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Lydia Dobyns
Lydia has combined careers as a technology entrepreneur and executive, with education policy and non-profit service. She served two terms as a school board member, led an education foundation and directed replication strategies in the non-profit education sector. As President of New Tech Network, she directs strategy, new initiatives, product development, and school development services. Among the chief initiatives for New Tech are expanding its network of 130 schools, digital learning for students and teachers, further development of the learning management system, NTN Echo and expansion into K-12.

Prior to joining NTN, Lydia was the Director of Strategy and Expansion for RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching), a leading non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the classroom experience through innovative inquiry-based learning. She also served as president and vice president of the Loma Prieta Joint Union Elementary School board, a publicly elected position. Lydia was the founder and co-executive director of a non-profit education foundation dedicated to improving public schools in Los Gatos, California.

Her entrepreneurial and executive career featured work in the high technology, online services, consumer products and health care industries. Previous roles for Lydia included CEO of, VP and General Manager for AOL and VP of Corporate Marketing for Ashton-Tate. She graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley.

Entries by Lydia Dobyns

Can President Obama Make Equal Access Headway?

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 9:48 AM

In his 2015 State of the Union (SOTU) speech, President Obama said, "My only agenda for the next two years is the same as the one I've had since the day I swore an oath on the steps of this Capital -- to do what I believe is best for America."

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Learning Gets Funky!

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 5:43 PM

Learning today can look and feel quite differently than what most of us experienced in school. The recent "Uptown Funk" video by A Maceo Smith New Tech High School students generated more than 6.5 million views on YouTube in three days. On the surface it looks like a...

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Free Community College: A Hail Mary Pass?

(1) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 1:14 PM

In his December year-end press conference, President Obama termed this part of his presidency 'the 4th quarter' and added "interesting things happen in the 4th quarter." The President has proposed free community college (75 percent paid for by federal government and 25 percent by states) for students who...

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Understanding the Economics of School Reform

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 4:30 PM

The Challenge of Funding Education and Achieving Results

A budget confrontation is brewing with Federal funding due to expire on December 11. Congress has yet to reach a deal, and the public does not want a repeat of last year's 16-day government shutdown. Even so, Congress could be heading in...

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Learning Civic Responsibility

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 4:10 PM

Students Give Back to Their Community

One million military service members are set to transition to civilian life between 2011 and 2016. With current unemployment rates alarmingly high among young veterans, this upcoming wave of veterans entering the civilian workforce challenges us all. Thousands of organizations including USAA, Starbucks, Amazon,...

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Classroom Politics: Encouraging Politically Savvy Students

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 11:11 AM

During every election season I wonder what more we can do, as educators, to inspire civic mindedness? What lessons or projects provide paths for students to understand the critical role voting plays in building and nurturing a healthy democracy?

Now that the midterm election results are recorded and the...

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"With Liberty and Justice and High Speed Internet Access for All"

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 4:27 PM

I have seen schools throughout the country where the excitement of learning is palpable and students utilize technology and internet access as an integral component in their daily learning. I've also witnessed the opposite -- schools with limited, antiquated access to the internet and little access to technology in the...

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Future Success Can Be Taught

(2) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 1:33 PM

Study shows students can graduate high school with the skills needed for success.

Much has been written on what goes beyond student test scores and grades -- see my post last year called: "Soft Skills are 'Hard as a Rock.'" Findings from a new research...

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Getting More Girls Into STEM Careers: Lessons From a Principal

(1) Comments | Posted November 24, 2013 | 6:05 PM

Editor's Note: This post is part of a series produced by HuffPost's Girls In STEM Mentorship Program. Join the community as we discuss issues affecting women in science, technology, engineering and math.

I recently wrote "Engineered to Succeed: Lessons from a Student...

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College and Career Readiness -- Part Three

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 3:26 PM

Building and Sustaining Learning Organizations

College and Career Readiness for every student is an audacious goal. Those of us in education aspire to achieve this and few have thus far succeeded with each June's graduates.

This last blog of the three-part series on College and Career Readiness focuses on "Building...

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Engineered to Succeed: Lessons From a Student Pursuing a STEM Career

(1) Comments | Posted November 1, 2013 | 8:28 PM

Editor's Note: This post is part of a series produced by HuffPost's Girls In STEM Mentorship Program. Join the community as we discuss issues affecting women in science, technology, engineering and math.
(Part One of a two-part series on "Girls in STEM")

President Obama recently...

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College and Career Readiness -- Part Two

(0) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 10:25 AM

Engaging in Adaptive Leadership

I recently wrote about turning the "College and Career Ready Mantra" into reality for all students. Our ability to achieve this audacious goal is dependent on our capacity as educators to:

  • Adopt and model a growth mindset
  • Engage in adaptive leadership
  • Build and sustain...
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How to Turn the 'College and Career Ready' Mantra into Reality

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 7:10 PM

You hear it daily -- the mantra "college and career ready." What you don't hear is consensus on "what" this looks like and "how" we are going to improve the state of play. Recent news from New York state student assessments confirm what many of us know --most high school...

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Paying It Forward: Teachers Model a Passion for Learning

(9) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 7:56 PM

Dave was a disengaged 14-year-old. Everything about his world suggested he would fail. He came to class, eyes glazed over, seeing little relevance in school. He was lost. That is, until a teacher found ways to reach him. A teacher who helped Dave find his voice and discover purpose and...

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'Agency' -- A Noun That Translates Into Success

(1) Comments | Posted July 31, 2013 | 6:47 PM

Helping Students Find Relevance and Motivation in Learning

When we think of the skills students need to be successful in school and in life, the word "agency" doesn't usually pop into mind. But maybe it's time...

Through the tenets of "agency," we can help students see...

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Soft Skills Are 'Hard As a Rock'

(1) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 6:17 PM

I must admit I'm perplexed about the controversy over whether so-called "soft skills" such as work ethic, collaboration and critical thinking should be taught in school. This debate should be a non-starter. What's so soft about skills valued by Fortune 500 companies?

According to a report by...

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Learning How to Learn

(7) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 8:19 PM

Middle School Teachers Lead the Way

Deciding to make fundamental changes to the way students learn, and, therefore, the way teachers teach, has huge implications for a district. Teachers and administrators often spend significant time researching effective strategies before adopting local innovation plans.

Just ask...

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Can President Obama's Visit to New Tech School Pave the Way for Education Innovation?

(5) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 2:52 PM

No one loves a happy ending more than me. Today was a personal once-in-a-lifetime movie moment: I welcomed President Obama to Manor New Technology High School. Before the president spent 45 minutes with students showing off Project Based Learning, I got to engage in a conversation with him...

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Show Me the Evidence!

(2) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 12:50 PM

Changing an infrastructure takes vision, persistence and sufficient resources. To truly change our educational system -- from the "one-size-fits-some" that exists in too many districts in too many states -- requires those three elements along with instilling a student-centered culture that is grounded with transparency and individual responsibility rather than...

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Making the Grade After Graduation

(4) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 4:45 PM

Millions of high school seniors are beginning to receive college acceptance letters, but data surrounding students' performance once they get to college should dampen the elation. The American Dream 2.0 Report found that 46 percent of all students who enroll in an institution of higher learning do not...

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