Governance and leadership

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What is the “Uber” or “Airbnb” Future of Schools?

A dozen years ago just a tiny fraction of schools had started to transform in response to the realities of a rapidly changing world.  Five years ago, we started to see powerful conversations and intentional, significant change at a much wider range of schools.  Today we may be approaching the tipping point, at least in [...]

A Great Book at the Nexus of Big, Hairy Problems and Interdisciplinary Learning

What kind of choices will our students make when faced with big, hairy problems in their own lives, and for the world we leave them?  Will they have the tools to make these choices based on sound information and reasoning?  Will they repeat mistakes of the past, or will they learn from them?  Will they [...]

We Cannot Ignore The Real America: Part Two of Series on Ben Sasse’s The Vanishing American Adult

America is not rural Nebraska. America is not suburban California. America is not 1955 and it is most certainly not 1776, 1863, or 1908.  America is ALL of America, equal parts past, present, and future. Sen. Ben Sasse knows this…at least some of it. In Part One of this three-part blog series on Sasse’s book [...]

Will We Re-Find the Center of America? Post 1 of 3 on Sen. Ben Sasse’s Book “The Vanishing American Adult”

Part One of a three-part series on The Vanishing American Adult, by Sen. Ben Sasse   Ben Sasse and I are very different people. Sasse is a conservative Republican who grew up in rural Nebraska, and now represents that deep red state in the United States senate.  I am a fiscally pragmatic, social progressive, usually-votes-Democratic, [...]

Another Powerful Call; Another Opportunity for Critical Learning

Yesterday I wrote about recent speeches drawing lines in the sand around core American values, by George Bush, Barak Obama, and John McCain.  A few hours later, Sen. Jeff Flake, one of the most conservative members of the Senate added his passionate voice in perhaps an historic speech on the Senate floor. I am not [...]

Leading for the American Ideal: Our Role as Educators

Educators have often been confronted with uncomfortable, and sometimes life-changing questions: When is it acceptable to take a controversial stand? When is it imperative? When should we follow a community consensus and when must we lead in opposition to community norms?  On which issues do leaders rise, even when the threat of doing so is [...]

“Generatives”: New Value Opportunities for Schools?

What is the value of a school? What will it be in the future, for your school? Are we anywhere in the ballpark on this discussion? We should always pay attention to ideas at the margins of our own experience; this helps keep confirmation bias in check and brings fresh DNA into the pool of [...]

What If ALL Educators Followed the Lead of Air Force 3-Star General?

I teared up watching 3-star Air Force General Jay Silveria speak to the entire Air Force Academy yesterday, praying that we find and elect THIS kind of leader to our political system.  But more so, I found myself wondering how powerfully educators could heal the widening divisions in the American and global social fabric if we ALL [...]

Five Horizon-Pushers That Should Be On Your Plate Today

This week in New Orleans, I once again have the honor of co-presenting with John Gulla, Executive Director of the EE Ford Foundation.  Between us we have visited and worked with something like 400+ schools over the last five years. This will be the fourth time that John and I have shared our thoughts about [...]

Community School, Sun Valley: They Have Already Broken Parts of the Outdated K-12 Operating System

Looking northeast from Sun Valley, Idaho I visit and work with so many schools that are trying to build a clarity of possibility about the future.  School leaders, faculty, students, and parents know that the traditional model of education is not preparing students for their future; they know they want a deeper, richer learning experience [...]