Welcome to Wiki 2010EA746.
This wiki is the learning tool of the members of the Grand Blanc # 6 and main campus Ed.S. cohorts at Oakland University. It has been created for use during (and after) winter term 2010, EA 746, by Dr. Brian Owen Clark of the Educational Leadership Department.
In addition to this homepage, there are a few specialty pages containing a variety of resources related to professional development, technology, and supervision. Each cohort member has an individual page listed alphabetically by first name and labeled with the topic of their special interest area. Their pages contain a brief introduction followed by annotated resources and a summary of their findings.
You are encouraged to visit pages of interest to you and, using the "Discussion" tab, communicate with the authors. Feel free to ask questions, share additional resources, or simply comment.


This page contains a variety of links to topics related to the readings and discussions of EA 746. Most are labeled FYI and intended for additional background knowledge. Some may be labeled ad required reading and others may be "just for fun". In addition to the course instructor, any members of the two cohorts named above are encouraged to share items on this page. Contributors are asked to date their postings and place their initials at the end.

Special Note: All of the wiki pages listed on the left have resources that may be useful to you as a student, or for your school, so please take time to check out the titles and review some that interest you.

Special Link: For the past three years, two OU profs have been podcasting interviews with both local ed leaders and national figures. This link provides the opportunity to scroll through and select from their collection that includes: Jay Matthews, Joellen Killion, Yong Zhao, Will Richardson, Bill Ayers, Anne Liberman, Parker Palmer, Joe Murphy, Adam Urbanski & Roland Barth.

Tom Chapin sings "Its Not On the Test".

Michael Fullan talks about Motion Leadership from Corwin on Vimeo.

Michael Fullan is the leading expert on leading change in education. In this 26 minute video he presents material from his latest books, Motion Leadership, and All Systems Go.

Alan Blankstein discusses educational reform from Corwin on Vimeo.

Alan Blankstein, author of Failure Is Not An Option: Six Principles for Making Student Success the Only Option 2nd ed., provides an overview of the lessons learned during the five years since the first edition was published. Also, a panel of four principals, whose schools have implemented his model, share their experiences. (This video is over an hour long. I recommend skipping the first nine minutes of basically introduction by the moderator.)

4/13/10 What would Zhao say?? Chester (Checker) Finn is the respected ed policy expert who states his concerns about American schools accepting China-government-sponsored Chinese teachers to teach Chinese and Chinese culture to students. He is a leader of the conservative Fordham Institute and writes the blog, Gadfly .


How many American students dropped out before graduating with their class of 2008? A. 100,000 B. 250,000 C. 500,000 D. 1,000,000 E. None of the above. Click here to learn the answer and what our drop out problem is estimated to cost the USA in 2008. Much is written about the urban drop out crises, but what about the rural drop out problem? This March 30, 2010, Ed Week article includes a four minute video on the topic. BC

4/9/10 You know about RTTT funding but do you know about i3 funding , and the debate over Obama's emphasis on competitive grants vs. categorical funding? As an ed leader, you should. This article from a progressive think tank, The Center for American Progress, will argue in favor of i3 grants. On the other side of the argument in this debate over how federal funds should be used, Detroit teacher union members are joining a rally in Washington against competitive grants in favor of distributing money based on need. (Note the list of their concerns in this newspaper article .)

4/9/10 This video clip is from The Colbert Report last year when the President commented that the length of the school year should be lengthened as one means of raising student achievement. Host, Stephen Colbert interviews an "expert" on this idea. (In case you are not familiar with this "news" program, understand that it airs on the Comedy Channel.)

4/9/10 I saw this blog posting by a MS teacher on The Ecology of Education site, and found it very thought provoking. I'd be interested in your reaction to his message.

4/7/10 After two years of contention and controversy, Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of the Washington DC Schools, has reached a tentative contract agreement with the DC Federation of Teachers union. The Washington Post reports on the agreement and includes a few links for additional info, especially the union's summary of the tentative agreement. BC

4/7/10 As states prepare their applications for the next round of RTTT applications, here is a tongue in cheek look at a few possible presentations from the Fordham Foundation.

The Best Race to the Top Presentations from Education Gadfly on Vimeo.

4/7/10 One aspect of the RTTT funding that receives less press, but is extremely important, is the $350 M that will be awarded for the development of new and more sophisticated, student assessment tools to be used in conjunction with the forthcoming Core Standards. The blog, Curriculum Matters , reports on the various consortiums of states and organizations that are preparing to submit applications for funding. (I am not certain which group Michigan has joined.) BC

4/7/10 Here is a summary of the Obama-Duncan Blue Print to revise the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (i.e. NCLB) And, here is an Ed Week article discussing the NEA's proposal to revise and improve NCLB, which is significantly different from the Obama-Duncan Blue Print.

4/5/10 What can adults learn from kids? Adora Svitak, age 12, suggests in this eight minute TED Talk that we shouldn't underestimate the contributions of children. She implores us to provide children with opportunities to lead and learn today.

4/1/10 An important national study reports a large and increasing number of parents are opting to have their children school-homed . :-)

3/31/10 Ed Week article discusses several, national, independent surveys of teachers' opinions about what it takes for them to be successful in their schools. The results of these surveys were very similar: Quality leadership, a say in decision-making, and opportunities to work with their peers. How do you think teachers define "quality leadership"? What do teachers want from their school administrators?

3/30/10 The Detroit News reported that MI finished 21st of 40 RTTT applicants and why.

3/29/10 News Flash! Only two of the 15 states that were finalists for RTTT funds have been selected in round 1 to receive federal funding for their K-12 education improvement plans, Tennessee & Delaware. As ed leaders, we should be aware of their improvement plans since they signal the directions that public ed may be headed in general. Ed Week's blog Politics K-12 gives a brief overview of why TN & DE will receive millions of RTTT dollars. Ed Week provides a much more in depth discussion of why these two states were selected. BC

3/29/10 Must view! Larry Rosenstock is a principal with some very interesting views about teaching & learning & leading. Although his school may be very different from yours, his insights are worth your reflection as to how they might inform you and translate to your teaching, learning & leading.
This is a 15 min.You Tube video (directly below) but can also be accessed on the Mobile Learning Institute site. There is another 7 min. You Tube video of Larry presenting to a group of educators that is worth watching to learn more of his experiences and resulting views.

3/26/10 You may have seen this, but just in case ... (BC)

3/26/10 In professional sports, the teams most in need of improvement get to pick the best players first in the annual draft. One aspect of performance pay might look something like this ... (BC)

3/26/10 FYI The authors of Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology content that high schools will change the most due to the digital age. Ed Week published this article in March '10 that sites technology and two other factors to support this same contention. As ed leaders, even if we don't work at the HS level we should be aware of these potential changes (and perhaps share the possibilities with our brethren who are leaders at the HS level). BC

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3/24/10 Where do you stand in the debate between an increased federal role vs. traditional local control of public education. On March 18, 2010, the following two NY Times columns were printed next to each other. Susan Jacoby argues for a greater federal role while David Brooks argues, in a broader context, for a return to local leadership. Read both and consider where you stand as a leader. BC

3/24/10 Diane Ravitch in her blog, Bridging Differences, writes passionately about the importance of true public school reform as opposed to the path we are on toward centralized control and privatization. She is a respected educational historian who, until the publication of her recent book, was considered a spokesperson for conservative viewpoints. Her new book is titled, The Life and Death of the Great American School System, How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. BC

3/24/10 What do you think about charter schools? The original intent was for charter schools to represent the essence of local control as independent public schools. The NY state legislature could not come to agreement about strengthening their charter school legislation and missed the deadline to submit a RTTT application that had the potential to bring 700 m from Washington. In this Jan. '10 video from MSNBC's Morning Joe Show, you'll see the founder of the Harlem Village School and supporter & entertainer, John Legend, interviewed.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

3/24/10 FYI Ever heard of Road Trip Nation ? I ran across it today and thought some of you might find it interesting. It provides another example of American ingenuity & entrepreneurship. Three teenagers created an educational experience out of almost nothing and now there are thousands of youngsters involved. BC

3/23/10 FYI Thomas Freidman, NY Times columnist and author of The World Is Flat, writes about America's "Real Dream Team " in this recent column. It sheds light on the importance of one factor for America's greatness, immigration. (This item was brought to my attention by one of OU's PhD students who is from Romania.)

3/23/10 FYI Here is a Q & A overview of the Obama administration's Blueprint to revise and improve NCLB. It was prepared by the Center for American Progress, a reputable think tank but a progressive one that supports the Obama plan. Once you've read CAP's favorable presentation, you should read the varied assessments of The National Journal Expert Bloggers .

3/22/10 Just for fun. Here is one cartoonists view of the Race To The Top.
ScreenHunter_79 Mar. 19 13.49
ScreenHunter_79 Mar. 19 13.49

3/22/10 FYI What could a Pirate Supply Store have to do with volunteers who improve student writing?
Teaching is an extremely challenging job, so what makes us think we can do it by ourselves. This TED presentation by Dave Eggers is entertaining and informative but most importantly it may just spark an idea for you or a parent or a volunteer about how more members of your community can get involved in support of the efforts to help kids learn. You may not be able to replicate what Dave Eggers has done, although numerous people are doing just that, however his inspiring story might start you or others thinking about what could be done. BC

FYI: After watching the above TED video, I wanted to share my experience of walking into a "Spy Supply Store" in Chicago. The store front was retro-orange, 60s style and everything in there was truly spy related and clearly handmade, but with an intelligent sophistication. In the back was the writing center, behind a glass wall. All proceeds went to the upkeep of the center. I talked with the facilitators for about an hour and bought some spy paraphernalia. ~LR

3/22/10 Just for fun. If you liked Scholar Ladies , check out "Gotta Keep Reading ", a takeoff on the Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling" flash mob performance done on Oprah's Show. It is performed by the entire student body of a Florida Middle School. (It is a You Tube video.) And finally, here is a NYC music teacher and his PS 22 kids singing "Eye of the Tiger", which has been viewed over 1 million times on You Tube. BC

And, it isn't just kids who can have fun while building relationships and participating as a team for a cause greater than onesself. Watch this entire hospital staff prove my point as they promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

3/22/10 FYI Here is good advice from an award-winning administrator about how to be a successful, collaborative principal. BC

3/22/10 FYI Geoffrey Canada is the educator who started and runs the Harlem Childrens Zone, a highly successful project that demonstrates the power of leadership and the effect of a total community approach to the challenges of urban education. This CBS video appeared on 60 Minutes in 2009.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

3/21/10 Just for fun. Who says American kids aren't in shape? These kids are jump'n !! BC

3/21/10 FYI Since your next EdS course will be school law , you may wish to subscribe to this free Ed Week blog. BC

3/18/10 FYI Interested in gender issues as they relate to your classroom? Check out this new ASCD electronic publication. BC

3/18/10 FYI ASCD makes it easy to share your opinions with government policy makers. Check this out. BC

3/18/10 FYI "What if college isn't for everyone?" This often-asked question is addressed in this article in USA Today newspaper. Interesting read. We hear a lot about the goal of every public school graduate being college or career ready. Is "career ready" being over looked? Does this question take us back to the debate over 21st century skills?

3/14/10 FYI President Obama has shared his plans for the improvement and reauthorization of the NCLB act. As Ed Leaders we need to be familiar with his proposals and with the various reactions to them by various groups and key individuals.
Ed Week published this overview 3/13.
Ed Week's political reporter also shared some interesting commentary on her Politics K - 12 blog .
A conservative blogger at Education Next shares his views on the president's NCLB proposals, namely that it is good but not enough.
A left of center think tank, Center for American Progress , reacts positively to the president's NCLB proposal.
What are the chances of Obama's NCLB proposal being approved by congress? Ed Week addresses this question.
Alexander Russo , a widely-read blogger at "This Week in Education", shares a variety of responses to the NCLB proposal from key organizations.
Eduwonk , an influential blog published by Education Sector think tank, has important insights on the president's NCLB proposal.
e-School News front page article is titled, "Obama's Ed Policies No Better Than Bush's".

3/14/10 FYI If you missed the front page news about the new coalition of educators & parents, and their plan to bring education excellence to Detroit children, here is a summation with links for additional information. (You've studied the political frame and the importance of coalitions. This is a classic example of what happens if the formal, organizational structure does not meet the needs of the community.) BC

3/13/10 FYI While recommendations for improving public education focus on measuring students and evaluating teachers & principals, this cartoon raises an interesting question about another important variable in the equation of student achievement.
today's cartoon
today's cartoon

3/15/10 FYI Bill Maher, comic and social critic, responded to the responded to the front page, Newsweek article that proposed that the "fix" for public schools is to "fire all the bad teachers". Often a critic of public education and teacher unions in particular, Maher raises the same issue as does the cartoon above. (This is a You Tube video , thus GB cohort members will have to view it at home.) BC

3/11/10 FYI Ed Week article details reactions to a complete draft of the national and includes links to actual document. BC
3/17/10 Blogger, Rick Hess , is a supporter of Common Core Standards, but he raises some excellent questions about the implementation of the new national standards. BC

3/8/10 FYI The firing of the entire staff at Central Falls HS in RI has brought attention to the turnaround options allowed under RTTT regulations. Here is the government document that spells out the various turnaround plans available to participating school districts for use with their bottom 5% of failing schools. BC

3/8/10 FYI Jamie Oliver has won the $100,000 TED award for the most important presentation. In fact, he now has his own TV show that will soon begin nationally. Who is this 34 year old Brit and why should we as ed leaders take time to pay attention to his message? This week we will watch, discuss, and decide. BC

3/6/10 FYI It isn't often that the publishing of a book on education gets as much attention as Diane Ravitch's
"The Death and Life of the Great American School System, How Testing & Choice Are Undermining Education". The reason - she is a leading education historian who has changed her mind and writes to explain why. She has been a significant spokesperson for the conservative view point on what is wrong with public education and how to fix it. I have this 250 page book on the top of my "must-read" pile. Meanwhile, here is an Ed Week article that includes a brief video of Dr. Ravitch explaining why she had to write this book. BC

3/6/10 FYI Did you know that principals will soon be able to apply for National Board Certification ? The same organization that provides national Board Certification for Teachers has a plan and a process in the works. BC

3/4/10 FYI Dinner Discussion 3/4/10 http://www.thedailyriff.com/2010/02/john-stossel-on-teacher-tenure.php
Fox News, John Stossel, has a six part series presenting a critical view of various aspects of public education. The Daily Riff provides info on the series. TF

3/3/10 FYI What do teachers think about improving American education? This was the crux of a national survey of 40,000 U.S. teachers published today. This link take you to an e-School News article that contains links to additional sources. This report is getting lots of press attention. One interesting finding is that teachers ranked supportive leaders (i.e. principals) ahead of all of the other factors for retaining teachers in the profession. Even ahead of higher pay! BC

REQUIRED ACTIVITY ASCD provides short videos of recently published authors. Select one author from the Highlighted List and view that video. Then, go to the Discussion Page above, "ASCD Authors", and in a few sentences reflect on the author's views for others to read. Note: Please do not change the title of this discussion so that your contributions will be a continuous thread. BC

2/22/10 FYI Check out WatchKnow.org (think You Tube meets Wikipedia), a new educational website founded by one of the creators of Wikipedia. It is a directory of 1000's of videos for students. Curriki.org (Curricula + wiki) is an innovative community that invites a wide range of contributers to post curricula. The Verizon Foundation sponsors thinkfinity.org , a free educational content source. Check out these on line resources and add your favorite. BC

2/17/10 REQUIRED READING Resistance to change is a reality faced by all leaders. This Kappan article takes a fresh look at understanding and dealing with resistance. I would be interested in your reactions to the author's ideas based on your experiences and observations. Journaling not required but please use the Homepage "Discussion" tab above to share your reactions. Feel free to read and comment on the reactions of others. BC

2/22/10 FYI Author, Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind () has a new book (Drive) that presents the research on motivation and its implications for leaders. Although his target audience may primarily be the business world, what he has had to say in both of his most recent books has serious implications for educators. In addition to viewing (in class) his presentation (below) at a TED conference, I recommend this interview on Public School Insights, the blog of the Learning First Alliance , an important coalition of leading education organizations. BC

2/22/10 FYI As Washington slowly moves toward reviewing and possibly revising NCLB, one coalition, that has organized to influence the outcome is known as The Bolder, Broader Approach . The list of supporters of this approach is impressive and you should be aware of this coalition.
Another movement that aims at affecting education policy is ASCD's Whole Child Initiative . Check out this important aspect of ASCD's work.BC

5/20/10 PBS News Hour Special Report on Detroit schools.