Month: November 2013

Schrödinger’s Excel

Or, how to be deadly and awesome at the same time Is Excel good or bad?  It is both.  Are you good at Excel or bad at it?  Probably both. Excel is extraordinary.  In the wrong hands it also can be a disaster,  Excel is just a tool, like a chisel.  It is inspiring in the hands of a skilled carpenter and murderous in

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Zombie PowerPoint

or, Why PowerPoint Cannot Die The YouTube video Death by PowerPoint is really, well, to the point.  Yet, despite obvious abuses, PowerPoint is here to stay. Powerpoint is the perfect vehicle for bulleted and numbered lists. We are addicted to lists.  What do you think most people will click on: Study shows correlation between polyphenols and health, or

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Make Them Cry “Uncle!”

My boss and mentor used to chastise me.  “Pile work on your staff until they cry ‘uncle’ ” she would say. Is that really a valid management technique?  Sounds a bit draconian. “Not at all,” she would counter.  “You don’t really know if they are working at full capacity until you give them too much

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Budget Advisory Committees are Hard

When the Budget Advisory Committee was approaching my boss and I would look at each other and groan in unison “Ugh BAC!”  Why? It was not that we didn’t want to talk budget with the community.  Hey, we’ll talk your ear off with all sorts of budget geekiness if you let us.  It is because a BAC

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Government’s Return on Investment

Is it ever OK to say “I spent more on that, so I am in compliance.” Is spending more money the only way to demonstrate “success?” I say this is the opposite of success. Are we going to allow school districts to shrug off poor results by spending more. I really don’t understand the critics of California’s Local Control Funding Formula’s

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Local Control Funding Formula: Nothing and Something

The California Department of Education has “updated” its reporting software by removing the previous revenue schedule and replacing it with, um, nothing. I am going out on a limb.  I have created my own multi-year calculation.  Please email me at support@fiscalshare.com if you want a copy. We are four plus months into the fiscal year,

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Give Up Already!

I was still in bed when I heard such frightful swearing from the kitchen.  Upon investigation I discovered that Spouse had impaled his index finger on a nail and was trying to open up a “bandaid”.  Not a brand name Band-Aid, mind you, but a cheap generic version thereof.  He handed it to me.  Here

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