I had grand plans of posting on my blog every day. Sigh. Perhaps, though, it's better if I'm not so prolific; then everyone won't have to think that all I do is read the New York Times and write a blog. That's what I would think if I were reading what's been posted so far.
Tomorrow, I am heading east to attend my 20th college reunion. I went to the fifth and the fifteenth. This time I am traveling with my dear friend Laura Higgins, so that will be incredible, and then I will have at least one friend there! Imagine having a weekend and about six hours in the car to catch up, without anyone of about four feet tall asking for something. I am really looking forward to this. My mom is the heroic grandmother who is coming out for the weekend. She and Alex can spend six hours or more at the Museum of Science and Industry, as they like to do. I'm good there for about twenty minutes.
I am in the final stages of finishing up a second issue of a Lab publication titled LAB Directions. Here's a link to the first one I did: http://www.ucls.uchicago.edu/publications/directions/
(Click on March 2007.)
I imagine that the reunion will provide good blog material. In the meantime, I want to call attention to my friend Steve Bergen who is just about to make a job change, one that reflects something I think about all the time. Having taught and headed up huge technology inititives in several independent schools over many years, Steve is moving to the Children's Storefront School in Harlem. Although Storefront is an independent school, too, the students don't pay tuition. It's supported by fundraising. Steve's story reveals the nature of Storefront and his decision to make this change. (http://www.summercore.com/2007/)
When I was teaching in independent schools, I often found myself thinking about how successful many of these schools were and yet how cut off from the larger world of education many of them seemed to be. I don't think it's atypical for people at private schools not to have any relationships with the public schools in the same neighborhood. I know Steve is starting to think about how he might work with charter schools, as we pursues his job at Storefront, and I wonder whether there's even more that can happen. I believe that he's raising big questions about the role of technology in education, especially when thinking about inner city public schools. E.g. what resources should go to technology in such settings -- where there are many competing needs, some of which may be more fundamental (e.g. resources for the teaching of reading, although are there connections between these needs and technology?).
I imagine there are private schools that have relationships with public schools and would love to know about them, if anyone out there has this info... I interviewed Arne Duncan recently (the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools) for Lab Directions. He's an alum of the Lab Schools and very much wants kids in the Chicago public schools to get what he got at Lab, a place that's as much a community center as a school. That's his phrase (community center) for what schools need to be. That reminds me of something I often thought about what kids get in independent schools: I don't have issues with what kids get in those settings; the problem is that all children don't have the same resources and opportunities. It would be great if every child in America had a school like Lab.
Hope someone reads this! Respond!