New Gig

Dear Readers, I walk around this place every day -- mostly the Match high school, sometimes the middle and elementary -- and admire what our teachers and tutors do. I feel genuinely blessed to be even a small part of it.

I've got some news to share.

I'm going to leave Match to work full-time on something called Bridge Academies. I'll build a Boston-based team to refine their academic model -- curriculum and assessment, teacher recruiting and prep, measurement -- to try to improve kids' day-to-day school experience. Bridge is currently about the same size as the Boston Public Schools with 50,000+ kids, but the per student funding is about 30,000% less. Complicated puzzle. More on that some other time.

To some extent, there's never an ideal time to step away from something you love. And I love Match.

But now just "feels" like the right time. I've been working on Match in some form since writing the first charter application in 1998 (which was rejected btw, and rightly so). And while of course there are always a million things to improve, I step back and see so many good things happening. The team is excellent and stable. There's a pipeline of innovative projects with all sorts of partners. I'm excited about the future of Match.

My colleague Stig, our CEO, been great about this. He's a longtime friend. He's 100% on board. We've been processing for a little while now and just finally reached a decision together. I shared the news with my peeps here, and they're supportive too. Which I really appreciate. I'm confident that the teacher residency/Ed School crew will shine, and I'll be fascinated to see Match Next in action as it begins to work with 4th graders this coming July.

I'm leaving but I'm not "going away." I'm going to stay with Match as a "highly-involved volunteer"....join the board of our graduate school; spend a few hours each week with Orin and Scott and Ray et al and lob in ideas; sit with Stig each week to help where I can in recruiting talented folks and donors to the Match cause; cook turkeys and chili and possibly enter the upcoming peach cobbler cookoff; and just cheer on our students and staff in every way that I can.

I'll keep on blogging. Some will be here, as I can't imagine losing interest in "American" education -- teacher prep, ed tech, charter schools, activating parents, etc. Match will also be adding a bloggy teacher voice this summer, one of my favorite young writers and thinkers. Stay tuned.

I will also start a new blog, where I try to describe the edu-puzzles and challenges faced by teachers, parents, and kids in Kenya and other developing lands. Hopefully I'll get some ideas from readers, just like I have here, and which I value a lot.

Cheers, Mike