Schools and the State of the Union 2016

The President spoke tonight of education in his State of the Union Address and highlighted the reform of No Child Left Behind: We agree that real opportunity requires every American to get the education and training they need to land a good-paying job. The bipartisan reform of No Child Left Behind was an important start,…

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Take Some Time To Read About ESSA

Our school was honored last Monday to host Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) as part of her Holiday Cards for Heroes program. Yearly, Annie asks for local elementary school children in her district to make holiday cards for Veterans and she then presents the cards to local Vets at the V.A. Hospital in Manchester, NH and…

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Goals Are Better Than Resolutions

Our cat Ollie’s life goal is to achieve comfort…daily, hourly. As members of the human race, however, we appreciate routine and turning the page to reach familiar stops along the road. That’s why most of us still like the change of seasons. For example, kids love the start of summer vacation, but they’re usually ready…

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The Two Percent Assessment Rule

  The Obama Administration swayed to the force of public opinion and has announced, according to the New York Times, a “cap on assessment so that no child would spend more than 2 percent of classroom instruction time taking tests.” The immovable trek toward greater standardized testing began with the No Child Left Behind Act…

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The Power of Collaboration

I was honored to speak this past Friday at a new conference at Keene State College designed to gather together New Hampshire educators in the Southwest portion of the state. The goal of the day was for educators to meet those with similar positions and form collaborative relationships that will last long after the day…

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Rick Dufour’s Brave Fight

  It brings everything into clearer focus and allows us to see the what’s really important through the noise. When someone is fighting for their life, someone you know and respect, the way they conduct themselves has a powerful effect on your own approach to life. I am speaking of Rick Dufour, former Principal, Superintendent,…

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Is the Principal Your “Pal”?

It was painfully obvious as I talked with Kindergarten students that they already had an impression of the Principal on the second day of school. I did not even know their names yet. I’ve had no chance to interact with them. Yet, they saw me as the man they don’t want to see. The old…

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The Couch Effect of Handheld Media

I have been blessed to have many opportunities to learn from colleagues throughout the country. Last week I concluded the latest meeting of the standing committee of Principals for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). In the midst of numerous assessments impacting our schools, NAEP is one of the oldest and most respected, having…

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The Knoster Model and Change in Schools

While on a much needed vacation yesterday in Vermont, the discussion at lunch with one of my nephews centered on the dual role any leader has in keeping the “trains running on time” and finding the time and energy to move the vision forward simultaneously. Excellent leaders can do both but too many of us…

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10 Summer Tips for Principals

Clapping the kids out on the last day of school Summer is a bonus for school administrators. We are given the gift of time to accomplish tasks that simply cannot be completed during the school year commotion. But with adrenaline flowing out of our bodies by the end of June, we have to be careful…

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