Dyson: From standardization to inspiration
(Getty Images)
February 21st, 2012
10:30 AM ET

Dyson: From standardization to inspiration

Editor's Note: Sir James Dyson is a British industrial designer and founder ofDyson Company. Fareed Zakaria recently interviewed 

By James Dyson - Special to CNN

Last week, President Obama granted 10 states freedom from the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The decade-old act holds states to a 2014 deadline to have all students deemed proficient in reading and math.

Even as the standards were enacted, its authors weren’t optimistic. They’d hoped the U.S. Congress would have stepped in to develop a more robust educational measure. The aim of the act was noble: To ensure American students were educated to a level at which they could compete with their global peers. But the method is flawed. Standardization does not inspire.

Two years shy of the deadline, the Obama Administration has given states an out, but not before setting its own benchmarks. To be exempted, states must agree to college- and career-ready standards, set new achievement standards and create new teacher evaluation systems.

The waivers signal a shift in the right direction. But do the new terms simply trade one yardstick for another?

FULL POST

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Topics: Education • Innovation • Technology • United States
James Dyson: To compete, U.S. must take risks
James Dyson with vacuum cleaner. (Getty Images)
October 10th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

James Dyson: To compete, U.S. must take risks

Editor's Note: Sir James Dyson is a British industrial designer and founder of Dyson Company. Fareed Zakaria recently interviewed 

By James Dyson - Special to CNN

When it comes to taking risks, governments are notoriously reluctant. But in times of global economic uncertainty, it’s important to look beyond the short term. Debt reduction is necessary, but it’s not an economic cure all. Without fueling new ideas, long-term growth will stall. Investments are needed in new technology and infrastructure - expansive (and expensive) projects. Taking a risk requires brave decisions.

I had to borrow $900,000 to start up my vacuum cleaner company. It was a serious gamble. None of the major manufacturers were interested in my technology and I was already knee deep in debt. But I took a chance. And within 18 months I had the best selling vacuum cleaner in the United Kingdom. It was a risk, but one I had to take. FULL POST

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Topics: Competitiveness • Economy • Innovation
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