Daryl Davis is a piano player. In 1983, he was playing country and western music in a bar in Virginia. A patron came up to him and remarked that it was the first time he had ever heard a black … Continue reading Civil Conversations
I recently attended EdCamp NEO, hosted in the fantastic new Paradigm facility at Mentor High School. I’ve been to about a dozen EdCamps now. It’s always fun to watch the schedule evolve as the event goes on, and people create … Continue reading The Scheduled Unconference
I’m a believer in personal learning networks. I’ve often said that I have learned far more from my colleagues than I have from any graduate course or workshop or conference. I’ve connected with people from all over the world, exchanging … Continue reading Are We There Yet?
One of the frustrations with the current conversation in public education is that we’re not all talking about the same thing. We’re all experts in education, because we’ve all spent thousands of hours in school. But when it comes to … Continue reading 5 Things We Don’t Agree On
It’s 8:30 on a Saturday morning, and I’m sitting in a rapidly filling high school cafeteria in Philadelphia. As I look around, a see a few familiar faces, and even more familiar names. But for the most part, these are strangers. They’re not part of my world. They’re from urban schools. Charter schools. Parochial schools. Private schools. They’re teachers. Integration specialists. School leaders. Professors. Students. They represent 40 states and five countries. Zoe Strauss’s opening comment from the previous night’s panel discussion leaps to mind: Chris, what the hell am I doing here? The panel had included some pretty heavy … Continue reading A Common Purpose
When I taught middle school, Grease was incredibly popular with the seventh and eighth graders. I remember discussing this with my colleagues. Why would a twenty year old movie, set twenty years before that, be so popular with the Gen-Yers? The best theory we could come up with was that it was the ideal, pop-culture vision of what high school was “supposed” to be. It was all school dances and crushes and cliques and cars and malt shops. For middle schoolers, it was a vision of high school before the reality of 9th grade set it. In some ways, everyone … Continue reading A Community Effort