Here we are at the end of another week. I must warn you that I am listening to the new Rancid record as I write this, so I hope things don’t get too aggressive. If so I’ll switch over to the new Will Hoge song featuring Cheryl Crow.
Dad Gone Wild published two posts exploring school choice this week – Who Are We Saving Public Education For? and One Parents Voice on School Choice. I hope you got a chance to check both of them out. We really need to get past the demonizing and start deep diving into what our schools really need. As blogger Peter Greene points out, we also can’t just depend on data – Data Overload.
National education policy continues to be a looming train wreck. My dear friend Mary Holden wrote a heartfelt piece on her frustrations with Betsy Devos that everyone should read. To get a partial understanding of Mary’s frustration I recommend reading Valerie Strauss’s recap of Devos’s testimony before congress – What we just learned from Betsy DeVos’s painful appearance before Congress. It makes for terrifying reading. We all need to be awake.
Glancing up to the north and it seems things are heating up in Prince George County, Maryland. People are once again calling for Superintendent Kevin Maxwell to resign. Since a large percentage of MNPS’s leadership team hails from PGCS, I think it is important that we understand where they came from in order to get a better idea of where we are going. This quote from Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-26), has an all to familiar ring to it,“Our county is being held hostage by a few people making all the decisions and have totally shut out the voices of the citizens. They have forced one decision after another on our citizens. Citizens no longer have a voice in who leads our school board. This establishment is the worst. I refuse to be a part of an out of control establishment.” I know, I’m being hyperbolic. That could never happen in Nashville, right?
This week I wanted to ask two questions about professional development for teachers. Report after report claims that professional development is an integral ingredient in the retention of teachers. Yet I seldom here much commentary on the quality of that instruction or just how relevant teachers feel it is. So I thought I’d ask. While I was at it, I thought I’d ask for opinions on outside consultants. Nashville’s district leaders have mad love for outside consultants. At this point I think most of our major initiatives – literacy, board relations, director evaluation, professional development, STEAM, district culture, L5 schools – are all powered by outside consultants. What’s your thoughts, do you share Nashville’s love?
Summer is the time to catch up on reading. Since I’m pretty sure that everybody who reads my posts, reads books, I was curious as to what y’all were reading. I surveyed some state educators about what they are reading to get possible answers, but if your selection differs please write it in. I thought the list of answers might also serve as a good reference place for people that might be looking for something new to read.
Hope everybody enjoy’s the week-end. See you on Monday.
In the case of Scholastic, we pay tens of thousands of dollars a day for professional development. This has to stop. We have perfectly good to excellent teachers who can and want to provide this professional development and others which would probably be more useful. That extra money would be better spent on improving pay to teachers with 10 or more years of experience with Davidson County Schools.