Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Questions for the Interview

I saw in the recent Des Moines Register article that 26 people have applied for the spot vacated by @COjasonglass at the top of the Iowa DE.   I don't know any of these people personally.

Here's my point:

Here are a few questions I hope the interview team uses to make that treat more likely. And if the candidates can't answer them, they are not right for Iowa education.  That's not a trick..it is just honesty.

  1. Name three people in your social media personal learning network or sphere of influence.
  2. Is it the job of Iowa to transform or reform its schools?
  3. How should Iowa address its bandwidth problem to help ALL students succeed?
  4. Do you believe all kids can learn?  What strategies does Iowa need to implement to help that succeed?
  5. Is leadership a permissive ladder or a collaborative jungle gym?
  6. How do you build consensus in a divided governement?

=========Hints/Study Guide==================
  1. The world has shifted, and it's not towards the philosophy of Parent-Knows-Best.  Wisdom is to be found everywhere, and Iowa educators and national gurus abound on social media.  Their perspective is where you can create an impetus for change, because going it alone is not an option.  
  2. We've been reforming education since the time of Dewey to improve the factory model. But we aren't raising kids for factory work.  Education MUST transform and we need collaborative leadership to make it happen.
  3. Technology concerns are one thing, but bandwidth limits are real, and a detriment to poor and rural students, as well as to #byod efforts at local buildings.  We must advocate in education to fix that via government just as much as we advocate for the current dream of #stem.
  4. If you don't believe all kids can learn, and I DO mean ALL, please don't take this post. Ultimately what we do is for the kids, not for the adults.  There are student-centered efforts out there, and half-implemented ideas like #rti and #online and #communitiesofpractice to make this work.
  5. If your degree makes you 'smarter' than me, then you belong in a place with submissive, un-empowered workers.  Social media has changed that.  Jason Glass' openness changed that.  We all have a voice, and experiences that shape our perspective.  Your degree gave you a skill set and mine gave me another, but I didn't stay in the classroom because I was unqualified.  I just felt my skill set helped me reach kids there more easily.  Listen.
  6. Iowa education was a political football for more than four months this past year.  Kids suffered.  Budgets suffered.  And teachers are demoralized.  What win-win solutions can you deliver as head of the DE?  We really would appreciate that type of treat coming to Iowa kids and passionate educators.

Kids get home from trick-or-treating and they sort their goodies into categories.  I don't want to do that, but I do hope to see a good treat at the end of the process.

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