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31 (More) Days of #BIF7 - Day 6 - John Werner

Education has become both a national crisis and a deeply polarizing issue. We all know the core problems:
  • We lag the other major powers in student performance.
  • Good teachers are vitally important, but we don't have enough of them and there are too many mediocre and bad teachers.
  • We don't measure teacher performance well enough.
  • We need a better way of rewarding excellent teachers.
  • The dropout rate is shamefully high at some public schools. 
Fortunately, many committed educators and innovators are working hard to explore potential solutions to the numerous problems facing the system. Count John Werner among them.

At BIF-7, John told a universal story about family, childhood, running, and education. His path led him to Citizen Schools, an organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities across the country. Appropriately, citizens (often volunteers) from varied professions and fields teach at Citizen Schools. It's a formula that helps under-performing kids and engages the community via collaborative teaching.

Initial external studies indicate positive findings for Citizen School students related to engagement, achievement, and attainment.

Post-BIF Update: Citizen Schools has been selected as a finalist in the Partnering for Excellence: Innovations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education competition. You can learn more and vote for Citizen Schools at

Additional information:

Video of John Werner talking about Citizen Schools:

BIF Profile Page

This is part of my 31 (More) Days of #BIF7 blog series.


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