“High above the hushed crowd, Rex tried to remain focused. Still, he couldn’t shake one nagging thought: He was an old dog and this was a new trick.”
For me, entering into the blogosphere is clearly a new trick. The first time I heard the term blog it sounded vaguely like something with lot of calories or for which you could be fined. Since then, blogs have become an integral part of the digital communication age. As the new Executive Director of WASA, I’ve decided it’s time for us to enter into this realm. In this blog I will provide association news and updates. More importantly, I will share what Paul Harvey called “The Rest of the Story,” the successes and good work being done by intelligent and committed school leaders across our state.
There was a time when superintendents were sought out as experts on education. Legislators would talk with their local school leaders before introducing a bill to “fix” some perceived problem. Now it would seem that everyone is an expert on education and few bother to ask about the feasibility of their next great idea before promoting it as a cure.
I recently read, for example, a blog post by Matt Candler, Founder and CEO of 4.0 Schools, “a community of curious people building the future of school, one frightening idea at a time.” In his recent post titled “4 Frighteningly Ambitious Education Experiments for 2014” Mr. Candler offers the following ideas:
- Set up skunk works schools focused “on radical reworks of current models.”
- Start low-cost private schools in the US similar to the Bridge School in Kenya that operates on tuition of $5 per month.
- Put 1000 coders in public schools, rebooting mindsets, teaching code to kids and teachers.
- Encourage pods of parents to quit private schools and go out on their own to “…hire the best teacher in the school to teach their kids 24/7.”
My thought after reading these ideas was how disconnected Mr. Chandler was from the day-to-day reality and challenges of running schools systems. And yet that didn’t stop him from offering his brand of “fixes.” Such disconnected design is all too common these days. Hopefully, through this blog we will be able to offer another side to the story that often goes untold. Stay tuned and let me know if you have some ideas for articles.