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Another Shot Across the Bow of “Grit”

The ongoing discourse about "grit" received another jolt with an article by David Denby in the New Yorker (HT David Monaco). Denby adds his arguments in opposition to the oversimplified, or possibly misleading, research and logic of Angela Duckworth which has made the word "grit" a fixture in some schools' mission and vision statements.  As we have [...]

Schools Need Marketing to Survive, Thrive

Schools need students. That sounds trite, but until a very few years ago, this was not a concern for the vast majority of public schools. By far, the majority of students attended the public school closest to their home.  That has now changed, and changed substantially for many American families who have a large and [...]

The Thesis of My New Book; Making Great Progress!

I have been less regular with my blog posts and Twitter stream over the last couple of months. I have been working hard on my new book, including about 60 in-depth phone, video, and in-person interviews and regular writing hours every day.  I am happy to report that I am about 80% through the rough [...]

Good Read: “Are You Smart Enough?” via Alexander Astin

What if we ranked hospitals by the number of relatively healthy patients they admitted instead of how well they improved the health of sick people? What if we devoted more resources to making "sort of" sick people well, and fewer resources to healing "really sick" people?  Would anyone think those were good measures of an effective [...]

Sometimes Evolution is Not Pretty

Evolution is messy, dangerous, and rough (the opposite of smooth). Some of those who clamber to join the bandwagon of "learning is an ecosystem" look at the world through rose-tinted glasses, where ecosystems are healthy, the grass is lush, all of the denizens eat well, get fat, and die peacefully.  Too bad that is not [...]

Thinkabit Lab in San Diego: Lighting Fires of Innovation and Imagination

A place where students can gain self awareness into their unique value; where they can see how they might make a positive impact on the world; and where they can tinker to learn about interests they may never have uncovered.  Sounds to me like a darn good mission statement for any school!  These are the guiding [...]

School Innovation Trajectories: Steep Curves or a Quantum Step?

Hitting a moving target is all about aim, velocity, and trajectory.  When NASA fires off a satellite to intersect with an asteroid, they need to accurately calculate where that little rock will be a few years from now. If they are wrong in those calculations, and if the satellite has booster rockets, they can make [...]

Why Tesla REALLY Matters For School Leaders

Tesla took orders totaling more than $14 billion for their new car one week. There are a number of other electric and hybrid cars on the market and coming soon, and some with arguably better range and price point.  The analogy to Apple computers should be lost on no one. What Elon Musk did [...]