I’m in Jacksonville, Florida today, participating in what is a very unusual and special event â€“â€“ “The Jacksonville Brain Summit”. In an earlier entry, I told you that Jacksonville has adopted a leadership position in their use of the most advanced brain-science-based strategies to improve the academic performance and the mature working skills and performance abilities of its citizenry. Their efforts have been inspired by a combination of great leadership and vision from the administration and on the School Board of the Jacksonville public schools, combined with exceptionally strong support from informed leaders in the wider community. This school district (the 19th largest in the US, extending from dense urban through extensive suburban to rural areas across one of the largest territories of any American school district), and this community have made a collective decision to improve their standing in the US and in the world in the most straightforward way in which that can be achieved: by improving the brainpower of its kids and working citizens. A visionary school superintendent (Dr. Joey Wise) and other school and business leaders recognize that one of the keys to improving their city lies with improving the skills and achievements of its greatest resource: the citizens that comprise its diverse community populations. What is exceptional about the Jacksonville effort is the extension and involvement of individuals in this effort far beyond the schoolhouse walls.
“The Jacksonville Brain Summit” was a step designed to further ducate it’s teachers, school administrators, special education professionals and adult education specialists â€“ along with key leaders and influencers in the Northeast Florida region —– about the scientific bases, and the potentially great values of applying brain science-based training strategies to help ALL children and MANY adults in their community increase their learning rates and capacities. The enthusiasm and energy and collective good spirits expressed by the several thousand participants in this 2-day meeting was inspiring. They once again revealed that can-do and determined-to-help attitude that infects the best teachers and administrators, and that permeates every great school and every healthy community in America. Every teacher, every administrator, every good parent, every good citizen WANTS TO HELP the kids in their community rise up in their achievements and goals, far above their current standards. There are few large school districts as committed to this ideal, and as well prepared to achieve it, as Jacksonville, Florida.
You watch along, America. I’m going to help you track the improvements in the student population and in the community of Jacksonville, as they unfold over the next several years. Expect a report on their progress every several months. As I said in my last entry on this subject (and I am now more certain about it than ever), you are going to see this energetic city leapfrog, in educational achievement, right over other comparable cities in the US!