It would be reasonable for some folks to think that the announcement of the Chauvin verdict brought much needed relief to a country and to the Minnesota community, in particular. Some of those people were surprised when the news of the verdict did not have that effect. After all, wasn’t justice served? Didn’t Derek Chauvin’s conviction on all three counts, after a very brief deliberation, show that the system worked?

No. No it didn’t.

There is no getting around the fact that this incident would not have happened, in the first place, if Floyd were white. There is no getting…


The American educational system is obsessed with testing. Of course, we can see the big testing issue play out on the national stage with the Secretary of Education demanding that schools test every student in every grade level, even during the pandemic, continuing a testing policy from the George Bush era.

However, the obsession with testing is not limited to policy makers. It comes from somewhere else. Even the rank and file teachers who might decry the Federal testing program are a bit obsessed with testing. …


The first time I ran the New York City Marathon, I allowed myself that feeling of excitement as I rounded the corner and entered Central Park. The crowd thickened, the cheering grew louder, and I allowed my pace to quicken. Before long, the adrenaline had me running at 2 minutes faster than my planned pace, and I couldn’t keep it up and the finish line wasn’t as close as I thought it was. I was ready to quit less than a mile from the finish line. …


Why Your Inclusive School Strategy Is Failing

As schools around the country are making preparations to bring students back for in-person education on a full time basis, we are noticing several populations of students that are decidedly not returning to school. This is despite schools taking many steps to be “inclusive” and responsive to various groups of students’ needs. It is clear that some students do not feel as though their school is really theirs and are more comfortable with the notion of keeping themselves at arms length from the actual school.

Part of the problem might be in the way many schools are approaching their inclusivity…


Becoming a school leader requires a number of accomplishments. You generally need to have been a successful student, a successful teacher, and then demonstrated some leadership competencies along the way.

Unfortunately, many educational structures push aspiring leaders into mutually exclusive pockets of belief. The most famous of which has to do with a belief in whole language or phonics, and most people ignored the fallacy of this construct.

Lesser known is the same forced choice around data. Leaders are forced to characterize themselves as data driven or child-centered. Those that are data driven are thought to be ruled by numbers…


One key element to a successful project is being able to know just how successful it was once completed. It is all too common for a team to dive headlong into a project, rushing to complete the task and only after completion do they stop and ask whether or not the project was successful. You can imagine what those conversations are like — it is the proverbial equivalent of drawing the bullseye after your arrow landed.

Instead of feeling the pressure or excitement of rushing into the project, next time take a breath and ask the team to consider what…


Number Three Will SHOCK you!

First, the bad news: if you’re reading this, you just might be an educator willing to dig into clickbait hoping to find the cheat-code to ensure students learn in class. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to making sure this happens. Now the good news: the secret is planning.

One of the least examined behaviors in education is the planning behaviors of teachers across careers and settings. But teachers who put in more time and thoughtfulness into their planning are more successful with their students than those that don’t. Of course, this is not to say that there is no variance…


In the midst of a pandemic and lockdowns, perhaps a layoff, and even the loss of loved ones, it is easy to feel beaten down. The feeling of losing a loved one to a pandemic, that up until that moment may have felt like an abstract news story can be crushing. Having to adjust your work, family, and daily routines can make you feel defeated.

However, the impact of the pandemic on you is determined by your mindset. You can choose to view each setback as another crushing setback, another step into a dark abyss. Or, you can imagine yourself…


Why We Should Be Concerned

I am a big fan of remote learning and what it has done for a segment of the student population who, otherwise, struggled to walk through the school doors, not to mention how it saved education during a pandemic. However, the rapid scale up of remote learning has uncovered some dramatic shortcomings that desperately need to be addressed.

Obviously, there are pedagogical shortcomings that need work — I stopped counting the number of times that teachers just had my child sign in, download a worksheet and sign back off — but the scariest issue is one of privacy. …


As many educators and pundits begin to think about what public education should look like moving forward, we would like to take a moment to put forward some basic, simple principles for consideration. In thinking about what a school should be, we would like to build off of Ernest Boyer’s thoughts on the topic.

With that in mind, there are nine principles that we feel school and district leaders should consider in their planning for the 2021–22 school year. These nine principles are built on the notion that complexity breeds dysfunction. The more elaborate your plans, the more likely you…

16th Street Consulting

ceo@16thstreetconsulting.com is dedicated to improving organizational effectiveness through equity, focusing on education, health care, and government.

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