eBay/Participant Media's Jeff Skoll endorses Toronto School Board Candidate Richard Klagsbrun
Participant Media's Jeff Skoll
TORONTO,Sept 16,2014/CNW/ - World-famous Canadian philanthropist, entrepreneur, andHollywoodmovie producerJeff Skollhas done something unprecedented for him this week. The eBay innovator who was both its first employee and first president, took a public position inTorontopolitics by endorsingRichard Klagsbrunfor Public School Trustee inToronto'sTrinity-Spadina district.
Skoll's eponymous Skoll Foundation is one of the premier catalysts for Social Entrepreneurship in the world and his Skoll Scholarship program has awarded millions in education grants. Among Skoll Foundation awardees isSal Khan'sKhan Academy, whose highly effective methods Klagsbrun has proposed utilizing to a greater extent in the Toronto District School Board.
Said Skoll, "I have personally worked with educators in bothCanadaand the US at a systems level. Amongst other partners in education, the Skoll Foundation has been a long-time supporter of Free the Children inCanadaand the US and as such we have had great visibility into both country's systems. While the Canadian system in many respects is superior to that of the US, both systems suffer from bureaucratic logjams. It takes someone likeRichard Klagsbrun, who is passionate, knowledgeable and fearless, to break these logjams and help our kids get the best possible education to prepare them for the modern world."
Klagsbrun was one of the first employees at Skoll's Participant Productions, where as a Strategic Planning and Creative Executive, he helped formulate the organization's unique model of tying social action campaigns to the company's films in partnership with legislators and social action groups. That model is considered one of the main reasons of the tremendous success of Participant's Academy Award-winning documentaryAn Inconvenient Truth.
A writer and consultant who has been a fierce critic of the decline in standards in public education, particularly inToronto, Klagsbrun has been featured in national publications and as a television commentator. He also served for a year as co-Chair of the School Council at Central Technical School, the largest school in Trinity-Spadina.
"We need a complete overhaul of the way education is delivered inToronto'spublic schools, where our kids are becoming victims of a politicized curriculum," said Klagsbrun. "The current political establishment will only make things worse. The NDP is trying to impose a candidate on Trinity-Spadina who represents deplorable aspects of identity politics. She was a speaker at a rally that supported the terror group Hezbollah and at a pro-Marxist conference, and according to theUniversity of Torontonewspaper,The Varsity,as a U of T union official, colluded in a corrupt investigation of a crooked student election. The other ward candidates have offered nothing but meaningless platitudes. This election is an opportunity for Trinity-Spadina voters to choose between real change or the dismal status quo."
Among Klagsbrun's other endorsers are author and CFRB radio host Tarek Fatah, Harvard UniversityprofessorAurel Braun, broadcasterMichael Coren, and Toronto FC Goalkeeper Chris Konopka.
Added Skoll, "I have knownRichard Klagsbrunfor over 20 years and he is thoroughly knowledgeable and passionate about public education and the need to improve it. Ward 10 couldn't hope to have a better representative at the TDSB. As education standards are declining and the curriculum is becoming increasingly politicized,Torontoneeds Richard, who will fight for the next generation's right to an education that provides them with the tools they will need to succeed."