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The World is Flat Version 3.0

March 16, 2008

Recently I read an interview of Thomas Friedman, a best selling author and New York Times columnist. He is the author of The World Is Flat, which describes ten forces that are “flattening” the world economy – making it simple for China, India and others around the world to compete with America. While I may be in the minority based on popular conversation and book sales figures – I never completely agreed with some of his basic arguments. In my opinion to make matters worse, many educators took his book as the new guide for making curriculum decisions.

Recently I was pleased to read that Mr. Friedman has further developed his thoughts on the “flat world” and education. Interestingly, his wife and daughter are public school teachers (I’m guessing they got to him). His new position – which is outlined in the new paperback version of The World Is Flat – describes why the liberal arts are more important than ever. He states, “It’s not that I don’t think math and science are important. They still are. But more than ever our secret sauce comes from our ability to integrate art, science, music, literature with the hard sciences.”

His more balanced view of how to educate students for success in the future economy is closer to my own philosophy. I tend to feel that no matter what the subject or activity – too much of one thing is not healthy. Providing a wide variety of quality choices for our students should be our goal. We should focus on skills and preparing well-rounded students with healthy doses of technology throughout.

In an effort to improve our “balanced” offerings to our secondary students – we have posted a Drama teacher position. This staff member will be hired this spring for the 2008-2009 school year to help expand our performing arts opportunities.

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