School of Education alum to serve on national education task force
James Wilson

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1:49 p.m., March 8, 2010----James Wilson, a University of Delaware alumnus and member of the Delaware State Board of Education, has been chosen to join a yearlong national study group about education and the military.

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The National Association of State Boards of Education's 2010 study group is entitled “Common Ground: Education and the Military Meeting the Needs of Students.”

Wilson will work with other state board members, researchers and policy analysts to examine areas in which educators and the military have shared goals and how specific curricula and assessment programs developed by and for the military may be adapted to help improve public education.

Part of this process is to determine what skills and knowledge youth need to become strong students and leaders as they transition from post-secondary education to the next phase of their lives. The study zeros in on key objectives, such as improving graduation rates, expanding career exploration opportunities and elevating the need for well-trained teachers.

“As part of our examination of best practices and research, we will be looking at programs the armed forces use for improving reading and math skills,” said Wilson. “They get very impressive results in a short period of time and we will be determining whether they can be adapted to help improve performance in a regular school situation.”

The study group will also be taking a serious look at dealing with the obesity problem in high schools across the country.

“Many people don't realize the negative impact obesity has, not only on a person's physical health, but also their mental health, academic performance and work ability,” he pointed out. “We want to look at the total student leaving the high school, not just their test scores.”

Wilson graduated from the School of Education in the College of Education and Public Policy in 1967, with a master's degree in educational administration. He was the superintendent of the Cape Henlopen School District for 11 years and has worked as a teacher, principal, project manager and superintendent in many educational environments, including overseas.

The first meeting of the study group was held in January in Washington, D.C. A comprehensive report based on the study group's findings will be issued in October at the NASBE Annual Conference. The group's recommendations will be shared with relevant stakeholders including members of Congress, federal officials, governors, chief state school officers, local education policymakers, and the education and military communities.

Article by Cassandra Kramer
Photo courtesy of James Wilson and the Delaware Department of Education

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