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The Second Craft Beer Debate: The Future of Education in San Diego

May 26, 2013

A bit of background

With the end of the school year approaching in the San Diego region, this is a great opportunity to think and talk openly about the future of education in San Diego.  I started the Craft Beer Debates series to create a fun, approachable way to help regular San Diegans engage in issues important to our region’s future.  Here is a quick explanation of the debates, modeled after the surprisingly fun House of Commons in Britain.  The first debate, held in Slater’s 5050, focused on the question of whether San Diego’s future required public funding for a downtown football/sports stadium.  Watch “The Great Stadium Debate” here. The second one is coming on June 6, 2013. Register to attend here.

If you clicked on that link, you’ll notice that our moderator is none other than CEO & Co-Founder of Stone Brewing Company Greg Koch.  I reached out to Greg because he is both the ideal ambassador for Craft Beer – an industry that has had a larger economic impact on the San Diego region than Comic-Con – and because he is the type of thoughtful, no nonsense moderator that won’t let people get away with wishy washy political double-speak.  Starting at the 51:05 minute mark (video link above) of the first debate, we take a break from the stadium and Greg and the audience discuss the importance of San Diego craft beer.  Thanks to the wildly successful opening of Stone World Bistro & Gardens Liberty Station, we have a new location to host our second debate on June 6, 2013!

The Basics of the Education Debate

A cool image I got using the Google, it's on the Davinci Institute's website, I hope they don't mind.

A cool image I got using the Google, it’s on the Davinci Institute’s website, I hope they don’t mind.

I borrowed this image from the DaVinci Institute (link), mostly to break up the text.  The goal of the upcoming education debate is to arm regular San Diegans with real information to take back to their dinner tables and PTA meetings and soccer practices and talk to each other about what the future of our education system in the San Diego region ought to be.  Because we can’t just have five people rambling on for a couple hours, the panelists—and the audience—will debate a specific resolution:

San Diego’s future demands that we invest more in vocational or alternative education styles and not focus primarily on  traditional 4-year college readiness.

The format is simple and fun.  The sides will offer brief opening remarks, followed by one round of moderator questions, a round of audience questions, back to the moderator for questions and then a moderately controlled exchange between members of the audience and the panelists.  The education debate will be broken up by an interesting discussion led by Greg Koch that focuses on the role of properly feeding our kids in their ability and readiness to learn – and fielding craft beer questions from the audience.

Register to attend here

The panelist perspectives

We have a range of panelists who bring important perspectives to this discussion.  Former San Diego Unified School Board President and current Trustee Richard Barrera offers a broad perspective on the District’s “A through G” requirements and the reasons and importance for making sure every child is college ready.  Parent and political communications maven Rachel Laing of Public Policy Strategies brings the perspective of a household with two working parents who navigated the system to make decisions for their elementary school-aged children.  Alternatively, Senior Director of Qualcomm’s Global Contingent Workforce Ed Hidalgo jumps in to provide perspective on what the jobs of today and tomorrow require and how re-thinking education can help young people tap their full potential and meet those demands.  Ed is joined by Rob Atterbury, Director of Professional Development for ConnectEd: the California Center for College and Career.  Atterbury strongly supports the importance of Linked Learning – an approach that takes a holistic view of training and educating children for the future.

What’s next?

Image of Coronado Bridge from Design Top News

Image of Coronado Bridge from Design Top News

(Link for the above image here) In the days leading up to the debate on June 6th, I will provide a range of background information to make it easier to participate even if you’ve never really thought about the future of education.  You will find support for focusing on college preparedness as the key to keeping San Diego competitive.  But you will also read why the Clifton StrengthsFinder approach and StrengthsExplorer for youth are important, what “Linked Learning” is (here’s a short video), and about other concepts that may offer a better alternative for educating our young people moving forward.  I’ll also dive a bit more into the report from the Public Policy Institute of California “College Readiness as a Graduation Requirement” (here is the executive summary or download the full report here).

Come out, have fun, learn something new!

The debate will be fun and at least a bit, ahem, educational.  Space is limited, register here.  You won’t get any spam, I promise (I can’t stand the stuff, either).  The registration is just to make sure we have enough room and to tell you any last minute information about the location.

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