The NAM Board Meeting: Final Thoughts….

By March 6, 2006Report from America

Safely ensconced at last back at blog HQ, wanted to post some final thoughts on the just-concluded semi-annual NAM Board of Directors meeting:

— We heard from a representative from Jamestown 2007, celebrating the first English colony here, and the first manufacturing — of glass — in North America. Sen. Allen also alluded to the history of Jamestown in 1607 and the founding of The Virginia Company.

— Some great lines from Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, who sounded like the former prosecutor that she is, but delivered an effective message about education. She opined (tongue-in-cheek) that if they really wanted to improve math performance in schools, maybe they should have a law that wold bar any teen from getting their driver’s license unless they passed algebra. (Glad they didn’t have a rule like that when we were in school….)

— More from the Governor — who spent a fair amount of time as US Attorney and as Arizona Attorney General on the issue of immigration — on the suggestions for building a “Great Wall’-style wall along the border: “Show me a 50 foot wall and I’ll show you a 51 foot ladder….”

— Incredible fluidity in the Arizona public school systems. Fully half of the kids in the Maricopa County (Phoenix area) schools do not finish the school year in the school in which they started it. She talked about the challenges of this, and Gov. Engler echoed the concern, borrowing a term from manufacturing, “inventory control.” She said they need a system where, if kids move, their learning time won’t be interrupted. To this need, they have given every student tin the schools now an ID o tracking number that they can use to follow them through the system. “If FedEx can track a package around the world”, she said, “we ought to be able to track a first-grader.” (FedEx might have the easier job, for anyone who’s ever tried to keep up with a first grader….)