Education and Learning for the 21st Century           by Barbara Barnes


The word “choice” has taken on a prominent place in education today. The hysterics versus excitement in the responses are interesting to say the least!  In fact, school choice, and private sector initiatives helping public education, have been around for years. The following is a short history of my first-hand knowledge of educational choice and partnerships. Each example had an amazing leader with outstanding teachers or learning leaders, working with parents and partners, to improve education and ensure all students were successful, regardless of the demographics.  Business partners provice  real world content. up-to-date information, technology and career skills, organizational assistance, and facility improvements. Community partners help with service or environmental projects. Parents become actively involved in the learning process.  Universities provide advanced learning and specific content. This learning can take place during the school day, after school, or in the community. 

School and partner examples include: 

Irvine Unified School District

Vista Verde School

Irvine Partnership In Education Program

President Reagan's National Association  of Partnerships in Education Conferences

International Partnership Network Conferences around the world

Role of the Principal in the State of California project

Education for the Future Project sponosred by Pacific Telesis and Wells Fargo

EFG Curriculum Collaborative and student projects worldwide

21st Century Prep (Academy) in Chattanooga, TN

San Onofre School on Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base

Read entire article HERE!


Jennifer McConnell, Debra Ralston, and Cheryl Parker, teachers at San Onofre School,  were awarded Starfish Pins for their assistance with curriculum for "Terrific Tuesday,"  the after-school club and for training the tutors with techniques to help individual students with real world skills.   The volunteer tutors were also presented with Starfish Pins, implementing our mission, "Making a Difference, One Child at a Time!" Each student received an "It's Your Future"  pin See photos here. 


HYPE Youth Start Up Foundation, founded by Amir Raveh,  sponsored the Youth For the Elderly Competition for students world wide. A cross grade level team of students at San Clemente High School entered the contest with their entrepreneurial product is called MOM, Memory Optimization Manager.  At the same time 4th grade students at San Onofre School used the same “portfolio” process, HYPE competitions continue with students around the world entering Sports Innovations contests. See description HERE. 


The Boys to Men Foundation, in Chattanooga, TN partnered with the Booker T. Washington State Park and worked with the park rangers who taught the young men gardening during a six week period. The young men built community gardens and participated in a six-week customized coding class at the CHIPS Learning Center,  Herbert "Book" McCray, the Founder of Independent Youth Services Foundations, the parent company of Boys to Men, was a previous Assistant Principal of 21st Century Prep.  See photos HERE


Our Mindfulness Based Life Enhancement programme by Mike Pupius in UK

Great to hear from you and to read your “Freedom to Choose” paper. You are not alone Barbara. You are the Star Thrower and you continue to make a difference.  And there are others. I can’t believe it is a quarter of a century since we met you in Sheffield and shared with you the work we were doing to bring total quality principles into schools that were failing.  It made a difference!  Just to share a little of our story in the UK.

See story HERE.  Purchase Star Thrower pins!