Monday, February 21, 2011

If only we had more money....

I hear this all the time from school board members.  Yes, times are tight and I can honestly say I can never remember a time when times weren't tight in public education.

Scarce financial resources can provide opportunity for innovation.  Rather than grousing about the lack of money, look for the possibilities.  This article, The Number One Key to Innovation, from the Harvard Business Review, talks about scarcity, and the fact that among all of the innovation methodologies researchers have identified, scarcity is the only common denominator.

We in public education need to cultivate a culture that embraces scarcity and turns it on its head.  We are not going to get more money, therefore we have to innovate.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Madison situation is not an either/or

I'd like to thank Ron Jetty for his facebook post on the Madison controversy.

In his article, Reinvent unions: don't gut them, Sam Chaltain suggests that we in Wisconsin have a giant opportunity sitting in our laps.

It is not productive to frame the issue as one of maintaining the status quo, or eliminating the unions.  The issue is more complex than that.  We can see that unions don't work in our current context.  AND, workers still need to have their rights protected.  Looking at the issue as a both/and rather than an either/or can set us up for more productive conversation.  There is the possibility of creating something new.

The playwright and former Czeh president, Vaclav Havel, in a speech he gave in Philadelphia in 1994 said, "I think there are good reasons for suggesting that the modern age has ended.  Today, many things indicate that we are going through a transitional period, when it seems that something is on the way out and something else is painfully being born.  It is as if something were crumbling, decaying, and exhausting itself--while something else, still indistinct, were rising from the rubble."

It is time for Wisconsin's leaders to come together, identify common ground, and create a union system that works for the 21st century.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Marlboro Man is so last century

And not just because we learned so much about the dangers of smoking.

Turns out that to be successful in today's world, you need to know how to collaborate.  Seth Goden talks about this in this blog post, Autarky is dead

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Getting a handle on that Vision Thing

One of the most important responsibilities for school district leaders is to establish a clear vision for the future of the school district.  The challenge for many of us is that the world is changing very quickly and we may not be aware of or understand what all of this change means, particularly when we talk about technological changes.  This blog post, 8 Guiding Questions for Conversations about Becoming a School of the Future, can help.  Included is a list of questions to start some conversations in your district.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

LOL--Texting Leads to Better Spelling

Another example of how our preconceived notions about cause and effect may miss the mark.  Read about Texting and Spelling to learn how spelling can actually improve as a result of tex messaging.

ttyl   ;0)