Pat Summitt steps down as Tennessee's women's basketball coach
Pat Summitt won 1,098 games as Tennessee's head coach, the most in major-college basketball.
April 18th, 2012
04:38 PM ET

Pat Summitt steps down as Tennessee's women's basketball coach

by the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Eight months after revealing her diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer's, the head coach of the University of Tennessee's women's basketball team announced she was stepping down Wednesday.

Pat Summitt, who led the Lady Vols to eight national championships and whose 1,098 wins are the most in major-college basketball history, will remain involved in mentoring players and recruiting as the team's head coach emeritus, the university said.

"I've loved being the head coach at Tennessee for 38 years, but I recognize that the time has come to move into the future and to step into a new role," Summitt said in a statement released by the university.

Associate head coach Holly Warlick, an assistant on the team's staff for 27 seasons, has been named Summitt's successor, the university said.

"If anyone asks, you can find me observing practice or in my office," the 60-year-old Summitt said. "Coaching is the great passion of my life, and the job to me has always been an opportunity to work with our student-athletes and help them discover what they want. I will continue to make them my passion. I love our players and my fellow coaches, and that's not going to change."

Summitt said in August that her pre-diagnosis symptoms included asking her son the same question repeatedly, but said that she intended to keep coaching.

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Filed under: College • Extracurricular
April 18th, 2012
02:07 PM ET

Down syndrome student fights to keep playing sports

by Ted Rowlands, CNN

Ishpeming, MI (CNN) - After spending a Sunday afternoon with Eric Dompierre and his parents it's clear that they're extremely grateful that Eric has always been included.

Eric Dompierre has Down syndrome, but he's been welcome to play sports with other kids in Ishpeming Michigan since he was in elementary school.

"We didn't know how far he'd go, how many coaches would keep him on the team," says Dean Dompierre, Eric's father.

When he got to high school, Eric was invited to keep playing. Now he's on both the Ishpeming High School football and basketball teams. He attends every practice and works out with the other players and if it's appropriate he plays a few minutes at the end of the game.

During this season's basketball playoffs Eric brought the house down. The team after maintaining a nice lead put Eric in the game and he hit a three-point shot against rival Negaunee High School.

"I was on the left side behind the three-point line and they passed me the ball," Dompierre says smiling as he recounts the game. "I heard the fans, including my mom crying."

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Filed under: Extracurricular • Policy • video
Opinion: Are colleges afraid of Peter Thiel?
Peter Thiel believes that some of the brightest students may be better off not going to college.
April 18th, 2012
11:15 AM ET

Opinion: Are colleges afraid of Peter Thiel?

by William J. Bennett, CNN Contributor

Editor's note: William J. Bennett, a CNN contributor, is the author of "The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood." He was U.S. secretary of education from 1985 to 1988 and director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H.W. Bush.

(CNN) - Colleges and universities of all types, from for-profits to two-year colleges and Ivy League schools, have been the focus of much debate recently as many students are struggling to meet the ever-growing costs of tuition and student loan debts. But one angle has been subject to less scrutiny: What are colleges and universities providing for the most talented and accomplished students? If something we call higher education isn't the best choice for our highest achieving students, then what is its purpose?

In this regard, Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal and one of the most vocal critics of higher education, believes that college classrooms are doing little to equip our future CEOs, innovators and industry leaders. Thiel has a point. Some of the brightest students might be better off not going to college at all, being forced to take classes in which they have no interest and leaving with burdensome student loan debt.

Last year, Thiel took things into his own hands and started the "20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship," a program that brings together the most enterprising students younger than 20 and offers them a $100,000 grant to skip college and explore their own research and entrepreneurial ideas. Under the tutelage of investors, scientists and like-minded industry tycoons, students are able to develop connections, court investors and promote their businesses on a level that Thiel says colleges cannot provide.

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Filed under: College • Voices
April 18th, 2012
06:18 AM ET

My View: Creating innovators

Courtesy PJ BlankenhornBy Tony Wagner, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Tony Wagner is the author of “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World.” He is the first innovation education fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard and the founder and former co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. You can follow him on Twitter @drtonywagner.

Policymakers and educators alike talk about all students having to be "college-ready," and many business leaders believe that America's economic future depends on more students taking courses in science, technology, engineering and math. However, it is clear to me that the more important goal is for all students to graduate from high school or college "innovation-ready," and merely requiring students to take more of the same kinds of classes will not be adequate preparation. To meet this ambitious goal, both parents and teachers must work to develop children’s curiosity and imagination, teaching them the skills and dispositions that matter most.

For my latest book, “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World,” I interviewed scores of highly creative and entrepreneurial young people to understand the most important influences that enable someone to become an innovator. I also talked with their parents and the teachers and mentors whom they told me had made the greatest difference in their lives. Finally, I interviewed younger children’s parents who also had successful careers as innovators and entrepreneurs. Shifting through all of this data, I discovered some fascinating patterns of parenting and teaching associated with "creating" a young innovator.

Traditional "helicopter parents" indulge their children's every whim, while hovering and protecting them from adversity. By contrast, "tiger moms" - derived from the title of Amy Chua's 2011 best-seller - demand perfection and threaten to give away their children's most precious toys when they cannot play a piano piece perfectly. These two seemingly different approaches to parenting have a common goal: Both are trying to manage their children for "success"– conventionally defined.

Yet merely sending your child to the "right" schools and ensuring that they get good grades are no longer guarantees of success. More than a third of all recent college graduates are living at home today - either unemployed or underemployed. It is increasingly clear that young people who have developed a capacity to be innovative and entrepreneurial - who have the interest in and capability to create their own jobs - will have the most satisfying lives and rewarding careers in the future. Innovation is the skill in greatest demand in the workplace today and is the one least likely to be outsourced or automated.

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Filed under: Innovation • Voices