The Education Achievement Gap: Who, What, Why, Where

Date:  Sunday, October 23, 2005
Speaker:  Vicky Dahn, Ph.D.

Dr. Vicky L. Dahn, Educational Consultant, retired from the Utah State Office of Education in January of 2004, concluding a 30-year career in public education. At the time she was the Director of Curriculum and Educational Technology. In addition to 12 years at the state level, she spent 12 years with the Salt Lake City School District as a junior high math teacher, district technology coordinator, and assistant principal of an at risk elementary school. She is currently employed primarily as an educational consultant for the Education Reform Foundation to assist low performing schools in improving student achievement in addition to several smaller contracts.

“No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is in the headlines in Utah and across the nation. The debate centers more on federal intrusion and the costs of implementation rather than on the children being left behind. NCLB is the latest version of the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) originally passed in 1964 with the intent to provide additional resources to low performing schools in order to narrow the educational achievement gap. After 40 years of extra funding, the gap persists. The discussion will focus on this gap, the children being marginalized, and why this isn’t the prime focus of the NCLB debate.”

Suggested references and resources: 
Parsing the Achievement Gap: Baselines for Tracking Progress, Educational Testing Service,
Inside the Black Box of High-Performing High-Poverty Schools,
Race and the Achievement Gap,
No Child Left Behind,


Confronting the End of Oil

Date:  Sunday, October 9, 2005
Speaker:  Steven Schamel, Ph.D., Principal Geox Consulting, Inc. 

Steven Schamel has over twenty-five years of experience in carrying out sponsored research in support of exploration for and development of oil and gas resources. Projects have ranged widely geographically and in terms of technologies applied, but all have had the goal of expanding fossil fuel reserves. Research Professor and formerly Association Director of the Petroleum Research Center. He is now an independent energy resource consultant working principally in the Rocky Mountains.

“The end of oil and other fossil fuels is still many decades, perhaps a century, into the future. Improvements in technology and expanding price-driven investments in exploration and development may prolong slightly the inevitable decline of fossil fuels in the mix of energy sources that supports the global economy and the ‘good life’. But future generations will look back in amazement at our generation’s wasteful use of this unique source of high-quality energy. If we are prudent, we will use our remaining fossil fuel resources to aid in building a genuinely sustainable global energy economy. Success in this enterprise, however, will require political will and leadership nationally and globally unlike anything we have experienced in the recent past.”

Suggested References and Resources: 
Paul Roberts, The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World. New York, Houghton Mifflin, 2004, 389 p. (Library 333.8 D313)
Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert’s Peak. New York, Hill and Wang, 2005, 202 p. (Library 333.79 R646 en)
Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power. New York, Simon & Schuster, 1991, 877 p.
Gerald A. J. Hodgett, A Social and Economic History of Medieval Europe. New York, Methuen and Co. Ltd., 1972, 246 p.