Apprenticing Forward, Not Backward 

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump spotlighted the importance of apprenticeships in our educational tapestry. This may be the first major education policy move of this Administration, and the man who made The Apprentice a success may know a thing or two about the topic. 

In focusing on apprenticeships, though, it is essential we focus the discussion on the career paths of tomorrow, not of yesteryear. We explore this topic on the latest edition of #TrumpED on the BAM! Radio Network. I hope you’ll give it a listen. 

From Proficiency to Mastery

Earlier this year, EdSec Betsy DeVos caught a great deal of flak for not acknowledging the difference between proficiency and progress when it comes to student learning. But with her remarks earlier this month, she may have changed the discussion by shifting the debate to one on mastery. 

Over on BAM! Radio Network, we examine this development on the latest edition of #TrumpED. Give it a listen!

Can We Check Our Impulse to Condemn?

It should come as no surprise, but we aren’t the most open-minded, slow-to-judgment crowd in education policy. We haven’t been for generations, and we certainly aren’t now. And that’s a crying shame.

The embodiment of this in 2017 is the Pavlovian response by many to condemn everything and anything that may be proposed by EdSec Betsy DeVos almost as quickly as she unveils it. While dear ol’ Eduflack gets that there may be a great deal of policy disagreements in the coming years, are we really willing to say there isn’t a single issue where there may be some common ground for a discussion? Is there not a single idea that may be put forward that is at least worth a productive discussion?

We examine this topic on this week’s #TrumpED program on the BAM! Radio Network. My hope is that we can soon all just take a collective breath and actually consider before condemning. But the realist in me realizing my hopes are often unfulfilled.

Regardless, give it a listen.

Is Budget an Education Strategy?

Last week, the Trump White House released its education budget. Most of its content was no real surprise, as it mirrored the skinny budget the Administration offered earlier this year. But as the education community continues to wait for a clear blueprint on how the Administration intends to make public education great again, the budget substitutes as strategy. We now read what we want to read out of the numbers, whether it be true or not.

On the latest episode of #TrumpED on the BAM! Radio Network, we explore how budget just can’t substitute for strategy, and how EdSec Betsy DeVos could go a long way focusing on the latter, rather than defending the former. Give it a listen.

Home Schoolers Don’t Want to Be a “Choice”

Earlier this week, EdSec Betsy DeVos continued to tease the details of the big school choice plan that is likely to come from the Trump Administration. The next day, the President’s budget reflects that same commitment to dramatically expanding access (and dollars for) public charter schools and vouchers for private education.

In all of the discussion, though, an interesting voice has spoken out asking NOT to be included in the expanded school choice plan. That voice? The homeschool community. As Eduflack explains in the most recent edition of #TrumpED on BAM! Radio Network, the reasons for this make a great deal of sense. With federal dollars comes federal oversight and regulations.  And while the homeschool community may largely trust President Trump and his administration on the topic, there are no guarantees that a future President or EdSec will hold the same level of respect for homeschoolers.

Give it a listen. I promise it is an interesting examination of an equally interesting topic.

Making Colleges Accountable Again

When President Donald Trump took office, many in the higher education community took that to mean that it would again become the “Wild West” when it came to institutions of higher education. We’d return to a world when anyone could do anything, and would likely remain accredited despite their actions.

But a funny thing has happened on the way to all of that perceived doom and gloom. EdSec Betsy DeVos and her U.S. Department of Education continued with plans to eliminate the accreditor responsible for for-profit institutions such as Corinthian Colleges, noting the importance of accountability and oversight when it comes to those colleges entrusted with current and future generations of learners.

This is an important signal, both for the Trump Administration and higher education. Over at BAM! Radio Network, I explore the DeVos decision and what it may signal for the future of higher education accountability. Give it a listen. 

I Don’t Have to Like You, But …

It’s very easy for the two sides in public education to just hurl attacks, virtriol, and brickbats day after day after day. School improvement discussion have devolved into hand-to-hand combat, with each side trying to best the other … consequences be damned.

Despite all of this fighting, last month EdSec Betsy DeVos and AFT President Randi Weingarten found the time to come together and actually spend time with each other in the same school at the same time. No, we shouldn’t expect a major sea change or detente to come out of the Ohio visit, but maybe, just maybe, it can provide some guidance on how we can look to collaborate more and shout a little less.
I’ve been fortunate to work on both sides of the debate. What has always surprised me was how the two sides actually have far more in common than in disagreement. Sure, we will focus on the areas of departure, but we can use those places of commonality to try to and work together. On the latest episode of TrumpED on BAM! Radio Network, I applaud both DeVos and Weingarten for at least giving it a try. Give it a collegial listen!