Archive for the ‘Ira David Socol’ Tag

Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere….   1 comment

A few months ago I made a commitment to do better at writing blogs. After all, if I am trying to engage people on education topics and flex my writing skills in preparation for the forthcoming books (yes, that’s plural), then I sure as heck should have something to say! Not only that, I need to make sure that I am not merely ‘saying’ something, but saying something of importance. I want people to think about what I share, both while they are reading and after they’ve finished. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Another reason why I have not written a blog post in over a week is because I have a lot of projects on my plate right now. Every once in a while, I get these creativity rushes and I get bombarded with several ideas at one time. Naturally, I get a little overwhelmed and have to force myself to unplug for a day or two. That’s kind of what I’ve been doing. Last night I finished a post that I pray will get published on the ‘Race-talk‘ blog, sponsored by the Kirwan Institute. As if that weren’t enough to keep me busy, I have also started my own summer reading which includes re-reading The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson, father of Black History Month; I am also making a commitment to finish reading Frederick Hess’ Education Unbound: The Promise and Practice of Greenfield Schooling. After reading only a few pages I honestly lost interest because this book, much like other media, only examines the ‘surface’ success of programs like Teach for America (TFA), Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), and the unique leadership style of Michelle Rhee. Anyone who has followed my blog or Twitter conversations with @IraSocol already knows how I feel about these programs. If my submission does not get picked-up by ‘Race-talk’ I will definitely post it here!

Oh,  I almost forgot! I am also working on a book/movement titled ‘Wake the Artist, Change the World!’ and I have already lined-up some very special people to interview. Wow! Now I see why I get overwhelmed! It’s all good though because I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, even though I had to turn myself around and start over a few times.

So, until later, later!

Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere….   1 comment

A few months ago I made a commitment to do better at writing blogs. After all, if I am trying to engage people on education topics and flex my writing skills in preparation for the forthcoming books (yes, that’s plural), then I sure as heck should have something to say! Not only that, I need to make sure that I am not merely ‘saying’ something, but saying something of importance. I want people to think about what I share, both while they are reading and after they’ve finished. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Another reason why I have not written a blog post in over a week is because I have a lot of projects on my plate right now. Every once in a while, I get these creativity rushes and I get bombarded with several ideas at one time. Naturally, I get a little overwhelmed and have to force myself to unplug for a day or two. That’s kind of what I’ve been doing. Last night I finished a post that I pray will get published on the ‘Race-talk‘ blog, sponsored by the Kirwan Institute. As if that weren’t enough to keep me busy, I have also started my own summer reading which includes re-reading The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson, father of Black History Month; I am also making a commitment to finish reading Frederick Hess’ Education Unbound: The Promise and Practice of Greenfield Schooling. After reading only a few pages I honestly lost interest because this book, much like other media, only examines the ‘surface’ success of programs like Teach for America (TFA), Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), and the unique leadership style of Michelle Rhee. Anyone who has followed my blog or Twitter conversations with @IraSocol already knows how I feel about these programs. If my submission does not get picked-up by ‘Race-talk’ I will definitely post it here!

Oh,  I almost forgot! I am also working on a book/movement titled ‘Wake the Artist, Change the World!’ and I have already lined-up some very special people to interview. Wow! Now I see why I get overwhelmed! It’s all good though because I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, even though I had to turn myself around and start over a few times.

So, until later, later!

Let me set the record straight…   5 comments

As I was checking the profiles of my new followers yesterday, I noticed that several of the people are affiliated with either KIPP or Teach for America. I figured that they found me due to my incessant use of #hastags. In previous posts I mentioned Michelle Rhee and the other above-referenced companies. I have never minced words about my feelings on Rhee’s leadership style, or lack thereof, because frankly, that’s my prerogative. Once I noticed who was following me, I tweeted the following random message:

A lot of #TFA people have started following me..hope they don’t get their hopes up b/c I ain’t drinkin the Kool-Aid!

It is not uncommon for me to use sarcasm in my blogs..that’s just part of my personality, especially when everyone with an Ivy League degree claims to be an expert on fixing public education (see, there it goes again). I used the Kool-Aid reference (Jim Jones) to remind people how easily swayed we become when begin worshipping false gods (now that there is from the bible). While I do not discount any progress made by KIPP, TFA, or the teachers and students in D.C.’s public schools, I take issue with the perpetuation of this myth that minorities are not qualified enough to educate minority children. NOTE: I did not say that White teachers could not make a difference. Please read what I wrote. Do not walk away with a different interpretation. Bottom line: I am not a cheerleader for any organization that can set-up shop in some of the poorest minority communities and set the glass ceiling at the principal’s door. Sure they recruit teachers, support staff, and some principals from minority groups, but how many of their upper-level management positions are filled by ethnic and racial minorities? Better yet, look at the boards of KIPP, TFA, and some of the major charter school organizations and count the names that appear more than once. Get back to me on that one. If these companies were genuinely concerned about closing the achievement gap for all ‘disadvantaged’ students, their services would reach beyond the four walls of the school. Perhaps they could ‘color’ their respective boards to reflect the communities in which they serve, and simultaneously make millions each year, per school? Nah..that’s too much like right. Instead, these Ivy League colleagues continue to groom their friends to develop spin-off companies, in turn perpetuating the cycle. Basically, Education-for-profit is akin to the ‘old boys’ network’ still prevalent here in the South. We look out for our own. Unfortunately, when African Americans adopt this same type of attitude, we get branded as separatists or segregationists. Some yahoos even start yelling about reverse discrimination! How in the hell can you have reverse discrimination when African Americans are usually the only ones who acknowledge its existence? Even then, there are ‘those’ (AA) who will deny it, slavery, and anything else to appease the ‘right’ people in power, but that’s another blog entirely. For those who are students and studiers (is that a word) of History, you know exactly what I mean.

As I said earlier, I am not a cheerleader for any person, organization, institution, etc. that perpetuates the obvious system of haves and have-nots, whether it be through employment, education, politics, etc. I will not temper my words to make anyone comfortable because no one is addressing the systemic racism and tracking that is rampant in public education to make sure my kids get a fair chance to make their own opportunities.

I did not intend to write this blog at 2 in the morning, but someone wanted me to explain my comments/feelings about KIPP. More importantly, I know that I would not have slept peacefully with these thoughts in my head. If I had more time, I would have easily added a historical component but alas, the best I can do is direct you to a wonderfully written blog interview with Ira David Socol. If he wasn’t a White guy, I would swear we were related because we think so much alike it’s dangerous…..for someone!

Peace! I’m going to sleep!