I am so pleased with the number of people who have taken time to comment on the proposals for a new middle school model through this blog, through the Web page (http://www.acps.k12.va.us/middle-schools/), through phone calls, e-mails and attendance at meetings. And, yes, just as I am pleased with the outpouring of support, so am I pleased at those who are arguing strongly against the proposals. This is as it should be… it is as our democracy should work. We have pledged to be as transparent as possible through this process, and we have been. The development of the details was always intended to be an evolutionary, inclusive process.
Archive for May, 2009
I’ve been thinking about the word “milestone,” a term I’ve found applicable, both personally and professionally, quite a lot lately. In the 1925 edition of Webster’s Elementary-School Dictionary – a dog-eared tome that still comes in handy – the word has only one meaning: “Stone serving as a milepost.” (“Milepost,” the preceding entry, is defined as “A post to indicate the distance in miles from a given point.”) My electronic Encarta Dictionary offers a second definition: “important event – a significant or important event, e.g. in the history of a country or in somebody’s life.” Now, that’s what I’m talking about.This past weekend, we watched our youngest daughter receive her Masters degree in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music. What parent can adequately describe the emotions that wash over us as we watch our children accept a diploma and officially take another step toward achieving their potential and living their dreams? This commencement proved a joyous milestone, not just for our daughter, but for all of us who have shared the journey with her. I’m sure that many of you have had a similar precious experience, or will next month when your own children graduate from elementary, middle or high school…or from college. (more…)
Let’s revisit the topic of middle school models since it generated so many good comments two weeks ago. Many of the questions submitted are being incorporated into a list of answers to frequently asked questions that will soon be posted online. I hope all of you will take a few minutes to browse our new Web page, “A New Middle School Model for ACPS,” at http://www.acps.k12.va.us/middle-schools/. (more…)
Who is your favorite teacher? Does one name immediately come to mind, or, like me, do you find yourself recalling so many unique and wonderful educators that you can’t possibly zero in on just one? Well, perhaps I should single out one: My wife happens to be a first-rate classroom teacher! But I also think of the instructors whose lessons inspired me as a student, as well as the countless colleagues whose keen insight and enthusiasm have motivated me during my own career in education. (more…)