The Most Likely to Change the World Podcast explores how educators across the country are dramatically improving the educational system in the United States WITHOUT changing teachers or curriculum. You will hear the real world challenges of educators and administrators from every type of school environment and learn how they overcome those challenges with a dramatic and transformative innovation that leads to stronger and healthier bonds between teachers, students, administrators, and families.

Produced in partnership with the BARR Center, the Most Likely to Change the World Podcast is an exciting inspirational series that proves positive change in our school systems is possible.

The Most Likely to Change the World Podcast is 100% committed to sharing something extraordinary.

Jon Gordon: Look for the Good, Develop your Strengths

September 14, 2022

Best-selling author and former teacher, Jon Gordon explains why he urges everyone to stay positive and focus on strengths.

Gordon says, “We have to make sure that in the toughest times that we’re finding a way forward and a lot of times that means focusing on our strengths. Our weaknesses are part of our journey as well and I believe we have to help minimize the weaknesses. But too many people try to develop their weaknesses and don’t spend enough time investing and developing their strengths.”

Listen to Gordon’s inspirational message of hope and positivity.

Secretary Cardona: “Empower Educators”

September 1, 2022

In an exclusive interview with Angela Jerabek, the Executive Director of the BARR Center, 

Education Secretary Cardona shares his passion for educators and his admiration for the work they do.  In addressing the teacher shortage, Secretary Cardona says, “We’ve created [the shortage] over the years by underinvesting and disrespecting the profession… It’s time we stop that. We need to make sure we’re paying our educators a competitive salary compared to their level of education,” commensurate with the earnings of other professionals. He relays the story of how one educator noticed his skills and encouraged him to pursue his strengths, thereby starting the trajectory of his career,  resulting in  him becoming the leader of the Department of Education.

Secretary Cardona’s interview is followed by 30-year veteran educator and BARR Coach, Steve Ball, recounting his observations of how teachers’ building relationships with individual students transforms the educational experience. 

Bill Milliken Hanging Out and Making a Difference

August 18, 2022

Bill Milliken, Founder of Communities In Schools (CIS), takes some time to talk with us about his journey from Pittsburg’s pool halls to one of the nation’s pioneering advocates for students throughout the nation.

Milliken found his vocation on the streets helping children and teens coping with poverty, hunger, homelessness, drug addiction and mental illness. He reflected on the importance of simply hanging out — and building trust.

After 50 years of fighting for an equitable and quality education for all children, Milliken has now set his sights on having CIS in every school in America.

Billy and Debbie Shore: Students Thrive When There is No Kid Hungry

July 29, 2022

Billy and Debbie Shore, the brother and sister team who co-founded Share Our Strength and orchestrated the No Kid Hungry campaign, share the ins and outs of getting food to children in school. It should be easy, no? The money is there, the need is there.  Most especially, the students are there.  Listen as they share their story and passion for feeding our nation’s young people so that they can truly learn and thrive.

Listen to Education Secretaries Spellings, Duncan, King & Cardona!

July 7, 2022

Four United States Secretaries of Education, Margaret Spellings, Arne Duncan, John B. King, Jr., and Miguel Cardona join their voices to discuss leading our country through some of the greatest changes and challenges we have witnessed in education. They each share with host Angela Jerabek, the founder and executive director of the BARR Center, their one common goal: Ensuring each and every student succeeds.

Listen to the passionate commitment to educators and students these four profound leaders express to find inspiration and hope in the education of our children in America.

Education Secretary King: “Fresh Start and Second Chances”

May 25, 2022

John B. King Jr., Secretary of Education under President Obama, talks about the need to give students a fresh start.

“I worry about young people who are going through struggles; they lose a sense of hopefulness that it could be better, that it could be different,” says King.

Speaking from personal experience, King calls for educators to offer fresh starts to students: “I’m the first United States Secretary of Education that was kicked out of high school. But then there were teachers and a school counselor and family members who gave me a second chance, who were willing to see me as more than the sum of my mistakes. And that was hugely important.”

King also addresses the staffing shortages in schools, “Teachers feel overwhelmed because they can’t support their students and families in the way they would want, and they don’t have colleagues to work with them. I think education can sadly be quite isolating for some teachers where they feel like they have to do it all on their own, in their classroom.”

Then we’ll hear from Ed Matthews, principal of South Fort Myers High School in Fort Myers, Florida, discussing the impact of the BARR system on how teachers interact at South Fort Myers, eradicating the school’s staffing challenges.

Matthews says that prior to implementing the BARR Model, “South Fort Myers High School school used to have 12 to 15 teaching vacancies, like nonstop. We’ve been fully staffed all year. And in fact, a lot of our staff members have now been receiving promotions. And the only time that we’re really losing people is when they’re getting promoted.”

Education Secretary Spellings: “Care Enough to Find Out”

May 11, 2022

Margaret Spellings, the architect of the No Child Left Behind initiative, discusses the soft bigotry of low expectations and analyzes the stress COVID has put on our educational system.

On the American public school system, Spelling observes, “You know, we get our crop of kids at the beginning of the school year and we shoot them out the other end and you kind of do the best we can in the middle. But it’s a more factory model than individually focused.”

Regarding the loss of learning that occurred during COVID, Spellings says, “The last thing we need to do is adopt the ostrich approach and give up on our kids. No, we need to triage. We need to intervene. We need to accelerate. Without clear eyed assessment and feedback and accountability, it will really underserve our students, especially those who are more disadvantaged. We need assessment because we need to care enough to find out how students are doing.”

Also joining the podcast is Gene Roundtree, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools in the Boston School District. Mr. Roundtree discusses the impact the BARR system has on individualizing our relationships with students, “A lot of times these conversations used to happen at the end of the term, after the kids had already failed the class. Utilizing the BARR process meant that we weren’t waiting until the end of the term to look at data and outcomes, and then plan interventions and changes. We were looking at it like right from the first month of the school year. “

Adds Mr. Roundtree, “Over the course of the year, you know, we actually had a really drastic reduction. We had a 25% reduction in course failures in the ninth grade after our first year.”

Education Secretary Duncan: “Talent is everywhere. Opportunity is not.”

April 27, 2022

Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan shares his painful discovery at an early age of how systemic failures in our schools allow children to graduate high school without the ability to read.  

Duncan says, “Talent is everywhere. Opportunity is not. And our job is to help make sure that opportunity finds talent, wherever it is.”

That realization ignited Duncan’s passion to commit his career to improving the education system. While serving as the Secretary of Education, he lead the work to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in schools willing to innovate and pursue rigorous collection of data to support school improvements.

We’ll also hear from Joseph Held, the Dean of Students at White Bear Lake High School who told us how his teachers–working collaboratively in the BARR methodology–were able to provide early interventions and rescue students from being passed through the system without receiving the education they need to survive and thrive.

Most Likely to Change the World—Trailer

April 16, 2022

Most Likely to Change the World recognizes the limitless talents of individuals. The title of our podcast came from educators across the country who know that changing the world is possible—- when you focus on relationships and strengths.  

We engage in deep conversations with educational policy leaders like former Secretaries of Education:

  • Margaret Spellings
  • Arnie Duncan
  • John B. King Jr.

And teachers and administrators from every type of school across the country.