EL MILAGRO AT A CROSSROADS

crossroadsThis is the anniversary of my first blog.  I have now been blogging for a full year.  59 posts, 147 comments and countless hours and caloric expenditures of creative energy later… here I am.  Somewhere.

But this week I had an epiphany.  

On Thursday  I contributed a comment to Scott McLeod’s blog called Dangeously Irrevelevant, and somehow I think it got deleted.   He is a professor in Iowa and a frequent critic of public education and his own children’s schools. Blogs are good for asking challenging questions and he usually asks some tough ones.  But I took exception to this:

Does anyone think that we were doing a fine job of meeting the needs of underserved populations before ‘the tests?’ Have we all forgotten that school has been boring for generations?

It’s not ‘the tests.’ It’s our unwillingness and/or inability to do something different, something better.

It’s not ‘the tests.’ It’s us.

So whose schools are we talking about?  His kids go to school in Iowa for God’s sake– hardly the crucible for school reform.  Yet this is the kind of statement I see made all the time, especially from university professors who have little room to question the quality of instruction at the K-12 level. So I said, in effect, “I disagree.  We are doing something different at Mueller Charter School and it certainly isn’t boring.” And I cited our partnership with the Chula Vista Nature Center as an example.

Maybe citing Mueller Charter School is considered self-promotion on somebody else’s blog.

Maybe my objection was deleted because I used my own school, as I often do, as an example of a public school that works.

Maybe the critics of the K-12 system don’t like to acknowledge “isolated examples” of schools that work– even though charter schools exist to serve as innovative and sometimes “isolated examples” of courageous change. The way I see it, one example from El Milagro is as valid as criticizing the entire K-12 system on the basis of a single school in an Iowa cornfield.  

So whatever. Dangerously Irrelevant has to live up to its name.  My blog merely needs to live up to El Milagro— the miracle.

All I know is that I am investing too much time commenting and debating in this medium; I’m expending too much creative energy on trying to be a participant and build an audience for my blog.  

I have a school to run.  I have students and staff who need my creative energy to be devoted to them. I have several book projects winding their way to completion.  And we have two extraordinarily promising projects on the drawing board that could profoundly transform our school (and any other school that pays attention to our work.)  

So this is as good a reason as any to steer my blog (and my blogging) in a different direction.  I’m just going to document the transformation from Mueller Charter School into El Milagro and leave the debating to the critics on the sideline.

As for the two projects… stay tuned.

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2 Comments

Filed under California charter schools, El Milagro, environmental studies, public education, teaching, Uncategorized

2 responses to “EL MILAGRO AT A CROSSROADS

  1. Bron Narsiman

    I opened my email tonight and received a message, from twitter that I had a new follower. I navigated to your profile and click on your blog.
    Even though I’m an Aussie, I’ve taught in an International School here in Asia for 10 years – the culture , the sights and the opportunities for learning abound. Over the past few years, I’ve been trying to make sense of the huge number of conferences and workshops that I’ve attended. I did have the pleasure of meeting Scott McLeod at a conference in Bombay. He was an amazing speaker who clearly is passionate about technology integration. Does one size fit all, I say not.
    Your school clearly has a vision and your partnership with Chula Vista nature center sounds like the most amazing authentic real world learning experience for the students.
    Our students each year venture to remote sites in Malaysia for a week without walls, whether students climb mountains, learn about reef eco-systems and environmental problems on a remote island or spend a week living in a kampung with orang asli native people the students never bored, rather when asked to reflect on experiences in middle school, Malaysia Week is the number 1 choice.
    Cheers
    Bron Narsiman

  2. Congratulations on your blog’s birthday! I want to thank you for your thought-provoking posts and your contemporary take on education today. You challenge my thinking–I always enjoy visiting your blog.

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