Author Archives: Andrea

Non-participation is Not An Option at KIPP Infinity in Harlem

Last week, I visited KIPP Infinity Middle School, my first day-long visit to a charter school. I picked the school because I was told that KIPP Infinity, which is located opposite the M.T.A.’s Manhattanville bus depot on 133rd Street in … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 7 Comments

Lessons for Chicago from the Labor Wars of the Industrial Era

Back in the 1970s, American industry knew just what was wrong with American industry: Recalcitrant workers and high wages, which made products made in the U.S.A uncompetitive with Japanese imports. The result, especially in Detroit and the U.S. auto industry, … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Education, Quality Management | 3 Comments

Paul Vallas on Teachers, Merit Pay and a Military Model for School Management

When Paul G. Vallas spoke at an annual Teaching Matters summer forum for principals this summer, I was struck by the systems-oriented nature of the school-improvement ideas he espoused. “The job of the principal is too big” for any single … Continue reading

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The Principal of Brockton High Responds…

Yesterday I wrote about Gov Deval Patrick’s praise for Orchard Gardens, a Boston school with a tenuous one-year record of progress, noting that the governor had passed up the opportunity to highlight a truly remarkable Massachusetts turnaround he knows well–that … Continue reading

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Is Deval Patrick’s “Miracle School” the Best Example of Mass. Ed Reform?

During his speech at the Democratic Convention this week, Gov. Deval Patrick praised the seemingly miraculous one-year turnaround of Boston’s Orchard Gardens school–actually, the Orchard Gardens Pilot School. Gov. Patrick’s choice of Orchard Gardens was striking for two reasons: First, … Continue reading

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Why Carrot-and-Stick Incentives Get An “F”, An Answer to The New York Times

The New York Times recently published an editorial calling for teachers to be punished or  rewarded based on the academic growth of their students, ignoring the fact that individualized incentives fail to increase overall performance or quality—either in education or … Continue reading

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Quality in Complex Medical Systems – the Limitations of Lean & Six Sigma

Preface: I am delighted to host a guest blogger, my friend Wes Chapman and an expert on clinical data systems. Wes has a keen interest in process and systems improvement in healthcare. This article is the first of a four-part … Continue reading

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Trauma in Telecom Land, Part 2

How Verizon Treats its Customers: 1 Month, a Dozen Calls and $310 to Get Service Restored In a recent blog post, “Why I Tried…and Failed…to Fire Verizon”, I described the systemic screw-ups and service break-downs that led me to try … Continue reading

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Pittsburgh Tries a Collaborative Approach to School Reform

When I first began reading Sean D. Hamill’s account of the partnership between the Pittsburgh Public Schools and the local union, I was immediately skeptical; I sensed the heavy hand of corporate reformers. After all, the story features a $40 … Continue reading

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Why I Tried…and Failed…to Fire Verizon–Trauma in Telecom Land

Late last year, after months of problems with my internet service, I decided to fire Verizon and switch to Time Warner, which promised me seamless connectivity, phone service and cable, all at a good price. Instead, I’m back with Verizon—not … Continue reading

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