Guest Post by Christopher Tiné, Producer, NBC Learn and

“Just about every challenge in American education has been met somewhere, by somebody.” – Bill Clinton.

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to hear Bill Clinton speak about education at NBC News’ Education Nation summit.  He spoke with Brian Williams about competitiveness and cooperation, but right at the end as he was wrapping up he made a comment that has stuck with me.  He said, “Just about every challenge in American education has been met somewhere, by somebody…why are we so lousy at copying the competition and adapting it to our own circumstances?”

Bill Clinton challenged the audience to look around and see where things were working, and adapt solutions to fit their own educational challenges.  NBC Learn and Blackboard have tried to do just that with the Solutions in Action series.  So often the focus of the education conversation is on what’s wrong with the system.  Solutions in Action is our effort to spend a few minutes shining a spotlight on what’s right in education – thinkers with new ideas, effective solutions, and scalable strategies.

Photo Credit: NBC News

Solutions in Action has also been a great opportunity to go deeper into some of these ideas.  As a producer, we often only have time to include sound bites and sum up ideas in short stories.  This series gives people and ideas a little bit of room to breathe.  As I rode the train to Baltimore with Rehema Ellis (NBC News Chief Education Correspondent) for the Freeman Hrabowski interview, she said to me “it’s such a gift to be able to do these longer interviews and not have to squeeze everything into a two minute story!”  I couldn’t agree more.  This has been a great series to work on and hopefully these interviews will inspire a few people to think about solutions that are working and to put them into action in their own way.

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