2011- What will the current year bring?

I'm not much of a soothsayer, myself.  It seems many people, however, like the idea of making predictions for the future when it's time to turn the page on the new calendar.  I'm not sure we ever really look back much, though, to see what came to pass or how accurate the forward-looking statements were.

I thought I'd try to take a whack on offering a few random thoughts on what we might see in the world of education in year 2011.  Let me know what you think -- or better yet, feel free to make a few of your own.

  • By the end of 2011, 49 states will have some form of anti-bullying laws on the books.  As of today, there are 45 states in the country that have these laws already.
  • However, in spite of the increase emphasis on legislation, bullying will continue to be rampant. I expect a significant upswing of anti-social behavior and school-based violence in late-April to early-May. (more…)
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The birthday that should have been happy

Today is a very special day -- a child's birthday is always special.  Eagerly anticipated, impossible to overlook.  Usually it's accompanied by happy thoughts, celebrations, balloons and ice cream.

It's supposed to be a time of joy...but that's not possible when the child whose birthday it is cannot celebrate. Christian Taylor would be 17 today, but he took his own life last May, the final straw after a long bout with bullying.

In the last several weeks, I've had the chance to get to know his mother, Lisa Williams.  Our connection came as a result of a post I wrote last June in which I mentioned him and several other victims.  I was literally on my way to the airport for my recent trip to Washington DC when Lisa called our office...and I picked up.  I spent the next 40 minutes or so talking to her as I drove to the airport. When she heard of my efforts to meet with Kevin Jennings while in DC, she even offered to help connect us because she had received a personal call from Secretary Jennings just the week before.  Unfortunately, all our efforts to get that meeting scheduled were wasted; to this day, there's been no response to multiple phone calls, faxes and mail from Mr. Jennings' office. (ironically, Mr. Jennings was in the KEX Radio studio Monday, just two days before my live interview yesterday...talking about bullying and the increased emphasis on the problem by the federal government). (more…)

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WA State – Still behind in RTTT

Round two of Race to the Top is now over and the results are in.  My own State of Washington didn't make the cut. No one is really surprised; our state didn't even participate in Round 1. 

I guess where I continue to be, not "surprised" so much as disappointed is the continued emphasis on teacher and principal evaluation.  I don't mean that knowing whether teachers and principals are effective is a bad thing, but it's what and how these measurements are made that I think is problematic. (more…)

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