Category archive: Uncategorized

Newburyport School Committee Candidacy

Thank you for visiting my blog, which is primarily dedicated to literacy, adult & child development, and 21st century learning issues.  Two of my more recent posts about school transformation and moving to later starting times for the high school relate specifically to Newburyport. They provide some insights to my thinking and hopefully future conversations about educational issues and concerns in Newburyport.

I have committed my career to advocating for strong public schools, both in my unwavering commitment for doing what’s best for children and adolescents; and understanding that schools also need to nurture adult learning. Please visit my Bio and Testimonial pages for more specifics regarding my work and experience in areas that I believe will contribute to the advancement of educational efforts in Newburyport

One wide-ranging effort will be continuing the evolvement to 21st century teaching and learning environments. Such transformations are complex and require a vision to address the needs of students, school staffs, parents, and the community at large. The Strategic Plan for the Newburyport Schools that has begun to be implemented certainly provides great opportunity for integrating 21st century skills with critical stakeholders. I’m excited by its potential and look forward to discussions with Newburyport voters about their concerns and hopes for the best that Newburyport schools can be.

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21st Century Schools…Transform or Reform?

 

Following up my last post regarding binary choices decisions made in today’s schools, I had an opportunity to review Newburyport Public School’s recently launched Strategic Plan that is in the beginning stages of implementation, but holds promise for students and the district going forward.  Considering that the current kindergarten class will graduate in 2028, and babies born this past New Year’s Day will graduate post 2034, it is time for schools to shift their thinking from one of fixing or reforming schools to the bigger question of how to best transform them. Newburyport’s Strategic Plan leans in the direction of transformation; was developed by a full range of stakeholders; but more importantly that  diverse group of stakeholders including students, educators, community members, businesses and non profits will continue to guide the process going forward.

As my previous writings have addressed, it isn’t simply about getting the latest and greatest technology in the hands of students and teachers regarding 21st Century Learning. It’s more about understanding how to use technology as a tool to create the flexibility for learning essentially anytime, anyplace and perhaps most importantly, any pace. However…

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Moving Schools Beyond Binary Choices

Some tweets reveal; and one that caught my eye recently stated, “ We have to deprogram teachers from their own K-12 experience… to create student-centered classrooms.” That tweet was right on target, but another tweet needed to follow that parents also need to be deprogrammed from their own K-12 experience in order to create schools that are more flexible and eliminate time as a barrier for both students who can accelerate and students who can be successful if given more time.   However, even with technology that allows us to break the 20th century modes of delivering teaching and learning, students seem to still experience a ‘one size fits all’ environment for the most part. In many cases, technology is simply used to fit into old systems of “school” that has everyone start and end at the same time of day for 180 days each year for 13 years.

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Paradise aka Humanity Lost

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My daughter moved to San Francisco 17 years ago as part of a job opportunity; ultimately got married and started a family; was fortunate to be able to purchase affordable housing in the Pacific Heights area of the city; and seems to have settled in for the long haul. It’s not difficult to see why, given the weather and general laid back, relaxed atmosphere of the west coast. For me, having a good reason to visit San Francisco regularly is a bonus, especially with opportunities to escape the New England winters for some respites of warmth and sun…the fog always seems to burn off in some part of the city as the sun takes charge of the day. Recently though, …

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Shifting Views; 21st Century Schools

Gordon Brown, former Chairman of the MIT Faculty and Dean of the their School of Engineering once made the claim that ‘To be a teacher you must be a prophet – because you are trying to prepare people for a world thirty to fifty years into the future.’

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