Monthly Archives: October 2019

Oct 27th Newsletter

In the newsletter blog, I explore the potentially landmark school choice, Espinoza vs. Montana Department of Revenue which might overturn all Blaine amendments and change the educational funding landscape.  Here are the Top 5:

  1. The Atlantic has a great article (“Your Neighbor’s Christian Education , Courtesy of Your Tax Dollars”) exploring the implications of the case.  It’s a great way to see how opponents of school choice are viewing this case.
  2. The Catholic Herald has a great article arguing for the overthrow “A Chance to End Discrimination Against Catholic Schools.”
  3. Ashley Berner, a former podcast guest, has a great argument for pluralism in American schools that should be read by everyone.  Here’s a short argument in the Hill, and here’s a longer read with much more detail.
  4. George Will’s op-ed about ending the Blaine amendments is a great read.

Have a great week!


Oct 20th Newsletter

In the newsletter blog, I discuss the importance of belongingness in our Catholic schools.  The Top 5 all center on this theme:

  1. In the blog I share an article about a bullied student in Billings who found a new home at Billings Central Catholic HS.
  2. When discussing the podcast with Fr. Eric Ramirez, SJ of Regis Jesuit in Denver and Tony Ferraro from Dynamic Catholic, I share an article about how difficult it is for adults to find and cultivate their passions.
  3. In the American Catholic News section, there are two articles about inclusion, one about the SPICE program in Columbus and another about the FIRE Foundation in Kansas City. Inclusion is about creating a space of belongingness for all students.
  4. In the Teaching & Learning section, Mind/Shift offer suggestions to teachers for creating community in your classroom and Edutopia offers strategies for turning classrooms into communities.
  5. In the Miscellany section, the first article from Quartz offers suggestions on how to make friends, build a community, and create the life you want. I’m not sure we’re teaching adults how to build community.

Oct 13th Newsletter

This week’s newsletter focuses on Sr. Angie and her perspective on hot topics in Catholic school law.  This will also be the focus on this week’s podcast.  The Top 5 links:

  1. In the American Catholic news section, the first article focuses on a Philadelphia Catholic school controversy. When the Archdiocese considered leasing part of a building to a charter school, they received criticism.  Read about the divisions, the conceptions of community, and the perception of Catholic school parents.
  2. In the Leadership section, the first article from Daniel Pink in Education Week focuses on how schools use time. How we organize the school day usually has more to do with institutional traditions or factors other than what are the most optimal conditions for children to learn.  It’s interesting to hear Pink’s take on the school day.
  3. The next article in the Leadership section highlight’s Disney’s creative strategy.
  4. In the Teaching & Learning section, the first article from Tom Barrett’s blog explores how to build better relationships with our students. We all talk about how important relationships are with our students but we often don’t talk out HOW.  We just assume that teachers can figure out how to reach students.  In the same way, we ask new administrators to build relationships with parents but we never really explain how.  So this is a great practical article!
  5. The next article in that section focuses on student engagement. Finding ways to make the material relevant to students is the key.

Oct 6th Newsletter

In this week’s newsletter, I explore the impactful new book from Sr. Helen Prejean, River of Fire, and its implications to our work in Catholic schools.  The Top 5 links:

  1. The NPR review and interview of Prejean are worth your time. You can find them near the end of the blog.
  2. In the Leadership section, George Couros’s latest blog post on “Sharing our Story” is practical advice to school leaders to help find the right stories to tell.
  3. The next article “The Wrong Ways to Strengthen Culture” is a good reminder of the importance of working to improve our school cultures.
  4. In the Teaching & Learning section, “Class Size Matters” explores the current research and misconceptions about class size. It seems this comes up every year as schools struggle to find the right balance between classrooms of vitality and individual attention.
  5. In the Miscellany section, the article on how Costco broke the rules of retail by focusing on customers, not shareholders, has implications for how we run our schools.

Have a great week!