So the forecast calls for chilly and rain this weekend, so if you’re not riveted by ACC basketball (and it’s not especially riveting this year) there is some time to catch up on your reading. Here are a couple recently across my desk that are worth checking out: Ronald Ferguson’s “Toward Excellence with Equity” is outstanding, interesting, and important. Likewise, Checker Finn’s autobiography “Troublemaker” is also a must-read. I’ll review it in more depth soon, but suffice it to say that I hardly agree with Checker on everything but he is one of the most engaged and influential education figures of the past few decades and his ideas and influence must be reckoned with. Finally, former Department of Education aide* Brian Jones has written a really fun biography about Washington Irving, “An American Original.” If you’re like me and only knew the major works and toplines of Irving’s life then you’ll likely enjoy all you’ll learn in here and Jones’ argument about what a path-breaker Irving was as a writer. *Ooops! He’s a former ELC’er and a former AZ state official; I thought he’d done a stint at the Department, too, but apparently not.

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