“Public education is in crisis only so far as society is.”

If No Child Left Behind taught us anything, disadvantaged students do not perform as well as their advantaged peers on standardized assessments. Advantaged families with resources provide their children with adequate health care; provide enrichment experiences such as out-of-town travel, trips to the library and museum, extracurricular activities such as sports, music and dance classes, etc.; work alongside the school while demanding the highest quality; etc. Such families buy homes in neighborhoods that afford said opportunities. Disadvantaged families often do not have such resources or luxuries. Health care is often inaccessible if time even permits as multiple employment is often…

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Leadership in times of transition

How much longer can the current model of education sustain itself? The industrialized model of education is nearing its end. Is this frightening or exciting? It’s no more fearful than how the farmers must’ve felt when leaving the fields for the factory. And look how that turned out. America became the world’s most prosperous nation. We are on the cusp of another break through, but it requires another seismic shift in thought. In the days ahead, we must challenge not only the status quo, but the foundation structures that have been a part of our operating system for well over…

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Civil War in Texas: The School Start Date

A relatively quiet civil war has taken place in Texas for more than three decades. The tug-of-war over the school start date began in 1984 and has continued to be an issue debated in the legislative sessions ever since with the tourism industry defending a post-Labor Day school start date and independent school districts seeking local control and the right to determine a start date that is best for its students.  The travel industry has continued to lobby for a uniform start date after Labor Day citing a state comptroller report estimating that an early start date contributes a loss…

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Are teachers the root of the poverty problem in America?

Kati Haycock, CEO, The Education Trust, delivered a rather scathing report titled, “Achievement and Opportunity in America: What Can We Do?” at the Texas State Board of Education Learning Roundtable: Educating the Children of Poverty in Austin alongside the Texas Education Agency. Although my seatmate, a Professional Service Provider for the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Center for District and School Support (TCDSS), interpreted the conversation differently finding much of what was said to be true, I saw extensive finger-pointing and heard excessive teacher bashing from the lectern. At the 2 hour and 45-minute mark, things got heated…

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Jeans pass

Without a doubt, Levi Strauss had no inkling of the power of the pants he created and patented in 1873.  By that I don’t mean the near indestructible nature for which they were created, but in their use as a motivator for teachers. I’m not sure I can think of another more widely wielded weapon of mass motivation than the jeans pass. Teacher appreciation week, the day before a holiday break such as Christmas, and fundraisers. Five dollars buys a pass to wear jeans to work one day; and $50 will buy you every Monday. I’ve even seen parents asked to pay for…

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My TEDx Talk: Education is none of your business

Published on Jul 28, 2016
We’ve been told to not fix something that isn’t broken; but, what if something IS broken? Chris Shade uses his background in education to spotlight a significant fallacy in the way education is run and the detriment it is causing on our nation’s students.
Chris Shade, Director of School Improvement, led the Denton ISD community through the rebranding of the district mission and logo through social media and is leading the development of an alternative accountability rating system reflecting the community’s values to add to the State’s current rating system.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx.
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To read more about my TEDx experience, check out my blog post at http://underwhoseshade.com/tedx/.

Mute the Messenger

As students, parents, teachers, principals and other educators receive word of test scores that are [unfortunately] used to determine student promotion from one grade to the next and/or teacher and principal promotion, demotion, or termination, it is critical we understand the tool being used is ineffectual to make such determinations. Sadly, I hurt for those whose lives are dramatically changed because of it. In the article I share, even Pearson admits HALF of what is tested is “insensitive to instruction” (i.e. the tests don’t measure what students learn in the classroom). What other profession do we measure in such an outrageously irresponsible…

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Time again for a slice of Americana…hot dogs, apple pie, baseball, and the bashing of public schools

With STAAR scores finding their way to inboxes and mailboxes, I resurrect a post I wrote a few years ago in response to a political cartoon published in the Dallas Morning News. The commentary was offered in a letter to the editor of the DMN, but the piece went unpublished, until now… As the dog days of summer approach, it’s that time again for a slice of Americana…hot dogs, apple pie, baseball, and the bashing of public schools. With expectations reigning high as ever before in Texas (and I’m not referring to the Rangers), numerous articles and political cartoons go to print daily…

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Rebus stories and emails

For years, I’ve included graphics in my email messages. Why?                 Having researched imagery, I know if information is presented orally, people remember about 10%, tested 72 hours after exposure. That figure goes up to 65% if you add a picture. The more visual the input becomes, the more likely it is to be recognized and recalled. This is known as the pictorial superiority effect; and it is why we scaffold with images for English language learners. As is the case with many SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) strategies, it is best practice.…

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What do I do?

I’m often asked what I do. It’s difficult to describe to teachers, thus it’s tenfold more troubling for those not associated with education to grasp. When asked by others what his father does for a living, my son replies, “That is the great mystery.” To answer this mysterious question, a few years ago after seeing a remarkable “presume” online, I created my own, which I’ve uploaded to SlideShare. Shortly thereafter, I was notified my “presume” was featured as one of 3 Inspiring Visual Resume Examples on SlideShare by Career Sherpa. His presentation is fun and conveys personality. It is loaded…

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