and influential in a number of important programs, but we rely upon outside support for covering the cost of travel and participation in the many relevant conferences and events.



Bonnie Bracey Sutton, Executive Director.


Rivers to the Sea.. How do you know about Oceans ??NOAA has resources for you!!

In thinking about digital equity, we try to understand what resources are available for teachers, students and community that are the very best.

. The Department. of Commerce has outreach programs and games, and recently there is a report that has invaluable information for use in the classroom. In times of economic difficulty the Digital Equity SIG, and those of us working in Supercomputing , Broadening Engagement would like to share resources to bring education into the future. THe power of us, is that we can transform education by using new practices.
There are embedded links for those who can access them. What we love to do is to show you supercomputing that you probably don’t know you use. 

How do your Students See the Sea and learn Ocean Literacy?

Thinking About Oceanography, NOAA, Updates on Marine Life

I hope for your help to explore and protect the wild ocean in ways that will restore the health and, in so doing, secure hope for humankind. Health to the ocean means health for us. Sylvia Earle

Place Learning , Museums and Aquariums, Other resources

The Smithsonian has a wonderful exhibit in the Sant Hall using wonderful computational resources. Here are my Iphone photos of transformational ways of teaching and learning from that site.

The Dept of Commerce Science on Sphere is so compelling that students often sit through the demonstrations and seem to be mesmerized. Adults too find the use of digital media an easy way to learn complex information. Thanks to computational science we can teach in new ways. Teaching earth science and geography is enhanced by digital media.

The power of us is to use transformational resources and ideas that change the way in which we teach and learn. The education director of the Dept of Commerce talked about the fact that we often teach with textbooks with ten year old information when people working in Outreach may be serving students with ten days old research. Breaking the silos with the use of project based work, or partnership learning is powerful .



NOAA is one of many agencies, institutions, and organizations working to improve the nation’s science literacy and technical workforce. To understand its role in education it is critical to understand the major players in the system and the role of the federal government in the education system. This section outlines the roles of various entities in the K-12, higher, and informal education systems.
K-12 Education

The responsibility for public education is not specified in the U.S. Constitution; hence, individual states have the right and responsibility for K-12 public education. Schools, school administrators, and teachers are held accountable within their state system. Federal agencies and nonprofit and private-sector organizations can offer advice, materials, training, funding, and other support.


The national need to educate the public about the ocean, coastal resources, atmosphere, and climate and to support workforce development in related fields is well established. 

The source of the last two paragraphs and the whole report is here. You can download or purchase the report here.

John W. Farrington and Michael A. Feder,
Editors; Committee for the Review of the NOAA Education Program; National Research Council
Authoring Organizations

There is a national need to educate the public about the ocean, coastal resources, atmosphere and climate. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the agency responsible for understanding and predicting changes in the Earth’s environment and conserving

You may not think of the powerful resources that help us to visualize and image the collected knowledge that we have. Supercomputing , and computational resources enrich our learning resources.

Tranforming Education
All rivers, even the most dazzling, those that catch the sun in their course, all rivers go down to the ocean and drown. And life awaits man as the sea awaits the river.
Simone Schwarz-Bart

There was a recent Census of Marine Life
( Data Mining )
Earlier this month, a consortium of the worlds leading marine scientists released the first ever, Census of Marine Life.  This Census is the result of a decade long effort to assess the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life.

The Census efforts lead to the discovery of more than 6,000 new species, yet scientists estimate that we still are only scratching the surface. The current catalog of ocean species contains nearly 250,00 species but the estimate, derived through extrapolations, is that the oceans likely contain more than a million.
The Census is an unprecedented snapshot in time that will not only benefit scientists but will serve to educate the masses and help raise awareness about the perils the oceans face today. There has been a census of Marine Life There is a treasure trove of resources at the previous URL.
There is an abundance of projects available for teacher and student use in both of the resources.

NOAA resources shared.

Education Program