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From the ED 3.28.13

Dear Colleagues,

Happy Spring! I know that many of you are taking some well-deserved time off for Spring Break and I hope that you are using this time to recharge and rejuvenate – this is a critical element to your success and your effectiveness in your work.

Most of you know that I am passionate about professional development as a means towards self-improvement. I had the opportunity recently to attend the 5th Anniversary celebration of Innosight Institute.  This was a relatively small gathering of about 300 in Mountain View, CA. The highlight of the evening was a panel discussion by Clayton Christensen, Salman Khan, and Scott Cook (Founder and CEO of Intuit, Inc.) moderated by Jane Clayson Johnson (CBS’s The Early Show). It was the first opportunity I have had to see and hear Christensen in person after reading many of his books and watching numerous videos. He is truly an inspiring leader and if you have the opportunity, please be sure to see him speak. I have seen Sal Khan ( twice before and each time, I leave with a new sense of inspiration. Sal’s recently published book – The One World School House: Education Reimagined – is a must read for any educator. There is so much that I believe is relevant and thought provoking – I strongly encourage you all to read this book.

An excerpt: “Obviously, the fewer students per teacher, the more attention each student will get. But isn’t the student-to-valuable-time-with-the-teacher ratio more important?” This idea of a different way to view the issue of small class size is completely aligned with the goals and philosophy of independent school education. Our parents send their children to our schools because our schools are safe (physically and emotionally), because their children are ‘known’ – no child falls through the cracks, and because they value the ‘character building’ aspects of independent school education. Small class size which has been the metric by which nearly every one of our schools had marketed their distinct advantage may not be the right measure and is clearly creating long term financial sustainability challenges for most of our schools. I would encourage your leadership team to evaluate the value of continuing to market the low student / faculty ratio as a key metric of your school’s value proposition. Consider Sal Khan’s metric – student-to-valuable-time-with-the-teacher as a new metric to measure your school’s value to your families. The concepts of student centric learning discussed in “Disrupting Class” are now possible with technology and innovation – Sal Khan brings this to life in his book.

Also, MISBO has added two new professional development opportunities to our offerings this year.  First, MISBO is partnering with Florida Independent School Business Officer (FISBO) to present the 27th Annual FISBO Business Officer Conference, May 5-7, 2013 in Jacksonville, FL, hosted by The Bolles School. This two day event will feature a keynote presentation by NAIS President Pat Bassett as well as a full program of speakers on topics critical to the successful business operations of independent schools. For a full program and registration information visit

Additionally, MISBO is excited to offer its first New Business Officer Intensive. This program was developed after receiving feedback from you that new business officers entering a school for the first time needed a program designed specifically to meet their needs. This program is designed for business officers with less than 5 years of experience, business officers who may be starting this summer, or members of your business office staff who are considering advancing their careers. This two day program, June 9-11, 2013 in Atlanta, GA, hosted by Woodward Academy, will be a great opportunity to meet new people in the field. The sessions will be led by MISBO Board Members and will provide attendees opportunities to network in small groups and leave with resources to assist them in their work at their schools. For a full program and registration information visit As always, if you have questions or comments, please feel free to write or call me.

Enjoy your spring break and perhaps gain some inspiration from investigating new ideas on education.



Marc Levinson
Executive Director, MISBO

From → MISBO

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