‘Jam on the American Graduation Initiative’ on Sep. 16

Jim ShimabukuroBy Jim Shimabukuro
Editor

On 16 September 2009, from 8:00 am to midnight EST, Knowledge in the Public Interest will sponsor, with LaGuardia Community College as the lead college, Jam on the American Graduation Initiative, an online asynchronous “national conversation” to engage community college leaders, policy makers, and researchers. Convened by the Brookings Institute, The Education Commission of the States, and Jobs for the Future, the focus of the jam will be on President Obama’s recent announcement (see the YouTube video below) to invest $12 billion in America’s community colleges.

The primary topics for discussion will be (1) What we should know—the benefits and consequences—about what the administration is proposing and (2) How we can organize ourselves to make a difference for every community college in the U.S. The purpose of the jam is to influence the discussion on the president’s proposal. The result, according to organizers, will be a “tool kit for action,” which will be available a couple of weeks after the Jam.

The video runs for 29 minutes. The portion on the American Graduation Initiative begins at the 13:30 mark. The president talks about $12 billion in low-interest loans to rebuild and renovate community colleges, and he specifically mentions classrooms and buildings. But at the 25:00 mark, he mentions the electronic infrastructure that opens the door to virtual learning, and he specifically mentions online education for people with day jobs.

Some ETC editors and writers are planning to participate, and they will be sharing their thoughts with ETC readers in a special article that will be updated throughout the day on the 16th. If you aren’t attending but would like to share your thoughts on the proposed topics, please post them as comments to this article.

One Response

  1. That’s thrilling, Jim, thanks!

    For those who might have bandwidth problems loading the YT video (I did): the speech can also be listened to from the White House podcast (direct link: 20090714_Warren_Michigan.mp3 – 26.5 Mb).
    And the Excerpts of the President’s remarks in Warren, Michigan and fact sheet on the American Graduation Initiative White House Press communiqué (July 14, 09) apparently contains most passages mentioned by Jim. There is also a full transcript of the speech from the White House Press Office (the audio and these text versions are in the public domain).

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