Falling down. Getting up.

Making a Difference in Chicago


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Headless though he may be in the photo, this is the principal of the day at Ombudsman – Chicago South’s campus.  I recently had the pleasure of touring two of Ombudsman’s alternative schools in the Windy City.  It is still a thrill to feel the goose bumps and moist eyes when students who had given […]

We’re In This Together


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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 […]

Author, Superintendent Talk School Funding


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On March 30, I had the privilege of being part of the “Beyond the Book” program at the Guntersville, Alabama Public Library.  The program invites the public to engage with an author and delve more deeply into a book, in my case, The Last Year of the Season.  I was joined at the event by […]

Graduation


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, […]

ASU+GSV


 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


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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 […]