Michelle Rhee gives Olin Lecture on public education reform

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    Michelle Rhee Flunks Bill Mahers Test


    Once again, comedians like Maher, Stewart and Colbert seemed to be able to peel away the veneer of the rightwing's propaganda apparatus. Watch as Bill Maher dissects education agitator Michelle Rhee, March 15, 2013.

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    Public education -- are we under, over or just misspending? Michelle Rhee at TEDxWallStreet


    Michelle began her career as a Teach for America corps member in Baltimore. In 1997, Michelle founded and led The New Teacher Project, which recruits and trains teachers to work in urban schools. From 2007 to 2010, Michelle served as chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools. Under her stewardship, D.C. schools experienced increases in student achievement, a rise in graduation rates and an upswing — for the first time in decades — in enrollment. Working in education over the past twenty years, time after time I saw obstacles keeping kids from getting what they needed from their schools. Yes, there were challenges that were going to be difficult to overcome no matter what, but so many practices just didn't make sense and were completely within our power to change. When I tried to change them, I found out why the status quo had persisted for so long. Groups that put the interests of adults in the system first were driving the conversation, and they were backed by big dollars and political power. What we needed was a collective voice solely representing kids' best interests, because the sense of balance was completely gone. I started StudentsFirst to change that. Schools exist to give kids the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed, and EVERY decision has to revolve around that.

    More information at

    About TEDx, x = independently organized event:

    In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.*

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    Michelle Rhee: Lead from the Front


    Education activist Michelle Rhee offered three pieces of advice to students and stressed the importance of public education, great teachers, and advocating for kids. Rhee is the former chancellor of Washington, DC public schools and founder and CEO of StudentsFirst.

    Rhee spoke at Stanford Graduate School of Business as part of the View From The Top speaker series.

    More about the View From The Top speaker series:

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    The Importance of Education Reform


    President Obama speaks about the critical need for education reform and discusses what his Administration has done to raise standards and encourage excellence during a speech to the Urban League. July 29, 2010.

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    How to Change Education - Ken Robinson


    Sir Ken Robinson addresses the fundamental economic, cultural, social and personal purposes of education. He argues that education should be personalised to every student's talent, passion, and learning styles, and that creativity should be embedded in the culture of every single school.

    Chair: Matthew Taylor, RSA chief executive.
    Supported by Samsung Mobile

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    WASHINGTON WATCH: Michelle Rhee On Education Reform, Accountability In Schools, New Book Radical


    A report recently published by Harvard University found that students in Latvia, Chile and Brazil are making gains in academics three times faster than American students, while those in Portugal, Hong Kong, Germany, Poland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Colombia and Lithuania are improving at twice the rate. Unfortunately, African-American and poor students bear the brunt of the problems with America's educational system.

    Michelle Rhee is the founder of Students First, a political advocacy organization for education reform, and she believes part of the solution to the problem might be found in who's teaching our children.

    Subscribe to the Washington Watch Video Podcast on iTunes @

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    The real experts of education reform | Oliver Sicat | TEDxOrangeCoast


    This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Empower our students and teachers, who are closest to the problems of learning, to make decisions, says Oliver Sicat. In his talk, Oliver explains how students, teachers and parents are the key to really impacting the education reform, and the education of tomorrow.

    Oliver Sicat is the CEO of Ednovate, a personalized learning charter management organization founded in partnership with USC that is redesigning the American High School experience.

    Before that Oliver served as Chief Portfolio Officer within the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). As an executive cabinet member, he improved student achievement results for 403,000 students attending 675 schools.

    Oliver has also been a successful teacher, non-profit founder and charter school principal. In 2006, Oliver was named Teacher of the Year in the Boston Public Schools, and his non-profit, Emagine, was nationally recognized for its work preparing first-generation college students for college. He moved to Chicago to build a school for the Noble Network of Charter Schools, and under his leadership, it became the #1 non-selective school in Chicago in 2011 and remains #1 today.

    Oliver graduated from the University of Southern California and received his Masters degree from Harvard University

    About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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    The Education of Michelle Rhee Cheating Scandal


    FRONTLINE examines the legacy of Michelle Rhee, former Chancellor of Washington, D.C. public schools.

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    Dont Just Follow Your Passion: A Talk for Generation Y: Eunice Hii at TEDxTerryTalks 2012


    Eunice Hii, a recent graduate of the UBC Sauder School of Business, talks about the challenges of following your passion, especially as an individual who is, herself, part of the Generation Y, and viscerally aware of the many opinions that inform that term. Here, she suggests that one can still follow their passions, but with a number of important parameters in mind.

    November 3rd, 2012. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Filmed by Craig Ross: Video edited by David Ng

    In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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    Wendy Kopp: Answering Teach For Americas Critics


    Wendy Kopp, CEO and founder of Teach For America, believes that many critics of her organization are misinformed about the thoroughness of the program. Kopp is willing to put Teach For America's pre-service teacher training up against that of any other organization, and she believes their recruitment process constantly improves. Rather than being a band-aid to the education crisis, Kopp sees Teach For America as answering an urgent need that the nation can no longer wait to address.

    View more clips and share your comments at

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    Ravitch vs. Kopp I


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    Michelle Rhee


    DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee

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    An Education Agenda for the Next President


    Founder of StudentsFirst and former Chancellor of Washington D.C. Public Schools, Michelle Rhee joined Paul Reville, a professor of Practice of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, for a conversation about the future of education policy. She spoke regarding the prevalence of standardized testing, emphasizing that no education reformer considers standardized tests to be an exhaustive measure of a student’s ability. She continued that the teacher would always look beyond mere test scores to gauge a student’s ability, yet standardized tests do provide the initial value of comparing where students stand. Maggie Williams, Director of the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School, introduced the program.

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    Emily Luk: A Tiger Daughter Weighs In


    The Amy Chua Effect: What is it like being the child of Chinese immigrant parents in the Western world? A young Chinese-Canadian woman gives us her perspective.

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    Planning for school improvement


    This is a point of view about the failings of strategic planning in guiding school improvement and the advantages of 'emergent planning', which is an approach that focuses much more closely on improving student learning. It also differs from most strategic planning in that teachers are largely in control of their own learning. As the word emergent suggests, it is a responsive approach to planning with short timelines. Thanks are due to a bunch of Duplo people who gave their time for the visuals.

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    Education for opportunity: 3 ideas for American education reform


    Education reform has the potential to open incredible doors to opportunity. Yet despite unprecedented levels of public school funding, far too many students in America never enjoy the benefits that can result from a high-quality education.

    In his new book, “Education and Opportunity,” Michael Q. McShane proposes a market-based approach to revitalizing failing American schools — one that fosters innovation and encourages competition via school choice, education savings accounts, and charter schools. But as with any sector of the economy that moves from a public monopoly to market-led solutions, smart stabilization and support from other institutions are essential for making a decentralized school system effective.

    McShane lays out a compelling case for education reform that encourages wiser use of technology and a “marketplace of education options” that can help today’s students succeed in tomorrow’s economy

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    For More Information

    Partial transcript:
    Did you know that Americans without a high school diploma, compared to college graduates, are three times more likely to be unemployed, and even those with high school diplomas average fifty percent less in annual income than those with college degrees? But the gap between the educational “haves” and “have-nots” is vast and only growing wider.
    Take Jennifer, a fourth grader born into the poorest 20 percent. Without a college degree, she only has a 5 percent chance of reaching the top, compared to a 45 percent chance of staying in poverty. With a college degree, she’s more likely to make it to the top quintile than she is to remain in the bottom. A quality education makes an enormous difference.
    But it will be an uphill climb because Jennifer’s family will have fewer options for where she can attend school. Wealthier families can afford to live in better school districts or to pay for private schools. Jennifer can only hope the local public school is decent, or take her chances and try to get into a magnet school or a charter school.
    The truth is, our education system stacks the odds against the poorest children, like Jennifer. But here’s the thing: it’s not a spending problem. In inflation-adjusted terms, the average yearly spending per student from 1970 to today has more than doubled. Some of the cities in the United States with the most grinding poverty actually spend among the most per student. Since 1950, while the overall number of students has grown 96 percent, the total number of teachers and staff has grown 252 percent and a whopping 702 percent, respectively. Jobs are opening for Miss Penny and Principal Jones, but it’s not working for Jennifer.
    The problem with the American educational system remains just that—the system. The way we pay for, organize and regulate schools does not foster innovative and entrepreneurial solutions. School districts have become bloated bureaucracies that stifle creativity. It’s demoralizing, it’s dehumanizing, and it hurts kids like Jennifer. The good news? We can change it. There are three big steps we can take right now.

    American schools are failing: 3 ideas for education reform

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    Amy Chua: Tale of a Tiger Mother


    Amy Chua: Tale of a Tiger Mother

    Author, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother; John M. Duff Professor of Law, Yale Law School

    Anna W.M. Mok, Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP; Vice Chair, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors - Moderator

    Parenting in public is a gutsy move, and no one knows that better than Chua. The Yale Law School professor's 2011 memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, took an honest and often provocative look at the rewards -- and the costs -- of raising her children the strict Chinese way. Join us as best-selling author Chua talks about the parenting cultural divide, her struggles and aspirations as a parent, and what it really means to be a tiger mother.

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    Bill Gates on Education Reform


    Bill Gates spoke with Katie Couric on Obama's push for reform in the U.S. education system.

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    The Education of Michelle Rhee -- Cheating Scandal


    FRONTLINE's The Education of Michelle Rhee examines the legacy of the former Chancellor of Washington, D.C. public schools.

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    Why Teach For America Works - Michelle Rhee


    Complete video at:

    Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, shares some prominent moments in Teach For America and how they have affected her reform ideals. She describes her personal experience discovering and participating in the program.


    Transforming the System: An Interview with Michelle Rhee with Eli Broad. - Aspen Institute

    Michelle Rhee is chancellor of DC Public Schools, a district with 50,000 students and 144 schools. She is also the founder of The New Teacher Project, a nationally recognized leader in developing innovative solutions to the challenges of hiring new teachers.

    As president and CEO of TNTP, Rhee partnered with school districts, state education agencies, nonprofit organizations, and unions to transform the way difficult-to-staff schools recruit, select, and train highly qualified teachers.

    Her work resulted in widespread reform in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Miami, New York, Oakland, and Philadelphia. Rhee's commitment to excellence in education began in a Baltimore classroom as a Teach-for-America teacher. Rhee currently serves on the advisory boards for the National Council on Teacher Quality, the National Center for Alternative Certification, and Project REACH of the University of Phoenix's School of Education.

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    Chef Jet teaches simplicity, subtlety in Asian cooking


    According to Chef Jet Tila, the best Asian cooking is based on simple principles and subtle techniques. Through two days of demonstrations and training in Cornell's kitchens, Tila taught some of those principles and techniques to about 40 members of the Cornell Dining culinary team.

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    Thomas Friedman lecture on education in America


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    Michelle Rhee This Week Interview: Author of Radical: Fighting to Put Students First.


    Controversial education reformer, author of the new book Radical: Fighting to Put Students First.

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    RSA ANIMATE: Changing Education Paradigms


    This RSA Animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA's Benjamin Franklin award.

    The RSA is a 258 year-old charity devoted to driving social progress and spreading world-changing ideas.

    Follow the RSA on Twitter:
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    This audio has been edited from the original event by Becca Pyne. Series produced by Abi Stephenson, RSA.

    Animation by Cognitive Media. Andrew Park, the mastermind behind the Animate series and everyone's favourite hairy hand, discusses their appeal and success in his blog post, 'Talk to the hand':

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    Michelle Rhee Discusses Waiting for Superman, Charter Schools And School Vouchers


    Michelle Rhee a featured player in the new documentary Waiting for Superman discusses the movie, charter schools, school vouchers and are D.C. public schools good enough for high profile politicians' children.

    Should school vouchers be made available if a student is not selected to attend a charter school?

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    Pbs Frontline 2013 The Education of Michelle Rhee


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    Improving Public Schools Hearing: Michelle Rhee Part 1


    Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of DC Public Schools, testifies at an Education and Labor Committee hearing concerning mayor and superintendent partnerships in education on July 17, 2008.

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    Ed Helms 2014 Cornell Convocation Speech


    Ed Helms, the actor who portrayed fictional Cornell alumnus Andy Bernard '93 on the television comedy 'The Office,' delivered the Senior Convocation address to graduating students and guests at Schoellkopf Stadium, May 24, 2014.

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    What Did We Learn from Michelle Rhee? 2/25/2011


    Richard Whitmire, Author of The Bee Eater, discusses education reform.

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    Sustainability at Cornell


    From creating to implementing real-world solutions, Cornell University is leading the way toward a more sustainable future. #sustainability #Cornell #CornellUniversity

    Learn more at

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    Hearing in a jumping spider


    Jumping spiders are highly visual animals. They use vision in courtship and to catch food. Gil Menda in Ron Hoy's lab at Cornell University developed a technique to record from the brain of a jumping spider. This enabled him to study their vision but also revealed the surprising fact that some brain neurons were sensitive to both visual stimuli and to sound. It has been known for a long time that jumping spiders were sensitive to substrate vibrations, but this was distant sound. It turns out that they are very sensitive to sounds from about 80 to 130 Hz a frequency characteristic of their chief predator a wasp. When you play sounds of these frequencies to a walking spider, it freezes. Lacking any obvious ears, it is the trichobothria—long hairs on the spiders legs—which are the receptors.

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    Obama at ASU: Commencement Speech with intro by Michael Crow


    President Obama's commencement speech (with introduction by Dr. Michael Crow) at the Arizona State University Commencement 2009

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    Dropout Nation: Michelle Rhee on Teacher Quality and the Achievement Gap


    The D.C. Public Schools Chancellor discusses how to improve the quality of teachers and address achievement gaps in a 2008 House Education and Labor Committee hearing.

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    Michelle Rhee in DC: Episode 8


    In our latest episode we met up with Darrin Slade, principal of Ron Brown Middle School, to see how he was coping with the influx of students that doubled the number of students he's responsible for.

    Principal Slade may be the right person for the job now, but if test scores dont increase by the end of the year, he might lose his job.Tune into The NewsHour tonight to find out if Principal Slade's efforts will be enough.

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    Michelle Rhee in DC: Episode 7


    In her first year as DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee was not one for timid steps. And she's continuing with her sweeping changes.

    She's proposing a new contract to the teachers union: one that could double salaries in some cases and get rid of teachers in other cases. To make it happen, she needs a new union contract thatties teacher pay to student performance and gives her the flexibility to remove ineffective teachers. The whole plan, however, is ultimately up to the 4,000 members of Washington's teachers union.

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    Cambridge: Undergraduate Sample Lecture: Psychology of Education


    This short lecture explores some of the research findings from cognitive psychology that could have an impact on educational practices. In the first part of the lecture, we complete part of a classic study (Bransford & Johnson, 1972) looking what factors might help us remember. The results of this study indicated that having meaningful personal experiences before learning about something new helps us remember that something new much better than without those experiences. Further, those experiences need to be relevant for the information that we are about to remember. As a result of this work, Schwartz & Bransford (1998) recommended that there is 'a time for telling' meaning that lectures are only useful when they come after meaningful and relevant experiences. In the second part of the lecture we talked about a recent review paper by Dunlosky et al. (2013) that looked at a large number of different types of experiments in different learning contexts to evaluate whether certain types of revision techniques are useful. They report that some very popular techniques do not actually help with learning. We concluded the lecture with a discussion of these techniques.

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    Cornell Seismologist Helps Solve Oklahomas Earthquake Mystery


    Cornell Engineering seismologist Katie Keranen helped solve Oklahoma's earthquake mystery.

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    Michelle Rhee on Education Reform


    On June 15, 2011, Michelle Rhee, Founder and CEO of Students First, spoke at Roosevelt House on education reform and creating schools of excellence.

    Michelle Rhee began her career as a Teach for America (TFA) corps member in a Harlem Park Community School in Baltimore City. Through her own trial and error in the classroom, she gained a tremendous respect for the hard work that teachers do every day. She also learned the lesson that would drive her mission for years to come: teachers are the most powerful driving force behind student achievement in our schools. In 1997 Ms. Rhee founded The New Teacher Project (TNTP) to bring more excellent teachers to classrooms across the country. Under her leadership TNTP became a leading organization in understanding and developing innovative solutions to the challenges of new teacher hiring. As Chief Executive Officer and President, Ms. Rhee partnered with school districts, state education agencies; non-profit organizations and unions to transform the way schools and other organizations recruit, select and train 23,000 highly qualified teachers in difficult-to-staff schools.

    On June 12, 2007, Mayor Adrian Fenty appointed Chancellor Rhee to lead the District of Columbia Public Schools. Under her leadership, the worst performing school district in the country became the only major city system to see double-digit growth in both their state reading and state math scores in seventh, eighth and tenth grades over three years. In 2010, she left DCPS to found her own organization - Students First - which she describes as a grassroots movement designed to mobilize parents, teachers, students, administrators, and citizens throughout country, and to channel their energy to produce meaningful results on both the local and national level.

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    Rhee fires principal


    From PBS special

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    Cornell Professor on Cutting Edge of Architecture


    Jenny Sabin collaborates with scientists, engineers and artists. Her work is at the forefront of a new direction for 21st-century architectural practice — one that applies insights and theories from biology and mathematics to the design of material structures.

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    Sell Your Ideas the Steve Jobs Way


    In his talk, Carmine Gallo demonstrates how extraordinary leaders such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and others communicate the vision and the value behind their service, product, or brand.

    Gallo addressed the Stanford GSB as part of the Mastery in Communication Initiative's Expert Speaker Series. Gallo is author of The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs .

    Related Links:
    Gallo Communications website:

    Stanford GSB Mastery in Communication Initiative:

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    Mathematician Shares Secret Universe of Patterns, Beauty, Interconnectedness


    Cornell professors are often sought after by the media for their expertise and passion. Steven Strogatz communicates the beauty of math not only to students but also to the public via books, TED Talks and publications like the New York Times. Watch the video...

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    Cornell Professor Targets Disease that Affects Millions


    The excitement for me in being a researcher, a scientist, is the discovery of something new...that nobody else has seen this in the world, says Avery August, professor of microbiology and immunology at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

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    Gates Hall, new home of Computing and Information Science


    Introducing Bill & Melinda Gates Hall, the new home for Computing and Information Science. Designed by architectural firm Morphosis to facilitate collaboration and innovation, Gates Hall opened in January 2014. Here are a few glimpses inside and out.

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    Greg McKeown: Essentialism | Talks at Google


    Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you sometimes feel overworked and underutilized? Does your day sometimes get hijacked by someone else's agenda?Have you ever said yes simply to please and then resented it? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist.

    The Way of the Essentialist involves doing less, but better, so you can make the highest possible contribution.

    The Way of the Essentialist isn't about getting more done in less time. It's not about getting less done. It's about getting only the right things done. It's about challenging the core assumption of 'we can have it all' and 'I have to do everything' and replacing it with the pursuit of 'the right thing, in the right way, at the right time'. It's about regaining control of our own choices about where to spend our time and energies instead of giving others implicit permission to choose for us.

    In Essentialism, Greg McKeown draws on experience and insight from working with the leaders of the most innovative companies in the world to show how to achieve the disciplined pursuit of less.

    By applying a more selective criteria for what is essential, the pursuit of less allows us to regain control of our own choices so we can channel our time, energy and effort into making the highest possible contribution toward the goals and activities that matter.

    Essentialism isn't one more thing; it is a different way of doing everything. It is a discipline you apply constantly, effortlessly. Essentialism is a mindset; a way of life. It is an idea whose time has come.

    Greg previously spoke at Google about Multipliers.

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    Michelle Rhee in DC: Episode 1 - Pt 1


    Washington D.C.'s new superintendent Michelle Rhee promises to turn D.C.'s failing school system around. But she's facing some pretty big challenges and skepticism from a city that has heard promises from 6 superintendents in the last 10 years.

    Part 1 in our year-long series on leadership and school reform efforts. Be sure to watch the companion segment in New Orleans.

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    Transforming the System: An Interview with Michelle Rhee


    Aspen Ideas Festival, 2009.

    Washington D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee — one of the nation's leaders on reforming public education — discusses with philanthropist Eli Broad her efforts to reverse the decline of the schools in the nation's capital.

    Speakers: Eli Broad, Michelle Rhee

    The Aspen Ideas Festival is the nation's premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. Learn more at:

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    A Conversation with Bill Gates: Considering the Future of Higher Education


    Philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates joined Cornell President David Skorton for a student-centered discussion Oct. 1, 2014 in Bailey Hall. Topics included higher ed access and affordability, student entrepreneurship, and technology and education.

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    Diane Ravitch: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to Americas Public Schools


    Diane Ravitch is a historian of education, an educational policy analyst, and a research professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

    In her new book, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools, Ravitch argues that the crisis in American education is not a crisis of academic achievement but a concerted effort to destroy public schools in this country.

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    OrthoFit: A fitting solution for repetitive motion injuries


    Repetitive motion injuries like carpel tunnel syndrome are among the most common occupational health problems in the United States. Thanks to OrthoFit, a student startup at Cornell's eLab business accelerator, a stress monitoring smart glove could be the solution. Learn more at

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