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In Monday’s blog What’s Right in Education challenged readers to “Choose Education” and shared the Minister of Economic Affairs of Latvia, Daniels Pavļuts, quote “it’s the single most important decision of your life.” For one teenager her choice of education was a life and almost death decision.

Malala Yousufzai was admired across a battle-scarred region of Pakistan for exposing the Taliban’s atrocities and advocating for girls’ education in the face of religious extremists. On October 9, the Taliban nearly killed her to quiet her message. Please share if education is this important to you for our kids. (Read more here)

At the age of 11, Malala began writing a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC about life under the Taliban in Swat. After the military ousted the militants in 2009, she began publicly speaking out about the need for girls’ education. She appeared frequently in the media and was given one of the country’s highest civilian honors for her bravery. (Read more here)

At the first annual What’s Right in Education conference in Nashville earlier this month Superintendents and Board Chairs from school districts from eleven states shared Evidence-Based Leadership best practices. Discussion included:

Creation of measurable goals and aligned leader evaluations that cascade from the superintendent to district leaders to principals;

Results from employee engagement, parent satisfaction and support services surveys;

Shared experience in increasing student achievement, teacher engagement, and parent satisfaction;

Establishment of a sustainable culture of excellence; and

How to hire the right teachers, retain them, and provide them a purposeful environment to assist all students to learn.

Check out these conversations on video. If you’re anything like me, then you’ll realize the theme grounding all of these leadership practices is a focus on educating students and student learning. This clip from Dr. Nancy McGinley’s presentation describes the importance of educating all students using Malala Yousufzai as an example.

McGinley uses a quote from Malala, “I would create more educational opportunities… because where there is education there is no Taliban” and as an example when she’s working with principals to say, “whenever we don’t have educational opportunity in the world we have an underclass of people…. [As educators we have] a moral obligation to give people the key to their future… the future belongs to the educated.”

 

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Associated Press. October 25, 2012. Malala Yousufzai, schoolgirl attacked by Taliban, will return to Pakistan, says dad. Available online here.

Herin Zada and Rebecca Santana. October 9, 2012. Taliban gunmen shoot 14-year-old girl over activism for education in volatile Pakistan region. Available online here.

What’s Right in Education 2012. Dr. Nancy McGinley, Superintendent of Charleston County School District, South Carolina.

Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. To do this we work with school boards, leaders, and teachers to apply Evidence-Based continuous improvement processes and the principles from How to Lead Teachers to Become Great in their districts to get the best student learning results and create results-oriented school cultures. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.