Preview of a Presidential Library

by Jeanne Bernish on April 25, 2013

Earlier this month I had the privilege of visiting the George W. Bush Institute on the campus of Southern Methodist University. In the midst of construction leading up to the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, the Philanthropy Roundtable held its opening session in the newly finished theater of the Institue. I do not often have the opportunity to attend such events, but I had a two-fold reason for wanting to attend this conference in particular: 1) I had hoped to connect with Andy Smarick over an interesting post he authored over on the Flypaper blog that hit home:

Many of us are focused on providing better educational opportunities to low-income kids, especially those in cities. This is certainly where I’ve spent most of my time.

And for this reason, we’ve built organizations and pursued activities with this in mind. But as a result, our community has all but ignored the needs of suburban and more affluent families.

Our community’s reflexive response to this charge to date has been, “So what? We can only do so much, and urban ed reform is where we’re directing our scarce resources.”

But this fails to recognize that everything we do takes place in a political-policy context, and state legislatures and Congress include lots of people who represent suburban, middle-class, and affluent areas.  (from General Failure on the Flypaper blog)

and, 2) A trip to Dallas would give me an opportunity to reconnect with a student I had interviewed from one of our subsidiary high schools who is currently studying civil engineering at SMU.

I never did connect with Andy Smarick – (but I am fascinated by the topic of spreading education reform to our leafy suburbs. My work at KnowledgeWorks often leaves me struggling to understand why so much innovation in the education sector seems to be passing the middle class by. Competency based education, online learning and credit flexibility have much to offer the high ability student.)

George W. Bush Presidential Library on SMU's campus George W. Bush Presidential Library on SMU’s campusI did, however, have the opportunity to attend the opening remarks at the George W. Bush Institute. The grounds surrounding the building were simply beautiful and the native flowers in bloom were a welcome change from the not-quite-yet Spring of Ohio. Here are some of my pictures from the evening:[easyrotator]erc_45_1366905762[/easyrotator]

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