e-Mail to FL Education Commissioner Tony Bennett

Source: Mark Lee’s e-mail, Feb 2013

Hi Commissioner Bennett:

Glad that we had a chance to chat at the Florida Education Summit!  The Carpe Diem charter school system you referenced looks like a useful tech-intensive blended learning model for the charter school that I am planning.  

State of Florida Initiative

As mentioned during our chat, I can start a conversation with the other MIT clubs in Florida to explore we, perhaps in collaboration with the Department of Education, can contribute towards strengthening STEM education in Florida.  

Many of the MIT alumni in Florida are retirees, who have significant free time; given the right opportunities, they can contribute towards Florida K12 STEM initiatives.  

International Initiative 

If the Florida Department of Education is interested inlearning from Singapore about how it achieves its high rankings in the international benchmarks,  I can provide an introduction to Ashley Tan (http://www.nie.edu.sg/profile/tan-min-chung-ashley) who leads the Center for e-Learning at Singapore’s National Institute of Education (NIE).  

The NIE is the Government of Singapore’s teacher traininginstitute (http://www.nie.edu.sg/about-nie/general-information/welcome-to-nie).   I met Ashley over the summer when I was in Singapore – see his business card (attached JPG). 

Global Initiative

Mark Wilson (Florida Chamber of Commerce) shared hisperspective that Florida’s children need to think globally.  

In addition to meeting Florida’s educational requirements,the charter school (Grades 6-12) that I am planning will have 2 additional components to help students succeed in the global creative economy: https://begreatacademy.wordpress.com/.  

    1. Experience the world
    2. Build creative capacities

I am currently taking an MIT Media Lab online course “Learning Creative Learning, which has over 10,000 members from around the world. https://plus.google.com/u/1/communities/106132864609383396284  

During this course, I plan to solicit creative ideas and inspiration from its 10,000+ global online community – see this Google Map.


This charter school might well be the 1st crowd-inspired school in the world.  

The Be G.R.E.A.T. stands for Be “Globally Ready to Excel and Achieve Today”.  Everyday, when the students go tothe Be G.R.E.A.T. academy, they will be thinking to themselves that they are going to be great! 

Let me know how my fellow MIT alum and I can support STEM education in Florida.  

With its longstanding success in the international academic benchmarks, e.g. TIMSS, and multiple education innovations,Singapore is positioning itself to an education hub; there is even a Yale-NUS college (www.yalenus.edu.sg).   I am sure thatSingapore will be very open to sharing its K12 STEM expertise.  

  • Posted in: FL

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