The musicians are coming back to New Orleans even if the business investors are not. They are everywhere. They are on the streets of the Quarter and in the clubs and bars on Frenchmans Street. Listen to them play. Feel them. Put whatever you have in their guitar cases and plastic tip buckets because, as near as I can tell, they are all we have left of New Orleans. And as street musicians, they are all we have of whatever the soul of America ever was. There is that haunting Washington Post social experiment called "Pearls Before Breakfast". Perhaps you ...


Last month I attended a conference led by Rick and Rebecca DuFour on building professional learning communities. It was a very engaging conference that really hit on some of the key issues we continually face as we work to develop our school into a true professional learning community (PLC). One of the questions Rich posed during a session on building a collaborative culture of a PLC was: What are you tight about? He then stressed the importance of communicating what it is to all stakeholders in the PLC. I started to think about this notion of being tight about certain ...


Cross Posted on Creative Tension. The past few months have been crazy with finishing up the school year, moving back to the United States and looking for a job. There has been no time for reading or writing blogs. Now that things have settled down for the summer I have time to do some writing. Last week I had the pleasure of taking my son to the AT&T National Golf Tournament at the Congressional course in Bethesda. What a wonderful time we had watching Tiger and the others play golf. Over the years I’ve been to several tournaments ...


This post also has appeared on Angela Maiers' site Pop Quiz:If your school became the subject  of a Hollywood movie, would you characterize the story as: A Drama A Comedy A Hero's Journey An Inspirational Tale A Tragedy  This may seem like an odd question to pose, but  it came to mind as I was preparing this post for a global discussion about Educational Leadership; a challenge from Scott McLeod. Scott encouraged educators around the blogosphere to contribute advice and insight about the role technology plays in teaching and learning in hopes to help the leaders of our schools...


It is summertime and many educators, contrary to popular opinion, are mind working. Mind work is different for all of us, but for educators it involves thinking, learning and knowledge creation in a variety of different contexts for a variety of different purposes: perhaps it is a book a colleague recommended, a web site that promises resources for student learning, a blog post reflecting on work with students during the past school year, Twitter comments tagged as favorites during the busy school year, a podcast on pedagogy for global classroom collaboration, an archived online conversation on managing social networks. The ...


I just got back from spending two weeks in London, England. I have yet to get my body adjusted to US time, but that is a small price to pay for such an amazing adventure! Scott Imig and I were fortunate enough to lead a group of seven University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) Masters of School Administration students on this international trip. This was the first time I led an international cohort and the first time UNCW took school leaders to London. I have to say it went really well and I am eager to start preparing for next ...


Now that I'm a 'seasoned' administrator (I have two years in already!! :)), I've decided that instead of trying to fix everything, I'll pick a few goals to really focus on this next year (see how much smarter I'm getting?!?). I want to focus on literacy in our school, especially reading. We are an alternative school, K-12. Our students have come to us, for the most part, because their behaviors got in the way of their learning in their home school and so they were sent here. Many of our teachers are young and inexperienced. The new principal I hired a ...


I caught Secretary Duncan on NPR this week talking about teacher evaluations and other key issues surrounding education reform. Secretary Duncan talked about several studies that were recently featured in Education Week. The studies major findings that teacher evaluations reflect a Lake Wobegon effect. Almost 99% of teacher evaluations studied reflect teachers were at or above average. In other words, all of the teachers being evaluated are meeting or exceeding standards. Sec. Duncan's question rings true - if all of our teachers are meeting or exceeding standards then there is little to no variation in teacher distribution. Another more distrubing ...


As the largest educational technology conference, National Educational Computing Conference-NECC, is going on, I started to think about the different vendors I work with, the relationships I have with them, and the characteristics that help me choose some venders over others. As a former athlete and coach, I decided to use the analogy of a team. When it comes to this part of the profession, I have two teams: an internal and an external. To be successful, I must have a strong internal and external team and I am fortunate to have both. My internal team is made up of ...


During the last several months, our school district has worked to identify areas of strategic importance to dramatically improving life opportunities for our students. Our focus is squarely on student achievement, and we are approaching this focus through four key areas: Leadership, Engagement, Data, and Collaboration. While we are moving forward in each of these areas, I want to highlight the work we are doing in Leadership. As we assessed our leadership needs in the district, we determined that, like many other K-12 districts, we had a critical need for leadership development. As we planned to meet this need, we ...


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