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Posts Tagged ‘LBJ Library’

Date: November 14
Time: 9:00 – noon
Place: LBJ Presidential Library (meet in the lobby)
Topic: What is the 21st Century Mission for Our Public Schools?

The nation has long prided itself on a public school system that successfully educates its children to be productive citizens of a flourishing democracy. And, by many measures, that continues to be the case. But there is increasing evidence that U.S. schools have failed to keep pace in a rapidly changing world.

Public education for all children is a foundation stone of this nation’s success. But changing times bring changing challenges. We can agree that children should learn basic skills, but what else do they need? What central purpose do we want our schools to serve today?

In our forum on November 14 at the LBJ library from 9-noon, we will explore three different perspectives on the mission of public schools.

Approach one:  Prepare Students to be Successful in the Workplace

There are alarming signs that the United States is losing its competitive edge in a burgeoning global economy.  If we are to continue to prosper as a nation, the guiding purpose of our public schools must be to prepare students for an increasingly complex workplace.

 

Approach two: Prepare Students to be Active and Responsible Citizens

Public schools were founded to foster the skills and behaviors citizens need to govern themselves and contribute to the public good.  A 40-year decline in civic education has taken its toll on the citizen participation our democracy depends on.  Instilling civic values is the most important contribution public schools make to society.

 

Approach three: Help Students Discover and Develop their Talents

A one-size-fits-all model does not serve our children or our society.  The mission of public schools should be to help each child make the most of his or her abilities and inclinations.  Schools must be able to respond to the variety of ways children learn.

At the core are these three questions:

  • Should schools focus on preparing students to be successful in the workplace?
  • Is the purpose of public schools to prepare students to be active and responsible citizens?
  • Should we invest more of our energy in helping each student make the most of his or her abilities?

Together we will consider the advantages of each approach as well as any costs or consequences. The results of our forum will be reported to the Kettering Foundation, a public policy research organization that reports on the public forums conducted by organizations like Texas Forums.

 

This forum, a project of the LBJ Presidential Library was one of dozens of forums being held by all twelve presidential libraries across the country, and made possible with funding from the National Archives and Records Administration and the National Issues Forums.

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If you haven’t visited the First Lady’s Gallery lately, now is the time to make your way over to the LBJ Library to see the new photo mural that the museum staff just installed. I’m so glad that I’ll be in working from the LBJ Library in Austin tomorrow. The Gallery will be my first stop!

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[edited 8.7.09 to correct typos I made to Carolyn’s letter. Sorry, Carolyn!]

Carolyn Lipka from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School, North, in New Jersey, one of our researchers who worked with Barbara Cline, received 1st place in the National History Day senior individual documentary category for her documentary:  “Legislation By Johnson:  Man and Moment.”  She received a gold medal and the History Channel Prize of $5,000.00; she has sent us a DVD of her documentary.

It’s easy to see why she won! Unfortunately, copyright laws prohibit me from posting her winning video, but trust me when I say that her documentary is a testimony to the importance of this event and the LBJ Library’s annual participation every February. Check out the extensive resources made available by the LBJ Library’s Education Specialist who does a yeoman’s job every year as host of the Central Texas Region History Day Competition!

Here are some snippets from her letter to LBJ Library Archivist Barbara Cline notifying her about winning the prize.

In my time at the LBJ Library I learned more than in the entirety of my other research.  I was afforded the opportunity to interview Luci Johnson; I was granted access to innumerable boxes of original archives, including daily diaries and oral histories.  One of my favorite things to do while I was there was looking through the extensive collection of political cartoons…”

“The taped conversations of Lyndon Johnson are a truly unique resource, but one which can be overwhelming.  Your assistance, in particular, helped me make sense of the voluminous recordings.  They wound up forming a vital part of my documentary.  My experience working with a generous and extremely knowledgeable staff of dedicated archivists such as your self gave me a great appreciation for the work of the LBJ Library…

“Because I am now aware of the great and important work of the Library, I plan on making a contribution to the LBJ Library.  I have used many research facilities over the past several years, and I came away from the LBJ Library with a feeling of gratitude that I was able to experience it.”

“I really appreciate all that you have done for my project, and I hope you enjoy ten minutes all about the immensely complex, fascinating giant that was Lyndon Johnson.”

Congratulations Carolyn. Please come back anytime and keep making those documentaries. We expect to hear more great things from you in the future!

Anyone else out there want to use our resources to tell a story? Check out our resources for researchers.

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On May 15, the LBJ Library and the LBJ School of Public Affairs co-hosted a summit on Open Government. If you weren’t able to join us in person or virtually, worry not. The entire fascinating day is available online for your viewing pleasure. It will be time well spent!

Commencement 2009 05/23/09
Speaker: Bill Bradley
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Open Government on the Internet: A New Era of Transparency 05/15/09
Speaker: Bill Bradley
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Open Government on the Internet – Panel Discussion: Texas and Transparency 05/15/09
Speaker: Panel Discussion
Panel on Texas and Transparency: The Hon. former State Representative Sherri Greenberg, LBJ School of Public Affairs; The Hon. former State Representative Talmadge Heflin, Texas Public Policy Foundation; Fred Zipp, editor, Austin American-Statesman Read More
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Open Government on the Internet – Panel Discussion: Transparency and Application Development 05/15/09
Speaker: Panel Discussion
Panel discussion on Transparency and Application Development:
Conor Kenny, OpenCongress/Sunlight Foundation; Damien Brockmann, billhop.com; Eric Gundersen, President of Development Seed Read More
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Open Government on the Internet – Panel Discussion: Technology and Transparency in the Federal Government 05/15/09
Speaker: Panel Discussion
Panel discussion Technology and Transparency in the Federal
Government: Kshemendra Paul, Federal Chief Architect, Office of Management and Budget; Clay Johnson, Sunlight Labs; John Wonderlich, Director of Policy, The Sunlight Foundation Read More
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Open Government on the Internet: A New Era of Transparency 05/15/09
Speaker: Susan Combs
Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs talked about efforts in Texas to increase transparency and the challenges the state faces. Introduction by LBJ School Professor and former State Representative Sherri Greenberg.Read More
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Open Government on the Internet: A New Era of Transparency 05/15/09
Speaker: Silona Bonewald
Silona Bonewald, founder and director of the League of Technical Voters, discusses her work with government transparency and the challenges and benefits of an archive of all federal web site content. Read More
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Open Government on the Internet: A New Era of Transparency 05/15/09
Speaker: Vivek Kundra
Federal Chief Information Office (CIO) Vivek Kundra speaks to the Conference from The Archer Center, a part of the University of Texas System, from Washington D.C. on the work the Obama administration is doing to use technology to increase government transparency. Read More
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Open Government on the Internet: A New Era of Transparency: Introduction 05/15/09
Speaker: Gary Chapman
LBJ School Professor Chapman, organizer of the Open Government Conference, talks about government transparency and the role the Internet will play in the future. Read More
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LBJ Students Discuss Open Government 05/08/09
Speaker: LBJ Students
Four students from Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs Professor Gary Chapman’s policy research project (PRP) on government transparency on the Internet discuss the Open Government on the Internet conference taking place May 15, the issue of government transparency, and the LBJ PRP experience… Read More
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Open Government on the Internet: A New Era In Transparency

JOIN OUR WEBCAST AT:

http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/webcasts/

Former Senator Bill Bradley
White House CIO Vivek Kundra
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs
LBJ School's Gary Chapman
The Hon. Former SenatorBill Bradley

White House CIOVivek Kundra

Texas ComptrollerSusan Combs

LBJ SchoolGary Chapman

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Freedom of Information
Act
, a landmark law that has ever since changed how citizens can learn about their government.

President Barack Obama’s “Day One” action, on January 21, 2009, emphasized his commitment to open and free government information, spelled out in his Freedom of Information Act Memorandum, the very first order the new President issued from the White House.

The one-day conference, “Open Government on the Internet: A New Era of Transparency,” will look at these developments through the eyes of nationally prominent speakers and the participation of the audience. On May 15, 2009, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs of the University of Texas at Austin, in co-sponsorship with the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, will co-host this one-day conference with speakers and panelists interacting simultaneously, through videoconferencing, in Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C.

The conference is sold out, but we are offering this opportunity for you to watch the webcast from the comfort of your own home or office!

Watch this video produced by students from the LBJ School of Public Affairs for an overview of the day.

Co-sponsors

LBJ Presidential Library and Museum
LBJ School of Public Affairs
Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas

The topics to be covered will include:

  • Innovations in fiscal transparency online
  • Technologies for monitoring legislation and spending
  • The “right-to-know” agenda for the 21st century
  • Innovation in the states
  • The future of “i-government”
  • Citizen participation online
  • How technologists can help

This event is meant for public sector managers and leaders, elected officials, nonprofit advocates, technologists and developers, and citizens interested in transforming government with new online tools.

The Day’s Program

8:30-8:45: The Hon. Former Senator Bill Bradley

8:45 – 9:30: Vivek Kundra, Chief Information Officer, White House Office of Management and Budget

9:30-10:15: Susan Combs, Comptroller of Public Accounts, State of Texas

10:15-10:45: Coffee break

10:45-12:00: Panel on Texas and transparency: The Hon. State Senator Kirk Watson (invited); The Hon. State Representative Mark Strama (invited); The Hon. former State Representative Sherri Greenberg, LBJ School of Public Affairs; The Hon. former State Senator Talmadge Heflin, Texas Public Policy Foundation; Fred Zipp, editor, Austin American-Statesman

12:00 to 12:30: Gary Chapman, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin

12:30-1:30: Lunch Break

1:30-2:30: Panel discussion technology and transparency in the federal government: Kshmendra Paul, Manager, Federal Enterprise Architecture, Office of Management and Budget; Clay Johnson, Sunlight Labs; John Wonderlich,
Director of Policy, The Sunlight Foundation

2:30-3:15 Panel discussion on transparency and application development: Conor Kenny, OpenCongress/Sunlight Foundation; Damien Brockmann, billhop.com; Eric Gundersen, President of Development Seed

3:15-3:30: Break – Refreshments provided

3:30-4:15: Silona Bonewald, founder and director of the League of Technical Voters

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Dr. Ebadi

Beginning on Monday, April 27, the Humanities Institute, in partnership with the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, and the LBJ Library and Museum, will host the week-long residency of distinguished Iranian jurist, human rights activist, and 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Shirin Ebadi. Dr. Ebadi’s itinerary in Austin features four free public events in which distinguished members of our own intellectual community will also participate. These timely forums, organized around the presence of a truly remarkable figure whose life and work uniquely position her to explore with us some of the 21st century’s central global challenges, include discussions of “Democracy in Iran and the Middle East,” “Law, Locality, and International Human Rights,” and “US-Iranian Relations.”

Monday, April 27, 5 p.m. “Democracy in Iran and the Middle East.” A public lecture by Dr. Shirin Ebadi in the Amphitheatre of the AT&T Conference Center.

Tuesday, April 28, 7 p.m. Public reading and book signing of Shirin Ebadi’s memoir, “Iran Awakening: One Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country,” Bookpeople, 603 N. Lamar

Wednesday, April 29, 3:30 p.m. “Law, Locality, and International Human Rights.” A panel discussion moderated by Rapoport Center Director Karen Engle, with Shirin Ebadi and UT professors Kamran Ali, Mounira Charrad, Barbara Harlow, Neville Hoad, and Shannon Speed. In the Eidman Courtroom, UT School of Law

Thursday, April 30, 5:30 p.m. “US-Iranian Relations.” A roundtable moderated by LBJ Presidential Librarian Betty Sue Flowers, with Shirin Ebadi and UT Professors Kamran Aghaie, Clement Henry, Faegheh Shirazi, and Denise Spellberg. In the Atrium, LBJ Library and Museum.

Please note: Space is limited for the free April 30 panel in the atrium of the LBJ Library. Tickets are available from either the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies or the Humanities Institute. Contact the Humanities Institute at: (512) 471-2654 or information@humanitiesinstitute.utexas.edu

Visit the Humanities Institute website for more information.

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On February 18, Dr. Betty Sue Flowers, director of the LBJ Library announced her resignation. The full post is below, but what is particularly relevant to the readers of this blog is Dr. Flowers’ leadership in establishing Texas Forums as an initiative of the LBJ Library six years ago.

It was October 2002 when I walked into her office to discuss deliberative forums as a possible offering for the LBJ Library. In true “Betty Sue fashion”, she only needed to hear two sentences before proclaiming, “yes, these forums will be one of the legacies of the LBJ Library. They are a direct fulfillment of one of the presidential libraries’ missions: to foster civic engagement.”

Just a few weeks later, I was privileged to enjoy a Sunday brunch at the Old Pecan Street Cafe with Betty Sue and four high-powered women. We discovered a common concern over the lack of opportunities for citizens to participate in the political conversations about important and, often, divisive issues that affect our every day lives. Out of this common concern, Texas Forums was born in January 2003.

If you recall the time, we were in the early stage talk about going to war in Iraq. We launched forums on Americans’ Role in the World in partnership with KLRU and were overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to learn to moderate and participate in these difficult conversations. A sentiment expressed by many participants went something like this, “I know what I believe, but I desperately want to engage with those who think differently. I don’t want this to divide us. I want to reach out and understand.” People did not necessarily change their opinion about the war. But they did reach a new understanding and empathy for those who thought differently. That’s quite a legacy.

Betty Sue learns about One Latop Per Child from Joshua Gay at the We are All Actors event

Betty Sue learns about One Latop Per Child from Joshua Gay at the We are All Actors event

Texas Forums is not just a program of the LBJ Library to Betty Sue. Deliberative forums and a connection to the Kettering Foundation were already a legacy of the LBJ Library under Harry Middleton, long-time library director, and former staff member and close confidant to President Johnson. Betty Sue built on this legacy and moved civic discourse out into the community –  real and virtual. Long before President Obama drew WOOTS from the civic participation and open government junkies and threw the Washington bureaucrats into a frenzy with his talk of transparency, participation and collaboration, Betty Sue saw the connection between transparency and authentic public discourse. Almost three years ago she was assembling resources to enable Texas Forums and Silona Bonewald (League of Technical Voters) to assemble an amazing roomful of talented technologists committed to transparency in government that would enable people to be responsible, pro-active, and engaged citizens.

She wove together extensive networks of organizations concerned with issues – Texas Health Institute and the Center for Health and Social Policy, for example – and demonstrated how their mission to address difficult issues could be better achieved by engaging the public in civil discourse in partnership with Texas Forums. The list of organizations that have partnered with the library as a result of her vision for Texas Forums is long, but I will research our history and post them later so that you can appreciate the scope of her vision.

I know that many of you will want to send your regards and good wishes to Dr. Flowers and join me in thanking her for her vision and leadership. You may do so in the comments section of this blog where they will be collected for her to enjoy well into her next adventure.

_________________________________________________________________

LBJ Foundation Logo

AUSTIN, Texas-Dr. Betty Sue Flowers, director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum since 2002, is leaving that post effective May 22, 2009, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation announced Feb. 18.

“After seven wonderful years at the LBJ Library and Museum, I have decided to move on to other adventures and opportunities,” Dr. Flowers said.

“It’s been such an honor and pleasure to serve as the director of this flagship presidential library, and I’m sure I would have been happy to continue serving into the indefinite future. But it’s always been my philosophy that it’s good for an institution to adapt to new leadership-and for a leader to face new challenges.”

Tom Johnson, chairman of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, said he is grateful for the wonderful leadership Dr. Flowers has provided at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. Johnson applauded the distinction, class and loyalty she has displayed as director.

“Dr. Flowers has earned the respect and the admiration of our board, her many colleagues in the entire presidential library system, historians and scholars who use the Library, and The University of Texas community,” Johnson said. “We will be cheering the next chapter in the accomplished life of Dr. Betty Sue Flowers.”

Johnson praised the many initiatives launched during Dr. Flowers’ tenure at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, including the Presidential Timeline of the 20th Century project, a Web-based resource that opens to the public the rich archives of historical documents and artifacts from the nation’s presidential libraries. Johnson said the project “will serve future generations with an amazing collection of historical information about U.S. presidents and the times they experienced.”

Other initiatives undertaken during Dr. Flowers’ seven years as director include the release of recorded phone conversations from the Johnson administration; activities commemorating President Johnson’s 100th birthday; the tribute to Lady Bird Johnson; and repair of the LBJ Plaza at the Library and Museum.

Dr. Flowers said: “Thanks to the generous support of the LBJ Foundation, many of my dreams for the Library and the reputation of its great president have come true.”

Dr. Flowers became director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in 2002. Before that, she was the Joan Negley Kelleher Centennial Professor in the English Department at The University of Texas at Austin, as well as a Piper Professor and a member of the University’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers. During her tenure at The University of Texas, she also was associate dean of graduate Studies and director of the Plan II Honors Program.

Dr. Flowers is a native Texan with degrees from The University of Texas and the University of London.

Dr. Flowers was a consultant for the nationally televised series “The Power of Myth” and a host for the radio series “The Next 200 Years.” Her 10-part television series, “Conversation with Betty Sue Flowers,” aired on the Austin PBS affiliate, KLRU.

About the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation is responsible for managing gifts that benefit two institutions at The University of Texas at Austin-the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum and the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs.

As one of only 12 presidential libraries in the country, the Library was established to preserve and make available for research the papers and memorabilia of President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

The mission of the School is to prepare graduate students for leadership positions, to organize public policy research, to provide continuing education for professionals, and to foster community involvement.

For more information, visit www.lbjfoundation.org.

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