Divergence

Divergence

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Rhee Vs. Ravitch – Why not Both? I wrote the following blog four years ago – so assuredly the data on Twitter followers has since changed. However, the premise still exists. I saw a ‘news’ headline that noted Katy Perry (Democratic supporter in the past) follows Ivanka Trump on Twitter as if this were noteworthy. Not only is it not news – but it illustrates the exact point I was trying to make several years ago. We are far too unwilling to accept and intentionally seek out opposing viewpoints. Apparently, we collectively do so at such a minute clip that when someone does – it is ‘newsworthy’   Michelle Rhee and Diane Ravitch are two very outspoken, passionate, and popular voices on the state of education in the United States.…
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The Power of Vulnerability

The Power of Vulnerability

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I require each of my administrators to administer a 360 survey as a component of their evaluation process each year. Every time this portion of the year rolls around they are quick to express the dread this process causes. After the surveys are sent out and data collected, the results come back overwhelmingly positive with 90+ percent of their faculty and staff strongly supporting the efforts of the principal. Not surprisingly, those pieces of data are largely ignored. The negative feedback, which ranges from blunt to constructive to downright mean, is typically all my leaders can focus on. Tears come. Rationalization is right behind. And anger is usually a quick third. My advice is always to understand that each bit of criticism brings forward (at least) a nugget of truth…
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Great Science Event in Rockford Area

Great Science Event in Rockford Area

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Check out this great event hosted by Anne Weerda and Burpee Museum in Rockford   Oh, do I have something exciting to share with you!  Its going to be a super science day with PD, prizes and more... for FREE at Burpee Museum in Rockford. We have scientists, museums and others just waiting for the chance to show teachers what's happening in the world of career scientists....what's happening at major local science institutions.   Can you please help me get teachers to come?  They won't regret it, I promise. June 8th.  Burpee Museum, Rockford IL.  8am-1pm.  Free to Teachers. Please share this with your teacher teams, staff, etc.  We have an amazing event around the corner that NO SCIENCE TEACHER WOULD WANT TO MISS. REGISTER:  GoScienceHub.org Why Come? 1) Its…
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Pre-K Matters

Pre-K Matters

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Very good read on the impact of Pre-K presented by NPR. Several of the most respected early elementary educators gathered together to create a list of consensus findings. http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/05/03/524907739/pre-k-decades-worth-of-studies-one-strong-message
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What ails rural schools

What ails rural schools

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As first seen in EdWeek Teacher in a blog series hosted by Larry Ferlazzo . . . Whether you subscribe to the ranking systems of schools put forth by outside entities or not, for the sake of this blog I encourage you to indulge me. Of the Top 60 schools in my state (Illinois) as ranked by US News and World Report, only one school could be considered rural, and it is certainly not poor and boasts a teacher: student ratio of 1:13. My steadfast belief is that students in rural areas are not inherently any less academically talented than their peers, so how could such discord between achievement levels of students in urban, suburban, and rural districts exist? I think there is only one possible answer - inequity. I…
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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

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My favorite teacher is a man named Colin Hopper. He was an Abe Lincoln doppelganger who had a passion for history. He single-handedly turned my least favorite subject as a 10th grader into my future profession. He would encourage debate, treat teenagers like adults, and force me to think. I would leave his class so fired up sometimes the entire lunch conversation was about the debate in History class. Man, could that guy teach. He taught me to love learning. More importantly, he taught me to love thinking. A close second for me was Ronald Sawin. I was a student who did not need much help to do well in school. At a time in my life when I did need help, Mr. Sawin was there. He gave of himself…
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Elon Musk shares a vision for the future

Elon Musk shares a vision for the future

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If you think you dream big - you clearly have not heard Elon Musk speak. This 40 minute excerpt hits on a myriad of topics including space colonization, underground tunnels to alleviate traffic, solar powered houses, and a future you can think about without being sad. https://www.ted.com/talks/elon_musk_the_future_we_re_building_and_boring?platform=hootsuite
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