Home » Society and Culture » Politics

Kathy Cox and the Million Dollar Lesson Plan

Sep 10, 2008
Kathy Cox appeared on the Fox TV show, "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?" and failed to prove that she is smarter than a fifth grader, despite being the first contestant to take home the one million dollar top prize.

Technically, she only proved that she is as smart as a fifth grader, since she answered no questions above that grade level. But we know she's smarter, because she had a plan and a message, and the courage to carry it through that her political detractors in Georgia don't have the imagination to conceive or the guts to carry out.

Kathy Cox is the Superintendent of Schools for the State of Georgia. When word got out she would be on the show, she was publicly criticized; how foolish it would be to risk her own professional reputation and that of the state school system. After all, she would be representing by association 140,000 Georgia teachers. Georgia State Representative Rob Teilhet (D - Smyrna) even ran advertising DURING THE SHOW criticizing Cox for appearing on TV while problems persisted in classrooms.

Critics are so worried about never being wrong, about showing vulnerability and appearing perfect they can't conceive their own purpose in humanity. Kathy can. Kathy Cox is a truly a Trouble Breaker, someone who goes for it and breaks past trouble because she knows she can. She understood exactly what she could control on the show, what she could and couldn't do, and used that to inspire students (and more than a few adults).

We heard Kathy say more than a few times, "I'm doing the best I can." Isn't that a great message for students? For us all? And Kathy Cox taught millions of people that it's OK to be wrong. She accepted that she might miss a question and go home empty-handed. She wasn't afraid to try and keep trying.

With $500,000 "in the bank" she earned the right to deliver the Million Dollar Lesson. She was faced with a decision other contestants had faced before, but they lacked the vision and conviction of a Kathy Cox. Cox was there for the kids; she had committed to donate her earnings (it's demeaning to say to say she "won" the money) to three Georgia schools. A lesser person would have settled for the $500,000 and missed the chance to deliver a much more valuable prize.

With the eyes of millions of young people on her, she proclaimed with force and conviction, "DON'T DROP OUT OF SCHOOL." The short-term gains associated with dropping out pale in comparison to the huge lifetime rewards of staying in school. Kathy Cox effectively paid $475,000 to say that -- the difference between the $500,000 "in the bank" and the guaranteed $25,000 she'd keep if she missed the question.

I'm convinced she came into the show with a Million Dollar Lesson Plan to teach us:
- Always do the best you can. That's all anyone can ask, and that's always enough.
- Go for it. The worst that can happen is you might be wrong. So what?
- Finish what you start. That includes STAY IN SCHOOL.

That plan works even without the million dollar question. All through the show, we saw Kathy Cox go for it and do the very best she could. Yet if she ever met a question she knew she couldn't answer, she would prefer to knowingly fail and go home sans money than drop out of school.

Lucky for us all she made it to the top so more people would listen to her message.

Some Georgia politicians don't know now lucky the Peach State is to have Kathy Cox as Superintendent of Schools. In just one hour, she taught us all a lesson that is worth far more than a million dollars to the future of this country. From coast to coast and in every state, we're all richer today from her Million Dollar Lesson Plan.

Copyright 2008 Paul Johnson.
About the Author
Paul Johnson the Trouble Breaker is a keynote speaker who works with organizations to convert trouble into double and triple digit performance breakthroughs. Discover breakthrough concepts at http://www.ShortcutsToResults.com. Visit http://TroubleBreaker.com for presentations on leadership
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 194
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources