Bad Air, Tiger Mom

Bad Air, Tiger Mom

The air quality in China is bad enough you should take notice. It’s not bad enough you should avoid visiting and taking a good look at differences between China’s Tiger Moms and America’s Wall Street tycoons.

Tying Instruction to Learning

Tying Instruction to Learning

The reaction when John proposed tying instruction to assessment in more than one classroom was surprising, especially because he was in China.

Future Work: Child's Play

Future Work: Child's Play

What jobs will tomorrow’s children have? I informally surveyed a number of teens and adults from around the world, and responses told the same fearful story. Technology, robots and artificial intelligence will take jobs. Educators plan for science fiction futures.

Gaps of Achievement and Income

Gaps of Achievement and Income

Street sweepers in Shanghai offer a hint at the economics of China’s job market. The average income in Shanghai is under $15,000 per year. Street sweepers make less than that. 

Street Sweepers and Beat Cops

Street Sweepers and Beat Cops

If you haven’t been to China recently, you haven’t seen its sparkling streets. After a long stint in Shanghai, I recently visited Suzhou and Hong Kong. Suzhou is a 20-minute high speed rail ride from central Shanghai. No potholes. No garbage. No oil stains. I don’t remember even seeing any gum spots. For a city of 10 million, Suzhou is new, clean and spotless, just like most of Shanghai. 

Refresher: Empowerment Works

Refresher: Empowerment Works

On opening day every year, school heads spend more time recounting success stories than charting statistical successes. Data retreats, all the rage a decade ago, have disappeared from the landscape. Why despite being flush with data do school leaders prefer to tell stories to open the year?

Research is Transforming 6th Grade Education

Research is Transforming 6th Grade Education

Paris has some great schools. An American friend of mine lives near the Bastille with her French husband and two primary school-aged kids. She likes her kids’ school. But she still wants to move her family back to the US when they get to high school.

The MBA and Education Leadership

The MBA and Education Leadership

Public and private sector leadership development remains divided, especially in formal degree programs. Creating transformed schools necessitates bridging the bifurcation. An immediate solution is signing up more would-be education leaders to great MBA programs.

Looking to 2017 for Transforming Education

Looking to 2017 for Transforming Education

The two greatest impediments to transforming education come from the public. Public opinion needs to change in two areas to open the floodgates and radically improve schooling for children. The public needs to embrace the idea that the schools of the future will not look like the schools of the past, and the economics of education need to escape partisan politics. 

Disruption Forecast

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Disruption Forecast

School leaders in the next few years are going to face seismic disruptions in every aspect of teaching and learning. Before accepting a leadership position, the mindful leader needs to gauge the likelihood the school will absorb disruptions or be permanently disrupted by technological change. 

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Successful Teaming: Part Two

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Successful Teaming: Part Two

Workers dislike teams for many reasons. Teammates are often assigned, not chosen. Teams work in meetings, and ineffective meetings mean wasted work time. But there is hope.

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Successful Teaming - Part One

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Successful Teaming - Part One

Team success is organizational success. Capacity to build and deploy effective teams has repeatedly been shown to be more important than individual skill, procedural clarity or even well-defined performance targets in improving organizational outcomes. 

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Risky Leadership

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Risky Leadership

Before considering whether to leave teaching and take a role in the administration, teachers need to learn an important lesson about indemnification. 

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More Memory and a Faster Processor

More Memory and a Faster Processor

When children were given a computer, they self-organized learning groups and reinforced the central tenet of education. We all need more memory and faster processors. 

Getting Incentives Right

Getting Incentives Right

Public education in the United States resists change. That schools look much now as they did in the 1950s and the entrenched interests that resist change is old news. The story less often told and much more provocative is how gatekeeping to school heads hinders change.

More Testing of Students

More Testing of Students

Big new grants announced recently by the feds seek to remedy fears of over-testing students. The current political fight misses the big picture. There is plenty of reason for optimism in more testing.