Choose to Fly

  I retired from the position as Acting State Superintendent of Public Instruction for the Commonwealth of Virginia on June 1. Actually, because of bureaucratic misinformation and a regulatory situation that is far too complex to explain,…

A Story and a Poem

It’s hard for me to believe that almost 17 years have passed since I first sat down and wrote the one and only poem I have ever written. The poem entitled “My Biggest Fear” and the story behind the poem were mainstays of my keynote work…

Good Disengagement

See if any of these statements are familiar to you: “I would love to get involved, but I just don’t have the time right now.” “I am running out of time to finish this project so I am going to have to skip the meeting.” “We are…

E-Mails I Hate to Get

I love the work I do to promote the engagement of every family in the educational lives of children. I get to work with educators, parents and families from all just about all walks of life. I feel so honored to do this work and I learn something…

Scary Phone Calls: Loyalty, Caring and Erasing Fear

My Twitter colleague (we’ve actually never met) Jimmy Casas (@casas_Jimmy) posted a blog over the weekend regarding a teacher who admitted fearing the idea of calling parents.  The fear among teachers is fairly common. What is unique is that…

Blaming the Victim, Again

­­This week, a bill was introduced in the State of Mississippi that would allow teachers to grade parents on their ability to parent with regard to their children’s school readiness and preparation. The bill allows for teachers to give grades…

The Compass and the Roadmap

This past week I had the distinct privilege of speaking and working at the National Family Engagement Summit in Richmond, Virginia. I have had the pleasure of being involved with this conference for several years and watched it grow from a small…