Learning from Failure

Learning from Failure

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The beginning of the year is wonderful. The world is very much defined by renewed enthusiasm and conviction to lead a better life in the new calendar year than the one led in the past. Twitter is a great place to see these proclamations of new focus and energy. The one word movement started by Jon Gordon has reached an enormous number of people and is profoundly important and revered in the educational community – where I spend the lion’s share of my time. As I spent time thinking about the future, I could not in good conscious jump forward without taking a look back. This exercise was healthy, but really painful. Every year I feel make progress as a leader, educator, and human being - just not enough. I…
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Top 10 Educational #GameChangers of 2017

Top 10 Educational #GameChangers of 2017

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As we draw to the end of the calendar year, I thought it an appropriate time to highlight the educators that are truly moving things forward in our profession. The true #gamechangers. The new-year is the time for hope and renewal. For many educators, this renewal is about focus and professional growth. So, this list is to highlight the best and brightest (in my opinion) in the world of education in hopes others follow their work and follow their lead in order to create a better tomorrow for our kids. I wanted to focus not solely on who is doing great work – there are literally thousands to mention in that regard – but this list is to recognize those that are really changing the game and leading us down…
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California League of Schools – Fall Conference 17

California League of Schools – Fall Conference 17

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I have had an incredible experience in San Diego thus far and I am sure it is going to continue to improve. What a great list of speakers and colleagues to connect. The #CLSFall17 conference has an incredible lineup of speakers and I am fortunate to be one of them. So glad I will be able to hear Julie Adams, Rosa Perez-Isiah, and Lavonna Roth (all on the same day). Click here to see the link to my presentation.
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IASA Superintendent of Distinction

IASA Superintendent of Distinction

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This past week I was named the Superintendent of Distinction for the NW region of IASA. As with all recognition, this is truly humbling. The fact that is a recognition provided by my peers that work around and directly with me makes it even more so. It is vitally important, however, that it is noted that I receive recognition almost entirely based on the work of others. Such is the nature of the Superintendency -- so, this award belongs to the faculty, staff, students, and Board of Education of Meridian 223 as much as it does to me.   http://www.rrstar.com/news/20171102/iasa-awards-distinction-to-meridian-cusd-superintendent
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Let’s Change the Conversation Surrounding Evaluation

Let’s Change the Conversation Surrounding Evaluation

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In the past few weeks I have been honored and privileged to be interviewed by Justin Baeder, Jason Leahy, and Randy Ziegenfuss to discuss Making Evaluation Meaningful. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss my views and philosophies regarding evaluation and to (of course) promote my book. What I found amazing is that every time I am able to engage in deep conversation regarding this topic - one that I just spent months of my life writing about - I still learn and grow from the conversation. So, if you - like me - want to change the stigma, stress, and ineffectiveness of the teacher evaluation process - give these podcasts and/or interviews a listen when you have time. http://www.tltalkradio.org/season-4-episode-4-making-evaluation-meaningful-with-pj-caposey-podcast/ https://www.principalcenter.com/pj-caposey-making-evaluation-meaningful-transforming-conversation-transform-schools/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4wCT_1mXv8&sns=tw
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‘Irregardless’

‘Irregardless’

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(Amended re-post from 2 years ago) Please, for me, just stop. I realize we all have pet peeves, but there are some popularized phrases right now that are driving me crazy. Maybe it is me - maybe they were always popular. Maybe it is my issue - but over the past few weeks a handful of sayings are really driving me crazy. So, here are my Top 5 words and phrases we should cease using immediately. 5) No problem Think about it – do you ever answer ‘No problem’ to something that you really want to do? Of course not, seemingly nobody does. No problem is the default answer to someone who asks you to do something you do not want to do, but is only going to be a…
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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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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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