Dr. Eric Jensen has received a sole source contract from FCPS. He is paid to consult on issues such as poverty and neuroscience.
Dr. Jensen has an undergraduate degree in English, and two graduate degrees, one in organizatioanal development and one in human development, both from the Fielding Institute, an online school.
It is unclear from the curriculum descriptions for these degrees what Jensen might actually have learned about either poverty or neuroscience. He was not required to complete any fieldwork, which would have provided him with experience to poverty and its consequences, and Fielding does not appear to have laboratory facilities, which would seem to be essential to learning about neuroscience.
Nonetheless, Jensen’s education, such as it may be, as well as his experience (which, after it is all said and done, appears to be as a motivational speaker) somehow made FCPS think he was uniquely qualified to receive fees in the amount of $9,000/day.
One of Jensen’s “theories” is something called the “emotional keyboard” and you can read about it here. Despite any apparent training in muic, Jensen seems to think that playing as many notes as possible is the way to go. Unfortunately for Jensen, Bobby McFerrin, in his TED Talk, demonstrated that the pentatonic scale, which only has five notes, is something of a cognitive universal. It is worth noting that after speaking, one of the panel members asked McFerrin if he were interested in a position in neuroscience! Jensen, on the other hand, continues to promote his dubious theories to school districts around the country.
This is yet another example of wasteful spending by the Fairfax County Public Schools. Dr. Jensen’s qualifications are less than impressive, it is hard to see what is unique about them, and at least one of his theories has been soundly debunked. Unless and until FCPS learns to handle money more wisely, it is clear that a NO vote on the meals tax is what is needed!