Month: January 2014

Not Usual

He is a senior silicon valley executive.  She is an analyst in a governmental agency.  Their third grade daughter cannot read. He is an abusive deadbeat dad who hides his assets and pays no child support.  She is a low wage earner barely scraping by.  Their eighth grade daughter is one of the top students in

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Your Tax Dollars at Work! Headlines to Avoid

Mrs. Smith came into my office.  She was angry, but controlled.  Her practiced smile was plastered on top of gritted teeth. “Teachers just don’t get paid enough.  Every now and then we have to do something nice for them.” What was this all about? My staff had rejected Principal Smith’s expense report where she was seeking

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Size Matters

In the course of my career I have occasionally heard some unsavory “us versus them” talk. Teachers versus non teachers Certificated versus classified Management versus non-management School versus district Parents versus school administration Some discussions of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) resort to this rhetoric, most notably the “school versus district” polarity.  I have previously mentioned the

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Budgeting Blindfolded as Art Form

Last Thursday the governor’s budget proposal for 2014-15 was unveiled.  My loyal readers may have noticed that I let the occasion pass by without a peep out of me. The truth is that all of you devoted school district business officials are still budgeting blindfolded.  Estimates for individual district revenues will be developed.  Programs will be implemented and costs

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Reputation: a Matter of Trust

Today I recommend thinkpurpose’s post Why I Don’t Care About the Reputation of my Organisation. …If you aim for a good reputation, trust takes a back seat. Spin, presentation and image are the easy ways to a good reputation but trust is made from simpler and sterner stuff. It has to be based on something

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Spoetry

I receive many intriguing conceptual poems in my WordPress spam folder.  Are we all being too dismissive of the spoem?  Here’s one I like to call “Hidden Haiku”. I don’t like informational composed composed articles content articles or blog posts authored composed composed articles content composed articles content content articles usually, but your write-up will feasibly function

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Chocaholics, Beware of Vendors Bearing Gifts

Back when I started working for the Pretty Small School District, my boss would pass out tickets to professional hockey games.  She would say something like “Look, I have these tickets and I’m not that interested in hockey.”  So Spouse and I would go. I later found out that the tickets came from one of the district’s vendors. Back then

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Oh Crap!

Some time back I was a passenger in a car that my friend was driving.  We were sideswiped by a 17-year-old driver in a massive truck.  This smashed the passenger side.  We were pushed into the central freeway barrier.  This smashed the driver’s side.  Then we spun around several times and ended up on the shoulder,

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Victimized by a Bag of Trash

A long time ago I moved into a modest apartment in a poorer part of town.  I opened the back window and was at once assaulted by an unpleasant odor.  I soon located the source of the stench: an oversized heavy-duty black trash bag on the back balcony filled with moldy garbage. I was incensed.  My thinking

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The Job Interview and The Unwelcome Question

First, I introduce everyone in the room.  Then I quickly review the hiring process. Then I say “Unless you have anything you want or ask or say, we will begin.”  Mostly the interview then gets underway. Occasionally, though, I will get this: Before we begin would you tell me what you are looking for in a candidate?

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