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2011 Roundtable at Stanford

Education Nation 2.0

Redefining K-12 education in America, before it redefines us

America's schools are in trouble. Twenty five percent of American kids drop out of high school. And those that do graduate often are ill prepared for either college or a 21st Century job. Our own Secretary of Education said, "We have to deal with the brutal truth."

Designing an education that truly builds the necessary skills for today's enormously diverse student population is not easy. But it's the key to opportunity for our citizens, economic vitality for our nation, and to assuring the U.S. remains a world leader. There is hope: innovations and innovators that challenge the status quo; research to help us understand how to move the education needle; a virtual army of reformers experimenting with new ways to teach, learn, and run our public schools.

Renowned interviewer Charlie Rose moderated a distinguished panel of leaders at the sixth Roundtable at Stanford University on October 22, 2011.

2011 Panelists

John Hennessy

John L. Hennessy is Stanford University's 10th president and inaugural holder of the Bing Presidential Professorship, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, former provost and dean of the School of Engineering. Recognizing the need for multidisciplinary research to address today's challenges, he has launched university-wide initiatives in human health, environmental sustainability, and international affairs.


Charlie Rose

Charlie Rose (moderator) is an Emmy award winning journalist who has been praised as "one of America's premier interviewers." He is the host of Charlie Rose, the nightly PBS program that engages the world's best thinkers, writers, politicians, athletes, entertainers, business leaders, scientists and other newsmakers.


Cory Booker

Cory A. Booker is serving his second term as mayor of Newark, NJ. Under his leadership, affordable housing production more than doubled, and new economic development surpassed $1 billion. His education reform efforts have expanded high-quality public education options and led to the creation of new educational and career development programs for Newark’s disaffected youth. Mayor Booker received his BA and MA from Stanford University, a BA in modern history at Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar, and his law degree at Yale University.


Reed Hastings

Reed Hastings is co-founder and CEO of Netflix. Founded in 1997, the online and by-mail video rental company today has more than 20 million subscribers. Earlier, Reed founded Pure Software, which became one of the world’s 50 largest public software companies. An active educational philanthropist, Hastings was president of the California State Board of Education and led successful statewide political campaigns for more charter public schools and easier passage of local school bonds. Reed received a BA from Bowdoin College and an MS in computer science from Stanford.


Salman Khan

Salman Khan is founder and “one-man faculty” of Khan Academy, a nonprofit providing free, high-quality education to “anyone, anywhere.” A former hedge fund analyst, Khan began helping a cousin with math over the phone. When others expressed interest, he posted his tutorials on YouTube. Today the academy website offers unlimited access to more than 2,200 instructional videos, which 2 million students visit monthly. Khan holds a BS in math and an MS in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT and an MBA from Harvard University.


Kim Smith

Kim Smith is co-founder and CEO of Bellwether Education Partners, a nonprofit dedicated to accelerating achievement of low-income students. A founding member of Teach For America, she went on to found and lead an AmeriCorps program for community-based leaders in education. Smith also co-founded NewSchools Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy firm focused on transforming public education, where she created a bipartisan, cross-sector community of entrepreneurial change agents. She earned her MBA at Stanford.


Claude Steele

Claude M. Steele is dean of Stanford’s School of Education. He previously served as provost at Columbia University and director of Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. His research interests include how people cope with threats to their self-image and how group stereotypes can influence intellectual performance. Steele is a board member of the MacArthur Foundation and the Social Science Research Council. He holds a BA in psychology from Hiram College, and an MA and PhD in social psychology from Ohio State University.