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U.S. Army & American Public Education: Building Strong Futures Together

Trips to the conference are for members of State Board of Education members, to send them back home to influence policy at a state level to increase the presence of military in schools. The trips are all expenses paid by the US Army.


Upcoming Events
Title: U.S. Army & American Public Education: Building Strong Futures Together
When: 09.15.2008 - 09.19.2008
Where: South Carolina - Columbia Category: Conferences (2008)
NASBE has been working with the US Army to create a conference on the opportunities and challenges of educating and training young people in today's world. This exciting conversation will come to completion September 15th through 19th in Columbia South Carolina with a full schedule of activities and speakers designed to stimulate, and sustain, dialogue with one of our nation's largest employers of our public school system.

NASBE has twenty (20) slots still available for state board of education members to attend this conference at the Army's expense. All travel and lodging expenses are covered, including transportation to and from Fort Jackson.

It is critical that our membership support this effort by your national organization, and fully participate in an opportunity to meet with an organization that provides training in hundreds of areas. As discussed in the attached letter by our past-president Brad Bryant, this may serve to open the door to a long-term relationship with the nation's military to the benefit of both groups.

Please give serious consideration to attending this conference, by contacting either Michael Hill ( michaelh@nasbe.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Kristie ( kristiej@nasbe.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ) to register. Remember, we only have 20 slots available.

Agenda (Tentative)

U.S. Army & American Public Education:
Building Strong Futures Together
16-19 September 2008

Tentative Agenda

Tuesday, 16 September

Inbrief and conference opening (approx 4:00 p.m.)
Welcome by U.S. Army Accessions Command
Welcome by National Association of State Boards of Education
Introduction of Army approach to training and transformation
Optional visit to Army in-processing center

Wednesday, 17 September

Breakfast at Fort Jackson with Drill Sergeants
Introduction by Commanding General of Fort Jackson training center
Recruiting environment presentation
Remarks by education policy leader (TBD)
Discussion of Soldier transformation process
Roundtable lunch discussion with Advanced Individual Training Soldiers
Visits to key training and educational sites at Fort Jackson
Dinner speaker: Commanding General of U.S. Army Accessions Command

Thursday, 18 September

Breakfast speaker: Commanding General of U.S. Army Cadet Command
Panel discussion: Fort Jackson training leaders
Educator/policy presentation
Lunch speaker: Commanding General of U.S. Army Recruiting Command
Breakout sessions for small-group discussions
Web portal presentation
Optional dinner activity with Soldiers and families

Friday, 19 September

Basic Combat Training graduation ceremony
Discussion of key learnings
Presentation of small-group action steps
Closing remarks
Transportation to airport (approx 1:00 p.m.)

Venue: South Carolina City: Columbia State: South Carolina Country: Description
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Letter attached to this Announcement:
Friends and Colleagues:

After almost two decades of school board governance, I have found that my level of enthusiasm for new projects is often tempered by the sober reality of the institutional contentment with the status quo -- just another flavor of the day. I am writing to you today to relate the events of the past two days and to urge you to join me and others from NASBE as we are presented an opportunity which is undertaken for the right reason and is deserving of our highest level of excitement and enthusiasm.

On Monday, Mike Hill, Buck Hilliard --our exec from Georgia , and I gathered in Columbia, South Carolina, with representatives from the US Army and the Department of Defense to do the final planning for the NASBE/Army conference, September 16-19, at Fort Jackson, SC. My expectation for a meeting to plan a conference was low -- how did I fit in and how much fun could logistics be? That expectation level was, perhaps, attributed to the fact that we as members of state boards are so accustomed to serving others that we build up an immunity to the enjoyment of others serving us. We experience guilt over the fact that we are not doing something to help others. During the ensuing twenty-four hours, I received a wonderful gift from those men and=2
0women who were there to plan a conference for us.

The level of their enthusiasm and their desire to reach out and collaborate with us was exceptional. Yes, it is in their best interest to retain highly qualified soldiers to serve in our volunteer Army. But four takeaways demonstrate that level of enthusiasm:

They plan to have with us at all times at least two active or retired two star or three star generals. I did not realize what a big deal this is until I listened to the planners and observed the detail in ensuring that the general officer's calendars were cleared to be with us in order that they might share with us how we can work better together, and to further explore why this is such a national security issue;

They are planning this conference at no cost to our members --it is on their nickel. Yes, it is also our nickel as citizens -- but this is so important to them that they want to have this dialogue with us ahead of future involvement with Chiefs and Governors and legislator. Not because those folks are less important or carry less power -- but due to the fact that they see us, like them, as citizen servants, with a direct connection to the youth of our country;

The Army staff leadership is equally enthusiastic. To hear colonels and majors with twenty to thirty years service, with degrees in law and physics, talk about how the Army helped them become lifelong learners was priceless. But to hear the excitement in their voice as they asked would they be able to sit with us at breakout tables and talk about how we all do a better job with our youth was even better; and,

The on-the-ground opportunity that they are extending will take us out of our state boardrooms and place us squarely with those youth we serve. They plan for us to have the opportunity to observe activities and, more importantly, engage in some of the activities. We will have the opportunity to test their weapons simulation (Brenda, I signed you up for the M16 simulation), do humvee rollover simulation, and overcome our fear of height with the Tower exercise. Can we say high school hands on learning!

So, as these planners talked about how we would be served by them during this conference, I must say that my own enthusiasm grew as well as my expectation for the event next month. But let me close with the most powerful moment of the experience: a reminder of why you and I serve and the moment that I realized my service battery was just about fully recharged. When we actually arrived at the Fort after eight hours of work at the conference center, we stepped out into the sunshine and humidity of a 101 degree Southern summer afternoon. To our right were approximately 100 troops -- black, white, brown and yellow -- in full fatigue uniform, carrying a weapon, with 50 pound backpacks. I broke into a sweat just looking at them! Only when I saw their faces as they passed by did it strike me that these "troops" were, 60 to 90 days ago, the "boys and girls" in our schools. Regardless of our opinion of the political powers that make decisions that put these boys and girls in harm's way on our behalf, it is absolutely essential that we -- as state education leaders -- exhaust all of our energies to ensure that we have trained them up as best we can during the time they are under our watch.

I urge each of you to clear your calendar to be with us in September. If you are one of our directors, this portends a relationship like that of CDC. Our work with these folks has the potential to last long after us. If you are a state board Chair, use every effort possible to be with us as well. In the event that you are unable to attend, carefully discern what member of your own Board can be with us and bring back to you and your colleagues the experience as well as the next steps within your state. Like many of us have experienced over our lives of public service, all too often we plan a party and no one comes. We exit that exercise disappointed over the lost opportunities for meaningful and collaborative work. ay we not be an association who disappoints.

Thank you for your service to your State and NASBE.

Brad Bryant

William Bradley Bryant

Mr. Bryant is the 2007 President of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), and has also served as President-Elect, Southern Director and Governmental Affairs Committee Member for NASBE. Prior to his appointment to the State Board of Education in 2003, he served for twelve years as a member of the DeKalb County Board of Education. As a member of the DeKalb Board, he served for seven years as its Chair. He is a Past President of the Georgia School
Boards Association (GSBA) and was president of the National School Boards Association Southern Region. Additionally, he currently serves on the Georgia Drivers Education Commission. He has also served on the Governor's Office of Education Accountability Report Card Committee, The Georgia Closing the Gap Commission and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education.

— Natonal Association of State Boards of Education





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