Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February Paddle

The plan was to hit the water Sunday morning, but with sickness in the house on Saturday evening I cancelled.  But on Sunday morning there was no more sickness.

Zack and I loaded up 2 kayaks somewhat quickly and headed to Creve Coeur Lake for a relaxing least I thought it would be.

We were surprised at the volume of ice still on the lake after 5 days above freezing - several above 50 degrees.  Regardless, there was open water along the shore and we saw a path through the ice to an area that would be out of the wind.  The windchill was around 24.

We took off through the open water path with Zack in the lead.  Nearing the far end of the path and open water he hit ice.  It was about 2 inches thick.  We backed up and I took the lead to bust through.

I rode up on the ice and rocked to bust up about 3 feet.  That was just enough to let the wind shift the other end of the path and start closing it off.  The next bust caused the path to narrow.  At that point I slid up onto the ice as much as possible, put my paddle on the deck, and used my hands to scoot the kayak across the ice to open water - busting ice as I went.

Zack saw what I was doing and did the same, but he was on the other end of the path.  I circled around near the shore and bused through a little bit to get him with me.  We didn't go far though and ice was right to the bank.

We turned around and stayed along the open shore after that.

This is not the first time we've paddled in ice, but there was more of it this time.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Take Back the Narrative

While at the 2014 National Conference on Education I heard a recurring theme of the need to push back against efforts to privatize education.  The message was not a surprising one.  For some time public education has been the whipping boy of everything wrong in society and seems to have intensified recently.

Can we fight back and what will it take?  I believe we can, but it will take a concerted effort by all of us who support public education. 

If we examine the reform movement we now see what appears to be a coordinated social media effort to recycle the same stories over and over.  Take a look at their Twitter accounts.  These folks follow each other and retweet "think tank" releases and news stories.  If something is happening in one state it will make its way across the nation via Twitter.

That isn't normally the case with great news in public education. 

Surveys on the support of public education routinely show strong support for local schools.  That support drops when asked about the nation's schools.  That is a perception we can, and must, change.  It's time we started showing support for other schools across the country.  The media isn't going to do it.  Only we can.

Let's commit to passing along the great things going on in schools across the country and take back the narrative about public education.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Where is the love?

If you were watching those in the education reform world, politicians, and some media last week you know that it was school choice week.  It got a fair bit of press and several school choice legislative proposals were introduced.

What received much less press was the fact than it was also school board recognition week in Missouri.  There are some 3,500 elected school board members in Missouri who volunteer their time to represent their community.

Where was the legislative love for these public servants?  If there was any, I missed it.