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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: I Shot An Arrow Into The Air

CURMUDGUCATION: I Shot An Arrow Into The Air

I Shot An Arrow Into The Air

I shot an arrow into the air,It fell to earth, I knew not where;-- "The Arrow and the Song" Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Rick Hess recently wrote an EdWeek post offering four insights about education policymaking, and as if often the case with Hess, I started to write a reply in the comments section and then it got too long and so here I am. Here's a quick recap of his four ideas--

This might end badly
Media has fostered a funhouse-mirror sense of policy. The journalistic (and internet) tendency to reduce everything to good guys and bad guys has obscured the degree to which many sides are occupied by decent people with honorable intent. Hess perhaps underestimates the degree to which politicians in this age have fed this beast with their scorched earth devotion to winning, no matter what the cost.

Policy is driven by the brokers and bridge-builders. Bomb throwers have their place, observes Hess, but they aren't the ones who Get Stuff Done. It's a fair observation-- Betsy DeVos's general ineffectiveness as a Secretary of Education could well be explained by notting that she is a bomb-thrower in a bridge-builder's job. On the other hand, her boss is the quintessential bomb-thrower, and it hasn't slowed him down much. And there's another huge caveat here-- where are you building those bridges? Because ab bridge between two differing ideas that are both wrong is not a helpful bridge.

Effective change-makers listen more than they talk. Hess's explanation, coming after a few CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: I Shot An Arrow Into The Air

Black Teachers Matter: End war on Black teachers, support #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool! – I AM AN EDUCATOR

Black Teachers Matter: End war on Black teachers, support #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool! – I AM AN EDUCATOR

Black Teachers Matter: End war on Black teachers, support #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool!

Listen to this special episode of the CTU Speaks! Podcast about stopping the war on Black teachers and supporting the Black Lives Matter at School movement!

Happy Black Lives Matter at School week of action to you! During this week of February 3-7, 2020, thousands of educators across the nation will be teaching for black lives and organizing around for central demands to disrupt racism in the schools:
1) End “zero tolerance” discipline, and implement restorative justice
2) Hire more black teachers
3) Mandate black history and ethnic studies in K-12 curriculum
4) Fund counselors not cops
In an effort to help support #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool the Chicago Teacher’s Union podcast, “CTU Speaks!”, interviewed educators about how to stop the war on Black teachers and support week of action. Here is the description of the show:
In this episode, co-hosts Andrea Parker and Jim Staros grapple with the causes and consequences of the disappearance of Black educators from Chicago Public Schools. Jackson Potter, history teacher at Back of the Yards High School, and Gervaise Clay, teacher on leave and field rep at the Chicago Teachers Union, discuss the racist impact of school closings and turnarounds pursued by a host of Chicago mayors. Then, Jim talks with Jesse Hagopian, one of the organizers of the Black Lives Matter at School national movement, about its origins, demands and curriculum of the movement and February 3-7 week of action.

Enter to Win Schott Board Chair Jackie Jenkins-Scott's New Book on Responsive Leadership | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Enter to Win Schott Board Chair Jackie Jenkins-Scott's New Book on Responsive Leadership | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Enter to Win Schott Board Chair Jackie Jenkins-Scott's New Book on Responsive Leadership

We’re excited to announce the publication of a book by Schott Board Chair Jackie Jenkins-Scott, The 7 Secrets of Responsive Leadership. Schott has benefited tremendously from Jackie’s strategic savvy, insights, and dynamic leadership. This book an asset for other organizations and leaders.
Enter by February 20th, 2020, for a chance to win a free copy of this important book:
Learn more about the book and purchase it here 

Leadership and turnaround expert Jackie Jenkins-Scott shows you how to spot and take advantage of opportunities in any environment.
Being a responsive leader means playing to win. Responsive leadership can thrive anywhere, unlike systematic leadership. The latter imposes methods and laws; principles govern action. In contrast, responsive leadership is a living, changing set of traits and skills that adapts to new people and environments. You may have an impressive grasp of how to influence, inspire, and build teams, but you must know how to adapt your abilities to each new organization, or to changes within the organization—new board members, new staff members, new shareholders.

The 7 Secrets of Responsive Leadership spotlights how to build the skills to be a leader in any environment. Richly illustrated with stories from the author’s decades of experience as a CEO, the book explores how to:
  • Take advantage of opportunity
  • Turn around an organization
  • Compete well by leading with heart
  • Keep your bags packed
  • Echo one message at a time
  • Look for opposition
  • Value the interconnectedness of people
  • Recover quickly
At its core, this book is about the intimate relationship between leadership and opportunity. The author lived that relationship in transforming a major urban health care center and a college from struggling and failing organizations to thriving, international leaders in their field.

Dallas And Tulsa: A Tale of Two Blockchains – Wrench in the Gears

Dallas And Tulsa: A Tale of Two Blockchains – Wrench in the Gears

Dallas And Tulsa: A Tale of Two Blockchains

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Dallas and Tulsa, connect in person with friends and research collaborators, see local sites of “social entrepreneurship,” and meet others who are developing strategies to fight the coming tide of predatory “human capital investment.” For important background on the disruption that is overtaking Tulsa, I recommend you read Julianne Romanello’s feature article in the Tulsa Star, George Kaiser’s Social Impact Philanthropy: How A Billionaire Turned North Tulsa’s Misery Into A Cash Cow.
During this visit I gave several presentations.  Below are three of them, as well as a Facebook Live feed from an informational leafleting action held at an Impact Tulsa event. While the Wednesday and Saturday talks are on the same topic, the first has more audience participation while the second gets through the whole slide deck. It’s a lot to take in, but I wanted to put it all in one place for future reference. I believe the importance of the information shared here will become more evident as the takeover of public benefit systems by “stakeholder capitalists” picks up steam. You can access the slide share for the Tulsa talks here.

Tuesday Discussion in Dallas

Alison McDowell in Dallas from Lynn Davenport on Vimeo.

Wednesday Evening Presentation, Downtown Library, Tulsa, OK, filmed by Green Country DSA

Saturday Morning Presentation, Downtown Library, Tulsa, OK CONTINUE READING: Dallas And Tulsa: A Tale of Two Blockchains – Wrench in the Gears

DID YOU MISS DIANE RAVITCH'S BLOG TODAY? A site to discuss better education for all

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all


A site to discuss better education for all

Trump Will Promote Ted Cruz’s Voucher Plan

The Houston Chronicle reports that Trump will promote Ted Cruz’s school voucher plan, which aligns nicely with the DeVos “Education Freedom” vouchers. Texas does not have vouchers, thanks to the concerted efforts of Pastors for Texas Children and a large number of local civic groups. Despite the fervent advocacy of top Republicans, a coalition of rural Republicans and urban Democrats have stopped
Economic Policy Institute: How Much Would It Cost to Supply High-Quality Early Childhood Education?

The Economic Policy Institute has created an interactive state-by-state analysis of the cost of high-quality early childhood education. At present, most ECE workers/teachers are grossly underpaid, some well below the poverty line. It is fair to assume that policymakers today are unlikely to pay the cost of high-quality ECE. In many states, and at the federal level, policymakers do not believe in

Indianapolis: The Resistance Is Fighting the Well-Funded Disruptors

Professor Jim Scheurich read a recent article in the rightwing, anti-public school journal “Education Next” about Indianapolis, which he thought was fundamentally flawed. He sent the following analysis of what’s really happening in Indianapolis: A RECENT ARTICLE IN EDUCATION NEXT COMPLETELY MISREPRESENTS THE RECENT HISTORY OF INDIANAPOLIS K12 EDUCATION Dr. Jim Scheurich Urban Education Studies Do
Send This Post to Every Ohio Legislator

The Ohio Legislature has created a royal mess in its rush to give vouchers to almost every student in the state. They can’t decide whether the vouchers will be paid by taking money away from the state’s underfunded public schools and how to decide which children get public money to attend private schools. Jan Resseger untangles the mess in her lucid way. Read the whole post, not just this excerpt
Valerie Strauss: Founder of IDEA Charter Chain Apologizes for Spendthrift Ways

Valerie Strauss writes here about the abject apology by Tom Torkelsen of the IDEA corporate charter chain for his company’s lavish spending. The head of a Texas-based charter school chain publicly apologized for “really dumb and unhelpful” plans that included leasing a private jet for millions of dollars and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on San Antonio Spurs tickets. It’s not the firs


University of California Decides to Keep SAT/ACT as Admission Requirements

The University of California’s faculty leaders have recommended retaining the controversial SAT and ACT as admissions requirements, despite concerns that the standardized tests are rigged against students of low income. Wealthy parents pay huge sums for tutoring their children. Standardized tests by their nature are rigged against disadvantaged students, which has encouraged more than 1,000 colle
Dcps: Do Not Close This School!

Parents, students, and local officials plead with Chancellor Lewis Ferebee: DO NOT CLOSE WASHINGTON MET! No student was ever helped by closing schools! Stop the mayhem. Stop the pointless disruption! Support the school, don’t kill it. Do not pave the way for gentrification and more charter schools.
Two Gems from “A Writer’s Almanac”

While you are enjoying the previous post, which you should really print out and read carefully, here are two gems from Garrison Keillor’s delightful daily “A Writer’s Almanac.” I have been warned never to refer to him or his work, but I believe in redemption. And I post what I want. You may have to be as old as me to remember the first item. We mourn today for the legendary sports star Kobe Bryan
For Your Browsing Pleasure: Who Got Walton Money for Education Disruption in 2018?

The Walton Family Foundation is the fruit of the Walmart chain. It was created by the Waltons, one of the richest families in the world. The three senior members of the Walton family–Alice Walton, Jim Walton, and Rob Walton–have a collective net worth in excess of $150 billion. There is a younger generation of Waltons whose wealth is not included in that total. The Walton family increases its wea
Los Angeles: Defeat the Charter Combine!

Jackie Goldberg, the dynamic progressive on the Los Angeles school board, send this request for help: FROM THE DESK OF JACKIE GOLDBERG Dear Friends and Family, First, I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for all you’ve done to support me over so many years. And I have another personal request for each of you because you are all important in the struggles for full funding for public edu
Dallas: Charter Operator Sentenced to 7 Years, Then Claims Bonus

The charter industry is overrun with scandals because charter laws do not require accountability and transparency. Theft, conflicts of interest, nepotism, and fraud are a feature, not a bug. A charter operator in Dallas was sentenced to seven years in jail for taking a kickback , but then convinced the board to give her a bonus of $20,000. Donna Houston-Woods was convicted of defrauding her own D

Florida: 2 Big Banks Abandon Florida’s Voucher Program Due to Anti-LGBT Policies

A free press makes a difference. Here is proof. On January 23, Leslie Postal and Annie Martin of the Orlando Sentinel wrote that nearly 160 religious schools receiving vouchers from the state of Florida openly discriminate against 
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all