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A Little More Love
“Will a little more love bring us a happy ending?
Will a little more love make it right?”
- Olivia Newton-John
Forgive the fan worship here but like many out there, I’m distraught at the loss of this positively lovely woman whose uplifting and inspirational pop tunes influenced generations. A little more love will definitely make it right, along with some common sense, and maybe a little more mellow.
Wishing much luck to new Philadelphia Superintendent Tony Watlington, who hails from North Carolina, and tells teachers and staff that a little more love can definitely help his new city’s children.
“Stay focused on what’s good for children, because it’s a good North Star to follow.”
It’s great advice, particularly in the face of dramatic enrollment declines and years of system dysfunction. Staff might also consider another famous Olivia line to guide them this year: “If you love me let it be, if you don’t, set me free.”
Better Performing Makes a Happy Ending
A little more love and a happy ending are in store for kids whose fates find them in states that offer their parents choices. A new analysis of reputable research finds that students who attend private schools in states with education choice programs perform better and the programs themselves are more diverse. Love that this report shows up in the least likely of journals - The Journal of Management and Engineering Integration - whose academic advisors are not only independent-minded but trained to know the difference between credible and scientific data and that which derives from ideology (ahem, like most traditional education researchers). Hat tip to Dr. Patrick “P. Diddy” Wolf for sharing this on social media.
Hopelessly Devoted to…Kids
Special shout out to Mountaineer State-born Jennifer Garner and her wonderful work on libraries and learning spaces for children in West Virginia and Kentucky. With the devastating floods that hit Kentucky recently, she has put out the notice that funds are needed to restock the books, computers and learning tools that were lost in the recent devastating flooding. She can look no further than the more than $2.1 billion in ESSER Funds that the state hasn’t spent to ensure those places are up and running for children.
Let’s Get Physical: Charter Schools Sue the Feds
Leaders of the Michigan charter school movement are suing in court to stop the Biden Administration’s attack on charter schools, which over the last few months has mistakenly been reported as improving as a result of nationwide advocacy.
MICharters.org represents over 253 schools serving approximately 150,000 children and recognizes, as reported here last month, that the Biden Administration’s new rules are harmful to charters and their students.
“These regulations are clearly bureaucratic government overreach, and what’s most troubling is that they intentionally target our most vulnerable students,” Said MAPSA director Dan Quisenberry. “Charter schools in Michigan serve a disproportionately high percentage of minority students, children living in poverty and refugee children. By intentionally denying these children the future educational opportunities and choices they’ll need to succeed, the U.S. Department of Education is putting them at an even bigger disadvantage in life. That’s morally wrong and now we’re asking the system to declare that it’s legally wrong, too.”
Dan’s right. Among the 135 pages of requirements that illegally conflict with state law are requirements that charter schools prove to their authorizer that “charter school’s recruitment, enrollment, and retention processes” will be suitable to school districts. The intention here is not to help charter schools. It’s to cost them time, money and union activities that will ensue to twist and turn everything schools put into writing. The new federal rules now supplant state laws, making the strongest weak, and the weakest incapacitated. Thank God charters are getting figuratively physical in their defense by the Pacific Legal Institute.
A Little More Love of Learning
Many called him “the name and the voice of American history” delivering such extensively researched and detailed work that he reawakened much excitement and attention to the nation’s founding with his many works, including his popular, Adams and his most recent book, The Pioneers, a must-read of original sources. We would have loved to see and hear more, but Pulitzer Prize-winning author, David McCullough passed away yesterday at 89. Thankfully, his books, speeches and master classes are just a click away for generations to come.
Mr. McCullough was the historical conscience of our country. In his 2003 prestigious Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities in Washington, he said that the founders’ notion of the pursuit of happiness did not mean “long vacations or material possessions or ease.” Rather, he said, “as much as anything it meant the life of the mind and spirit.” “It meant education,” he added, “and the love of learning, the freedom to think for oneself.”
His speeches to many graduates are perhaps among his best counsel to future generations.
“Read, read, read! Read the classics of American literature that you’ve never opened. Read your country’s history,” said McCullough to the Boston College graduating class of 2008.
“How can we profess to love our country and take no interest in its history? Read into the history of Greece and Rome. Read about the great turning points in the history of science and medicine and ideas.
“Make the love of learning central to your life…” May God Rest your Soul, David McCullough.
Uh Oh, Those Summer Nights are Almost Gone…
As kids head back to school and educators and parents close down their summer vacations, there’s lots of hysteria about a teacher shortage that may not actually exist, according to thought leaders and researchers. That topic, in next week’s Forza, but highly suggest you not be misled by the headlines. As Olivia would say, you have Something Better to Do.
With thanks to my co-conspirator Michael - Jeanne
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