YouTube tally data and student test scores. – SCN Encourager 3/14/2014

Did you see Westjet’s Holiday Miracle video?

About 35 million people did.

Once my daughters tweeted out confirmation back in November that I had nothing to do with it, its viral success was virtually guaranteed.

It definitely was last year’s feel good YouTube sensation.

And the video I’m sending to you today is not like Westjet’s at all.

It’s straight-up serious and it frames the challenge (and opportunity!) we must be able to articulate and deliver if our nation ever hopes to re-energize an economically strong and diverse middle class.

And in 10 minutes, this video also answers the essential “what’s in it for me?” question that school communicators are always pressed to spotlight.

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 10.21.00 PMFind the time over the weekend to watch Dr. Yong Zhao present the case for how our schools can be the transformative change agents that “create a new and expanded middle class in America.”

He believes there is still time to inspire and develop world class learners, but we need to alter our course; to one that nurtures greater creativity and an adaptive entrepreneurial mindset.

Many MSPRA and MASA members will remember Dr. Zhao from his speech in Kalamazoo at a combined association conference nearly a dozen years ago.

He was a professor at MSU at the time and he illustrated how all of the international comparisons of math and science standardized test scores failed to account for any of the character and common asset attributes which fuel our nation’s dynamic economic strength and much envied “open and free” society.

In reviewing my scribbled notes from back then, and Dr. Zhao may now deny it, but I recorded him as saying that using standardized tests to conclude much of anything (internationally) was a bunch of “crap.”

So I hope you’ll carve out some time to give Dr. Zhao’s video a go.

He’s now at the University of Oregon, so if you have an allegiance for the Maize & Blue, you don’t have to worry. You won’t feel like you’re being lectured by Tom Izzo or Sparty.

You can simply accept Dr. Zhao’s clarion call to action for what it is.

When you click on the YouTube link, you’ll see that only about 100 people have viewed it so far.

Don’t misinterpret the data.

Compared to the viewership of my videos – which typically hover somewhere in the high single figure range – Dr. Zhao’s video is a “two thumbs-up” blockbuster!

Tom Page, SCN
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