Falling down. Getting up.

We’re In This Together

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here I am happy to say that my next book, We’re In This Together: Public-Private Partnerships in Special and At-Risk Education, will be out in June.  Rowman & Littlefield is the publisher.  The book is nonfiction.  It is ethnographic observer-participant research.  Co-author Mark Claypool and I explore how public schools use, or don’t use, private companies […]


In mid-May, my older son graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in astrophysics.  The next day, his older sister received a master in music performance and harp literature from the University of Illinois.  These two universities granted almost 25,000 degrees this spring.  With 10,000 boomers retiring everyday for the next twenty years, […]


 I spent three days last week in Scottsdale at the Arizona State  University + Global Silicon Valley Education Innovation Summit.  Technology company leaders focused on education, K-12 and postsecondary made up the largest share of the 2000 participants.  The collective focus of these companies will dramatically reshape public education in the years ahead.  This was the fifth ASU+GSV […]

On Cursive


There was a debate in the Tennessee Legislature this winter as to whether to mandate cursive writing in the state’s elementary schools. I’m a cursive fan but supporting such legislation could cast me as a relic, a throw-back, a proponent of horse-and-buggy thinking. Opposition, on the other hand, could result in hate mail written in […]

Wrapped in Memory

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It’s just a sweater. Wool, comfortable, classic.  But I never put it on without remembering how I received it as a gift almost three decades ago. The gift was highly practical and symbolic. That sweltering graduation evening in May 1987, my colleague Anne presented me with the gift from the faculty at Benton Hall. I […]

The Common Cold

It’s that time of year: cold season. Nobody likes to have a cold. For most, a cold is not life threatening, just an annoyance making us feel poorly and keeping us from being our best selves. There are lots of strains of the common cold. We can take remedies to lessen a cold’s symptoms, but […]

Admitting We Have a Problem

In most healing processes, there comes a time when people admit that they are a big part of the problem. Whether it is marital discord, addiction, or international relations, it is often far easier to point the finger at the other party than at oneself. There’s not a healthy person in America that doesn’t want […]