Thursday, August 4, 2011


By now you're aware that we heckle LAUSD.   Before you defend us, by saying we offer solutions.  Our solutions are absurdest and really are just an extension of our heckling.  I just read Seth Godin's recent article on heckling and how to handle it

"But there is a strategy that works. Acknowledge and move on. When the heckler announces that you're incompetent, unqualified or hardly ready to step forward, think, "oh." And then proceed. You give it no purchase. No opportunity to escalate. Each jibe is met with "noted." Over time, the heckler gets quieter, because it just isn't worth the effort."  -Seth Godin (via Seth's Blog) track back

Here's why we heckle and will continue to.

- Even if we want to take responsibility for  something at LAUSD, we are stepping on someone's toes and we get shut down. A closed organization/person will get heckled.
- Heckling is a response of a disenfranchised agent who sees a problem but is given immensely challenging odds to do something about it.
- Heckling is a way for someone at the bottom of the Pyramid to alert  something being wrong and hope the top can communicate its intention or change a policy.
- Heckling takes time but is an effective outlet to exercise the frustrations of working with the district and lets us get back to being productive.
- Heckler's pray that they are never taken at face value, we know better than anyone how low the heckled would fall in our esteem if they engaged at our level.
- We heckle because we care.  Because the missionS of public education are too important not to be engaged.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Rheeformer moving from No Excuses to ExCUSES

Before we get to Ex.C.U.S.E.S, the new educational reform movement notyetLAUSD will lead, lets celebrate a milestone and set the stage for the need to replace "No Excuses" with "Ex.C.U.S.E.S".  Student's First is following us on twitter, probably because I made a p(h)unny when I spelled "Reformer" as "Rheeformer". To celebrate I want to devote a post to how the different versions of Michelle Rhee wold tackle her children's sucking at soccer*.

"Any effective coach can take a child from Far Below Basic in soccer skills to Proficiency"  - DC Chancellor Rhee who expects all teacher to raise kids to Proficiency regardless of background (No Excuses)

"Thanks to market systems parents can stop buying from the lousy coach and instead elect to send their child to a better coach, just allow the funds from Parks and Recreation to follow the player."  Student's First Rhee promoting a market based Voucher solution (No Excuses)

“practice hard,” “I also communicate to them that all the practice in the world won’t guarantee that they’ll ever be great at soccer. It’s tough to square this, though, with the trophies.” Mother Rhee showing that Proficiency is for everyone (No Excuses), just not Advanced (?)

"No excuses" its a battle cry, and a guideline for rhetorical blither. Michelle Rhee would never make excuses for her children not reaching proficiency (apparently she does for advanced skills). "No Excuses" really leaves us with only drastic actions a the top (fire the coach or close the program). "No Excuses" is a wonderful rhetorical tool, because you might be mistaken for thinking the opposite of "No Excuses" is "Excuses," actually its "Ex.C.U.S.E.S."

notyetLAUSD to Adopt Ex.C.U.S.E.S "Extracting Common Understanding Solutions Expectations Soundly" So far its just a working paper that focuses on developing new systems to improve schools through inclusive solutions. Ex.C.U.S.E.S is a near 180 from "No Excuses" that requires massive investment of resources to overturn educational institutions (often to only cause further regression). Ex.C.U.S.E.S does not work from a defect model that assumes a school "failing" because of test scores but instead tries to understand the school, community and culture to develop sustainable and longterm solutions. Ex.C.U.S.E.S is not flashy and does not require calling opponents "idiots," or "status quo mongers". In fact Ex.C.U.S.E.S values and included feed back from "No Excusers".

*Not a fan of sites that largely focus on one person's short comings but I think the spirit of this post excuses my actions. Rheefirst does a great job documentingMichelle Rhee's nauseating denunciation of her children's soccer skills.