1. Today is my last day working full-time for Match. I will be joining our board and still coming in once a week, to work on 2 things -- our Grad School and the Match Next project. Also, I will continue to blog here about K-12 issues in America.
2. How do I feel?
a. I'm relaxed. My wife said: surprisingly so. But it's easy to feel relaxed when I'm very bullish on Match's future -- the kids we serve, the teachers we train, and the things we try to discover. We have a great team in place -- Stig, Erica, Scott, Ray, the Megs, the MLs, the Lauras, Lisa, Bisi, Kate, TJ, KT, Stacy, Randall, Orin, and many more -- and they're not going anywhere. We'll get better. We'll learn things.
b. Mostly I feel gratitude. Enormous gratitude. This has been an amazing journey, since back in 1997 when I started scribbling some of the ideas for Match onto a scrap of paper in Kay Merseth's class at Harvard. Kids and parents took a chance on me. So did many teachers, trustees, donors, regulators, plus Charlie and Alan in particular.
I think (!) I've managed to persuade everyone not to do a fancy goodbye dinner, though I appreciate the sentiment. I took my team out for Indian food last week to say thank you. Packed up some books on Sunday. This afternoon I'm having a beer with Bob. He was our first Match teacher, and he's still here, advising our alumni in college. He'll probably bring along a few of our first students. Bob and I still remember them in our minds' eye as 14-year-olds. But now they're 28 or so, we can buy them drinks without needing to ask for parent permission slips. Though I'm tempted to.
3. This blog has a new name. Puzzl_ED. Thanks to James Cryan and Jason Becker for the idea.
I've written before:
Do you think we mostly know “what works” in education?
Do you think we mostly do NOT know what works?
I.e., do we know what to do, but lack the willpower, or resources, or something? If you, Dear Reader, were “czar of everything” in American K-12, do you think you could get a much better result than what we have today? Then you’re in the first camp.
If you think something like this — “Gee, we now do a lot of things that defy common sense. I know those are dumb. However, even if you cleared out that underbrush, the low-hanging fruit of stupid things, I still wouldn’t be clear on how we’d get to a place where kids are doing much, much better than they are today” — well then you’re in the second camp.
Many of my friends and colleagues who work in K-12 believe the first. (That we know what works). I’m not sure if it’s the majority. But I’d guess it is.
I’m in the second camp.
Follow the link for the 7 puzzles I'll blog about.
All people and organizations try things. Some work, some don't. It takes extra energy/resources to carefully look at what works. Match will try to do more of this in the coming years. I'm delighted that I get to remain a small part of that.
I join Bridge Academies as their chief academic officer. My job is to assemble a Boston-based team to overhaul their school design. I've got a lot to learn. I'm impressed with what they've accomplished so far. Hopefully we'll create a better day-to-day learning experience for the 50,000+ kids they serve in Kenya, and create a model for the developing world. I will start a second blog to think aloud about those issues, and I'll send you all a note once I do.