A Partnership between Education and National Prosperity / Security Goals by Dorothy H. Bray

Dorothy H. BrayAt the 2013 ASSESSMENT INSTITUTE CONFERENCE, I will have an opportunity to discuss that A New Partnership Between Education and National Strategic Goals evolves from a core shared National and Educational goal: to prepare students to be competitive successfully in the 21st Century Environment. Phoebe Helm and I will be presenting a Poster session scheduled for Monday, October 28, 2013 from 5:45 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. located on the second floor of the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown on the topic:  A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN EDUCATION AND NATIONAL PROSPERITY/SECURITY GOALS: TOMORROW’S ASSESSMENT CHALLENGES. 

We will introduce to the Assessment Agenda that new voices providing conceptual frameworks for a new partnership are (1) A National Strategic Narrative, written by two prominent advisors to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Captain Wayne Porter of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Colonel Mark Mykleby, published in 2011 by the Woodrow Wilson Center at Princeton, University. (2) An important rising influence is the author Thomas Homer-Dixon who identifies a growing innovative theory referred to as The Ingenuity Gap (Thomas Homer-Dixon, Knopf 2000)
Both of these new voices are transforming our skills development focus providing a platform for the potential of new skills for the future. The National Strategic Narrative with its emphasis on “Intellectual Capital” stresses that positive competitive skills are a foundation for national success in global systems and economies.
Our emphasis is that NEW ASSESSMENT MODELS ARE ALL ABOUT ASSESSING NEW SKILLS WHICH ARE LINKED TO NATIONAL GOALS OF PROSPERITY AND SECURITY. We have developed 10 pilot projects for Conference participants to select a topic to be a participant in A New Conversation About Education And National Goals.  We encourage conference participants to join our agenda and BE WHERE HISTORY IS HAPPENING.  Several of these projects relate directly to the National Strategic Narrative
2013 Assessment Institute, Indianapolis, IN                                                                                                                               
                                     DEVELOPING NEW PARTNERSHIPS
     ___________1.  A National /International learner panel (to activate the learner voice and perspectives on new assessment activities.)
    ____ 2.  Working with A National Strategic Narrative. Assessment’s role: to define and demonstrate new results achieved in the development of Intellectual Capital.  http://nationalstrategicnarrative.org/connect/prosperity-2/
____________  3.  Assessing Ingenuity as a new “blended skill.”
 ____________ 4.  Benchmarking Pilot Projects of Ingenuity Skilling
____________  5.  Developing and Piloting A Skills Passport: New Tools of Assessment
___________    6.  Describing activity-based assessment strategies for the Super-Skill –Ingenuity, an emphasis on problem- solving activities.
__________      7.  Re-defining skills success: Redefine the value of Student Self-Appraisal in Assessment models. Identify idea generation strategies.

                                        COMMIT TO BEING AN INFLUENCER

___________  8.   NEW MESSAGING.  Communicating the importance of the Relationship of Skills and Assessment To National Goals as Described in “A National Strategic Narrative.”
  __________  9.  Empowering the investment motif.  What new investments in innovation, creativity, models are possible through global consortia, collaborative models?
__________   10.   Addressing WHO WILL TEACH THESE NEW SKILLS AND HOW?
·(Bray Consulting, San Clemente, CA, www.dhbray.com)
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A New National Security Act – A Draft by Shawn Dyball


In 2012 I began a graduate degree program with a course on Homeland Security Policy and Administration, and read A National Strategic Narrative on the recommendation of a coworker.  The final assignment for the course was to write a new National Security Act (NSA) to replace the Act of 1947.  As a local agency representative working with the federal government at that time, my eyes were opened to the incredible layers of bureaucracy that exists as a result of trying to secure the U.S. from its enemies. I observed that previously added layers were rarely removed as additional layers in the form of new acts, strategies and oversight were piled on top of each other.  The course assignment was to write the new NSA as if I were queen for a day, and my first thought was to remove some of the old layers of oversight, add true representation from the state, local and tribal levels of government, and create an act based on national prosperity as a means to attain security.  This document is the result of an epiphany from reading A National Strategic Narrative, and while it is impossible to create a truly inclusive work when limited to just a few pages, I felt it was a good start.

Read Shawn Dyball’s full text here Security and Prosperity Act of 2012


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The Art of Creative Thinking . . . A National Strategic Narrative by Baraka Sele

Baraka Sele

Baraka Sele

As a performing arts curator / consultant / producer, I have worked in the field of arts and culture for more than thirty years.  People I meet often comment, “Oh, you must have an exciting life and work. I wish I could be creative.”  It never ceases to amaze me that people usually relegate the idea of creativity to the realm of artists or arts producers only. I am rather dismayed that people do not think of their own career path–whether it is agriculture, business, education, law, medicine, or politics–as a creative endeavor. I am a staunch believer that every field has the opportunity, and the responsibility, to approach their work as a creative and imaginative enterprise.

However, I must confess that I never really thought of the military as a bastion of creative thinkers and doers.  I presumed that following orders or doing as one is told was the expected practice and methodology of military behavior. At least, that is what I thought until I met Captain Wayne Porter, U.S. Navy, at a PopTech conference in Camden, Maine.  PopTech is a global community of innovators working together to expand the edge of change.  After Captain Porter and his colleague, Colonel Puck Mykleby, U.S. Marines, made their twenty-minute presentation regarding A National Strategic Narrative, I was stunned.  I had no idea that the military was thinking about and tackling some of the same issues and questions we encounter and seek to address in civil society and the cultural sector: community, environment, global impact, productivity, quality of life, sustainability.

I think that Capt. Porter and his colleagues have ingeniously outlined a plan to build and sustain better communities, our nation, and the world–and they have done so creatively and elegantly.  I think it is critical, for those who are interested and willing, to establish like-minded alliances, connections and networks for all who believe a better society–not business as usual–is both possible and essential for our ultimate survival.

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Running with No Legs: The Costs of War by Owen Casas

Ralph “Gunny” DeQuebec, 29

It had been close to seven years since I had seen my friend Ralph DeQuebec.  I met Ralph in California at my first duty station in the Marine Corps. He came from San Pedro, Calif., built like a linebacker, motivated and one of the most squared-away Marines I’d met, all while spreading infectious and constant laughter.

He was an aviation tech, I was an ammunition tech, and we both worked at the central magazine area. We called it the ammo dump. Neither of us liked sorting-paper and bullet-pushing jobs and longed to be the high-speed, low-drag Marines you hear about in the Corps, so we pushed ourselves and volunteered for every additional training we could get.

I went on to Marine reconnaissance training where I injured myself and was unable to finish the schooling. Ralph went to Marine explosive ordnance disposal school to learn how to neutralize explosives, and he found his new calling, graduating from the school with the highest grade point average in his class.

During his second deployment to Afghanistan, Gunnery Sergeant DeQuebec was attached to various special operations missions where he served as the explosives disposal tech. On one mission Afghan forces located a possible improvised explosive device; Ralph was called to assess the situation.

In route to the IED, he felt he was entering an area that was perfect for emplacing an additional IED, so he stopped at the choke point – an area you are forced to pass through, not around — and instincts and training took over. He started his search.

While searching, an Afghan soldier located at the other IED site came over to tell Ralph that he wasn’t where they had found the bomb. He put his hand up and told the soldier to stop, but it was too late. The soldier triggered the IED Ralph was attempting to locate, causing a blast that took both of his legs away from him.

The blast, however, could never take away the spirit, work ethic and determination that still is and always will be within him.

That was June 21. I flew to Washington, D.C., Oct. 9 on other business and then went to see him at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He was waiting for me in his wheelchair on the sidewalk. We made eye contact, and, as I went in for the first awkward hug since 2005, Ralph started adjusting his new legs. This Marine gunnery sergeant, this man, he was going to stand to hug me, and he did just that.

“You got shorter” I said.

“I just got new 4-inch inserts, man, I’m taller!” he replied.

We sat and chatted about old time, current times and the important things Marines always talk about. “How’s the chow?” I asked. “Really good,” was his reply.

He showed me his room that he shares with his wonderful and supportive fiancée Katie and the chow hall but kept saying that he wanted to go to the Military Advanced Training Center where he does his training. Lead on, Gunny.

Service members involved in significant IED blasts oftentimes lose limbs. One, two, three or all of their limbs, above the knee, below the knee — the bomb doesn’t really care how much or where it takes your flesh. The training center is 31,000-square feet designed for amputee rehabilitation as well as assisting with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder — common side effects related to war fighting.

Ralph rolled into what I dubbed the “inspiration room.” The blasts of combat could take limbs, but they could not take the fighting spirit of the warriors I found in that room.

“Get some” is a motivating saying in the service, used when you have to push yourself past the common threshold of pain, endurance or mental anguish associated with military service. Well, these brave souls were getting some and then some. When was the last time you ran around a track, threw a medicine ball back and forth with a buddy or did resistance training? Take a leg out of the equation, take two. Now tell me how hard it would be to train. I was in complete awe.

One Navy Seal was running on two prosthetic blades, hooked up to a harness and track system to catch him if he fell. In front of Ralph and me, he fell, was caught by the harness and was attempting to right himself quickly, carbon fiber blades kicking and churning.

“Where are you going?” the physical therapist asked him in jest. “Forward,” I said. The Seal looked at me, smiled, was picked up and away he went, always looking forward.

I understand parts of war. I understand why we have to fight wars. I have been to war. I do not like war. It is my opinion that every good lawmaker should go to Walter Reed, see and meet these heroes and truly understand the byproducts of war — whether they are physical, mental or financial.

If you are a fan of going to war with Iran, North Korea, Pakistan or any country that is in some way a threat to the United States, but you have never been a part of war, or are completely ignorant of the many factors that lead us to these states of conflict, shame on you. If that Seal, if Gunny DeQuebec, if any of our wounded warriors and fallen comrades were your son, daughter, sister or brother, I suspect you would have a different take.

I left Walter Reed with adoration for our servicemen and women. I left with my spirit lifted and my disdain for war in place. Ralph left Afghanistan, but parts of him — physically and mentally — will never leave there. Let us never forget these warriors or send our countries youth in harm’s way without a morally justifiable reason.

I’m not saying that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were and are not justified. I am saying that those making the decisions and those supporting the decisions need to be completely aware of the costs of war. All of the costs.

Owen Casas, 28, lives in Rockport, Maine. He deployed with the Marine Corps to Iraq in 2006-7.


Posted in A National Strategic Narrative, Security, Values | 3 Comments

Teaching Leadership by Anne Gibbon

How Can I Be Useful?

Teaching Leadership

The conversation I would like to start is about teaching leadership.

I am some young age, after college, but not yet old enough to stop rebelling in small, insignificant ways. I read the National Strategic Narrative and learned that I could hold my own small, but significant rebellion. Wise people write that I should focus on my circle of influence, whatever that circle of work and friends happen to be.

Make It. Break It. Build It.

If I have 40 face to face, classroom hours with 22 students, what is the correct way to teach, inspire, cajole, beg them to be the best possible leaders they can be?

According to the old method, the way to teach leadership required a ppt of a simple definition for an outdated leadership theory, and then to give multiple choice questions based on a closed understanding of rank, power, and subordination.

How would I use that classroom time to demonstrate that real leadership is about being brave enough to acknowledge that all you have is influence? That it is not the direction you give that matters, but the knowledge you have worked to accrue, the depth of your character, and most importantly, the love you have for your people.

Dreaming of the Future

Working Together

Working Together

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