Submitted by Phil on Mon, 10/11/2021 – 05:08
No constraints = no problem to solve = boredom
Within self-determination theory, the concept of Mastery calls for a task that is challenging and attainable: too easy, boredom; too hard, quitting. A challenging task implies some friction or constraints. Finding that balance is one of the roles of a teacher/manager.
Submitted by Phil on Wed, 06/02/2021 – 10:06
In a great educational environment students feel safe and are engaged/interested in learning/doing something they see value in, that provides a challenge that seems attainable, with people who they know care about them.
Submitted by Phil on Tue, 02/18/2020 – 14:48
Good afternoon, it is a profound honor to speak to you today, thank you. I am Phil Downs. I am a social studies teacher currently on assignment as the superintendent of Southwest Allen County Schools, and I was asked to speak for five minutes today on the research I have done into Indiana’s budget and its Voucher program.
Continue reading “My Speech at the Statehouse to the Indiana Coalition for Public Education”
Submitted by Phil on Thu, 12/26/2019 – 11:19
“Something inside one person takes external form — contained by a poem, picture, melody, play, etc — and through a certain kind of engagement, is transferred to the inside of someone else. Art as a transit system for images.” – Lynda Barry
Submitted by Phil on Sat, 10/05/2019 – 10:34
In 1949, my parents were 10 years old, Harry Truman was president, the Mann Gulch fire revolutionized the study of forest fires, the Berlin Blockade ended, Mao Tse Tung became the premiere of the People’s Republic of China, the Geneva Convention was signed, Lucky Lady II performed the first non-stop circumnavigation flight of the planet, 1984 was published, NATO was established, Newfoundland joined Canada, the world’s first commercially available computer, The Ferranti Mark 1, was released, and the first ISBA/IAPSS conference was held. It is my profound honor to be addressing the 70th ISBA/IAPSS conference. Congratulations everyone.
Continue reading “Address to the 2019 Indiana School Board Association Conference”
Submitted by Phil on Sat, 04/20/2019 – 07:51
Indiana Education Spending
Here is a fact: from 2009 to 2018 the Tuition Support budget used to pay Indiana’s public and charter school teachers has grown by 13% while inflation has grown by 17%, and the total Indiana General Fund Budget grew by 21%. There is money in the General Fund to bring Education funding up to inflation. Our elected officials made a choice to move money away from public and charter educators and are failing to live up to the responsibility to fund public education they took on in 2009.
Continue reading “Indiana Education Spending”
Submitted by Phil on Thu, 12/27/2018 – 13:26
Came across this in Michael Lewis’ The Fifth Risk.
“The only thing any of us can do completely on our own is to have the start of a good idea.” -Kathy Sullivan
It takes a network or team to build something great. A leader has to let their vision adjust to that of the group.
Submitted by Phil on Mon, 04/23/2018 – 11:52
Recently there have been a lot of stories and opinion pieces written about the Indiana voucher program and school funding. There appears to be a misconception about how the voucher program works as well as its impact on public schools.
Continue reading “Don’t Worry, This Won’t Effect You”
Submitted by Phil on Mon, 10/16/2017 – 05:45
“Applying simple solutions to complex problems creates more complex problems.” -Ronald Heifetz
Recently Indiana released the A-F grades for its schools. Each year there is a chance any given school’s ISTEP+ scores and A-F grades may go up or down. This is because ISTEP+ fits statistical models and “regression to the mean” is a real thing.
Continue reading “Indiana’s Schools Deserve Better”
Submitted by Phil on Mon, 05/01/2017 – 16:52
Learn from the people
Continue reading “Strategic Vision for Adaptive Change”
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.
― Lao Tzu