Monthly Archives: September 2006

Come On Josie, You Can Do It!

Josie_reading
Josie has
been scooting along with her own unique crawling style since early May. She had
her first birthday at the end of June. In July, standing up – holding on to a
reliable piece of furniture or adult became the norm.
August brought the fun game of looking adorable for an adult so they’d take you
for a walk. Here it is September and Josie is four steps away from walking by
herself.

I’ve been watching Josie. She stands, holding on – one hand is okay – and lets go.
She stands un-tethered and looks around. Finds something across the room of
interest. Plops down and crawls full speed to get it. Why take the risk of
walking when crawling gets the job done?

The resistance to change starts
early! Since Josie

Perfect? I Don’t Think So.

Crayons
Yesterday’s edition of USA Today had an article entitled, Spellings says No Child law near perfect. You didn’t have to read far to get Education Secretary Margaret Spellings full quote.  "I talk about No Child Left Behind like Ivory soap. It’s 99.9% pure or something. There’s not much needed in the way of change."

Now, I’m not a teacher, but I spend a lot of time with them and I haven’t heard too many classroom practitioners claim that this law is even close to perfect, but that’s beside the point. Any time anyone in the public or private sector claims that what they have done is without need for change, I get nervous.

Perfection, if ever reached, is by its nature fleeting. The perfect rose looses its petals and needs to be removed so the rose bush can produce another blossom. (Hey, even I, who has killed plants on a regular basis, know this law of nature.) Call something – flower, person, or law – without need for change and you doom it to stagnation and imperfection.

It seems to me that so many in the current administration are looking for a solution that will fix a problem once and for all rather than looking for a process that will create solutions that work over time.

Madam Secretary, I’d be much happier if you’d concluded your remarks with, "When it come to No Child Left Behind, I’m excited to see what we can change to make it even better!" (The ! is optional, but I would have used it.)