Travel with us to a new city, and we’ll run off in different directions. Carina will sniff out a local farmer’s market and zip over to the modern art museum. Don will hunt down a record store and get the inside info on a hot concert.
But, go to a school with us, and we’ll look for the same things. We will ask questions about leadership, instruction and impact. We will seek out examples of student work and talk to teachers. Though there are enough differences between us, what we share is a deep and personal connection to improving teaching and learning in schools.
Together, we share an interesting mix of practical, on-the-ground experiences in education — from running a state assessment and accountability system in Pennsylvania to starting a high performing charter network in California. We take these experiences to strengthen our work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, leading respective portfolios focused on making place-based investments and scaling strategies in states, districts, and networks, and deepening teacher practice through well designed tools, intelligent professional development systems and intentional efforts to build professional communities through informal networks.
We often imagine solutions from different perspectives, and sometimes disagree. But, this pushes our thinking to new limits, inspiring a constant appetite for thought partnership. This blog is a collection of our individual and shared ideas and [interactions] in education — both the raw and the cooked. Let’s simmer and stew on all issues “edu!”
what’s your appetite?
I am always thinking about my next meal — partly from a habit of wanting something tasty, but mostly from a desire to find inspiration in something as regular as lunchtime. How do you cook the perfect egg? What can I make with these leftovers? As the name suggests, ideas are either raw or cooked, or anywhere in between. And I’m interested in keeping a conversation alive about those ideas in education. I like uncovering surprising connections and finding adjacencies that challenge my current thinking. Help me and push my appetite in new directions! —C.
I also look forward to meal time, but not necessarily to know what’s on the menu. I want to know who’s at the table. Meal time is an opportunity for discourse and exchange — time to catch up, time to learn something new. These conversations often give way to wonderful ideas much like the way a hint of spice might surprise you, or a new combination of ingredients might have you second-guess your aversion to fennel. What topics are on the index cards, stacked between the salt and pepper? Let’s get talkin’. —D.