Sunday, August 10, 2014

Grantmaking Strategies to Support English Language Learners

A recent publication by The National Center for Education Statistics reports that 10% of public school students in the United States are English language learners.  And in states like Texas, California, New Mexico, and others, that percentage is even higher.  And that number will continue to rise, year-over-year.  The challenge of public school districts to meet the needs of this growing student population requires great attention to the needs of ELLs.

In addition to developing and implementing the curricula and classroom strategies, finding the necessary financial resources to support the effort is becoming more challenging than ever before.  The result has been increasing partnerships, with philanthropic, educational and business and community based organizations.

One approach that school systems have taken on is grantwriting.  And while this approach has proven fruitful for many organizations, seeking"soft money" can prove difficult to navigate.  Grantmakers for Educators recently reported on grantmaking efforts in the shifting educational ecosystem where ELLs are served.  Educating English Language Learners: Grantmaking Strategies for Closing America's Other Achievement Gap provides good information for anyone interested in grantwriting, as well as for those working to address the needs of ELLs.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Motivating Underperforming Employees

One of the more challenging aspects of leadership is inspiring people to give their best, consistently.  And while we all normally try to put forth our best effort, a loss of motivation can sometimes cause us to underperform.  Will Yakowics, of Inc. Magazine, recently took on this topic.  From lending support and guidance to cutting your losses, all organizations need to have the best staffs they can hire. Yet, we frequently fail to address employees who are not doing their best work.    Read story...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Casey Kasem, A True American Idol

Casey Kasem, the person who helped me appreciate popular music during the 70s and 80s, lies critically ill.  And while this idol of the pop music era struggles for life, his three children and their stepmom are fighting over ending his life through the removal of food, water, and medicine.  While an LA judge, in reversing his decision, has given Casey's daughter Kerri the authority to remove all life sustaining infusions.  Her doctor stated that there is nothing more that can be done for Casey other than prolong a painful and inevitable death.

We all remember, "American Top 40", and the "100 Best....", "etc."  Many of us connect many of our life experiences  during our formative years to the music.  Casey encouraged us to listen more closely, and to make greater meaning of the power of the music for me and my peers.  The letters and dedications he read, and the messages he offered, encouraged us to appreciate who we were and what we had.  Growing up in El Segundo Barrio in El Paso, Texas, life provided both incredible challenges as well as amazing opportunities.  Your show, and your words, blurred that tension so that for those couple of hours each Saturday morning, I was freed to be present to something greater than the routines of everyday life in my world.

And while the struggle continues between you continuing to be part of our world, or not, you have already left your mark in powerful ways.   Your sign off at the end of every show continues to live with me 30 - 40 years later - "keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars".  I can honestly say that you did just that.  You reached high and you touched the heavens. And in the process, you inspired many, including me.  Thank you.

Latest news on Casey Kasem...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vergara Lawsuit: Judge Strikes Down All 5 Teacher Protections

In a shocking defeat for the California teachers unions, Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu overturned five state statutes that give California teachers tenure rights and seniority, and protections from firings. These long standing protections have been part of the the California landscape for decades.  And while the debate will continue, final confirmation will lead to a change in the union/district relationships.  Read the story... 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Update on Education Technology Trends

At the recent SIIA Education Industry Summit in San Francisco, attendees were welcome with the news that there will be an increase in startups in the education-technology space.  Much of the technology will focus on assessment and data, managing student information systems, student privacy.  There will also be some technology developed for curriculum and instruction. The story...

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