Mark,

Thank you for your response, and all of your writing.

I think, like many of us, I rock back and forth between hope and despair. I am lucky to have been recruited in to a system committed to change, and yet, despite all we do, we still know that children elude us.

Image for post
Image for post

Tonight our Board of Education will be thinking “High School 2022" — this is the first graduating class that needs to meet Virginia’s much more reality-friendly expectations — in other words, change in time for this year’s 7th graders to arrive in 9th grade. As part of this — of our commitment to “All Means All” — we asked our school board to visit — in person or virtually — almost a dozen radically different schools, in the US and out, to see how others are facing up to these challenges. It is this attempt at both cross-pollination and shattering the “We can’t do that” attitude, that we hope will empower us.

Added to what we’ve done so far — our Multiage elementary schools, our co-curricular ninth grade teams, our reimagined learning spaces, our wide open libraries — this is my hope: We’re a median-sized, median-funded, highly diverse public school system, and maybe we can be a model.

Image for post
Image for post

On the other side, I think back to when I was writing The Drool Room, and I was describing everything that could go wrong in a school. There is so much that can go wrong, and my frustration in writing that book was the discovery that there were very few villains — even in an educational horror story.

But maybe that’s the hope as well. There aren’t many villains. There are just people that we need to work with.

  • Ira Socol

Written by

Author, Dreamer, Educator: A life in service - NYPD, EMS, disabilities/UDL specialist, tech and innovation leader for education. Co-author of Timeless Learning

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store