Showing posts from January, 2017

Sharing resources from a recent NASBE webinar

NASBE (National Association of State Boards of Education) reprised a session from the October annual conference that explored school environmental conditions impeding student learning. Discussion focused on indoor/outdoor environments, quality of water, official efforts in Michigan to improve conditions for their students, and review of policy levers state boards of ed can use to keep students safe from environmental hazards in schools.

I was sorry my state Board colleague from the mitten state, Pamela Pugh, was unable to make the webinar (she works in Flint and was scheduled to take part), but the other two presenters, Claire Barnett, Coalition for Healthier Schools, and Matt Vallevand, Detroit Health Department, had excellent presentations.

I was pleased to see this offered as a webinar, as I had been in a Board Meeting at the time of the session at the annual conference. Most of the links from the webinar have been added at the bottom of this post.

Since viewing the webinar, much o…

True Sympathies

In the birth-order of his large family, Glen's place was somewhere toward the eldest end of siblings. He was a few years older than me and I was close to him by association, which is to say, I wasn't close at all.
After college, a dozen of us singers from UMass, joined singers from New York, North Carolina, Florida, and California to work as performing wait staff at the Mount Washington Hotel, in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. I'd worked hard at the several jobs I'd had before this, but the work at the hotel was most intense.

We worked breakfast and dinner and rehearsed every day for a few hours following the breakfast shift, until about 1:00 or so. We had the rest of the afternoon to ourselves (such as it was) until returning to the dining room at 5:30 to prepare to serve dinner and, most nights, to perform one or two songs in the main dining room at about 8:00. After dinner we made a quick change (out of alpine-inspired waiting garb) into evening costumery and performed…

FBRC. Again*.

A quick post as we head into the weekend, in light of statements reported in the Herald, the $98M in 9Cs, and Legislators sworn in to a new legislative session this week.

The genius of the original foundation budget was the commitment by so many to address the education challenges facing Massachusetts (yes, they were motivated, due to the decision of the SJC). Not surprisingly, new challenges have arisen in the 20+ years since: Too much funding today is being siphoned away from the people and things our students need ─ teachers and classroom materials.
A generation of students had gone through our public schools before a systemic analysis had been done of what it costs to educate a child from pre-school through high school. We've had high academic expectations, but an outdated financial plan. The state legislature sought to amend that by establishing the Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC) and charging it to " the way foundation budgets are calculated and to …