This is the anniversary of my first blog. I have now been blogging for a full year. 59 posts, 147 comments and countless hours and caloric expenditures of creative energy later… here I am. Somewhere.
But this week I had an epiphany.
On Thursday I contributed a comment to Scott McLeod’s blog called Dangeously Irrevelevant, and somehow I think it got deleted. He is a professor in Iowa and a frequent critic of public education and his own children’s schools. Blogs are good for asking challenging questions and he usually asks some tough ones. But I took exception to this:
Does anyone think that we were doing a fine job of meeting the needs of underserved populations before ‘the tests?’ Have we all forgotten that school has been boring for generations?
It’s not ‘the tests.’ It’s our unwillingness and/or inability to do something different, something better.
It’s not ‘the tests.’ It’s us.
So whose schools are we talking about? His kids go to school in Iowa for God’s sake– hardly the crucible for school reform. Yet this is the kind of statement I see made all the time, especially from university professors who have little room to question the quality of instruction at the K-12 level. So I said, in effect, “I disagree. We are doing something different at Mueller Charter School and it certainly isn’t boring.” And I cited our partnership with the Chula Vista Nature Center as an example.
Maybe citing Mueller Charter School is considered self-promotion on somebody else’s blog.
Maybe my objection was deleted because I used my own school, as I often do, as an example of a public school that works.
Maybe the critics of the K-12 system don’t like to acknowledge “isolated examples” of schools that work– even though charter schools exist to serve as innovative and sometimes “isolated examples” of courageous change. The way I see it, one example from El Milagro is as valid as criticizing the entire K-12 system on the basis of a single school in an Iowa cornfield.
So whatever. Dangerously Irrelevant has to live up to its name. My blog merely needs to live up to El Milagro— the miracle.
All I know is that I am investing too much time commenting and debating in this medium; I’m expending too much creative energy on trying to be a participant and build an audience for my blog.
I have a school to run. I have students and staff who need my creative energy to be devoted to them. I have several book projects winding their way to completion. And we have two extraordinarily promising projects on the drawing board that could profoundly transform our school (and any other school that pays attention to our work.)
So this is as good a reason as any to steer my blog (and my blogging) in a different direction. I’m just going to document the transformation from Mueller Charter School into El Milagro and leave the debating to the critics on the sideline.
As for the two projects… stay tuned.