Greetings Eduwonk readers. My first guest blogging stint here was 13 years ago. Plus ca change: Boston needed a new superintendent, etc. Yet progress too! A 2005 concern, now progress. Idea here, actuality here.
I’d founded Match, a small charter high school, and in 2005, we’d just had our first graduating class (+ lots of attrition). These days Match is K-12 but less tutoring, provides free curriculum to teachers, runs a small grad school, has a tutoring spinoff called Saga, and a higher-ed spinoff called Duet.
More recently, I spent 4 years as CAO of Bridge International Academies. Bridge has schools in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, India, and Liberia. I know: Eduwonk readers usually shy away from “international,” with the possible exception of Chilean sea bass. I invite you to reconsider! Bridge operates (way) more schools than awesome CMOs like KIPP, IDEA, Uncommon, and Green Dot combined. With results, questions about pedagogy, parent motivation, and politics that you’d recognize. And there are many other fascinating international efforts, like this, this, and this.
No matter what your policy preference, I submit that working (with appropriate humility) with folks abroad is an amazing way to learn about other cultures and expand your thinking. Also, not everything is red/blue tribe like here. It’s way better than reading Twitter all day and feeling jumpy.
My next adventure: China. Or so I hope.
I’m just back from Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzen. I’ll share thoughts all week. Context: one-child policy is over, class size can hit 70 (paging Leonie), there’s a vast migration from the sticks to the cities, private schools are tiny in number but growing fast, and China really wants to do better in World Cup.
Here are impressions from Christi Edwards, a North Carolina math teacher who just visited Nanjing and Chengdu. “Teenagers are teenagers wherever you go,” she said. I agree.
– Guestblogger Mike Goldstein, cross-posted at NewSchoolinChina.org