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Showing posts from November, 2010

Man, I've got a Great Job.

I've been on the road lately for our principalship students' portfolio presentations. At the end of their program, we ask them to deliver a formal presentation highlighting the internship work they've done around the Iowa Standards for School Leaders. We pitch the experience as one that will prepare them to introduce themselves to school districts and communities in interview settings. We also encourage them to invite mentors, family members, friends and everyone who has contributed to their success in our demanding, two year program. We hope the event feels like a cross between a formal presentation and a celebration.

On Friday, one of our excellent soon-to-be-grads who already serves in the principal's role was discussing the challenges of balancing professional and family life when she shared that she is pregnant. Some family members and friends in the room already knew, but not everyone. Several were moved to tears as the the presentation/celebration swirled togeth…

See the Irony?

My kids are busy taking standardized tests at school this week. I know how the scores are misused to "show" things that the tests are not designed to measure. As a former principal, I also know the pressure that schools feel to post good scores and trend lines. Something my 12 year old said caught me this week at breakfast and it connects to so many things that are wrong in education now, from the way we overuse tests, to the way we report data, to the way we evaluate (or not) teachers, to the way we try to motivate students to do their best on the tests that are often far removed from what they experience daily in the classroom.

So he's talking about how he wants to score really well on a certain test and is really geared up for it. "That's great," I said. "What's got you so focused?"

"Well, if I can do really well, I'll be moved into the higher ____ group and won't get stuck with Mrs. X next year," he said.

Ufda. Love the m…