Olly, Olly, Oxen in Free – Marginalizing the High School Diploma, Yet Again

In a recent piece in The Journal, David Nagel presents a compelling review of a new report by the New American Foundation titled The Case Against Exit Exams. According to Nagel, the report details the pending collision of high school exit standards flowing from the Common Core and the career- and college-ready standards that would equal any level of devastation … Continue reading

In Education Reform, Money Does Matter, But Not Always In A Positive Way

If a philanthropist walked in your door and wanted to give your company a million to a billion dollars with no strings attached other than “nice talk” about improving your endgame, wouldn’t that just be the “cat’s meow.” Rarely does this happen, so most of us do not need to worry about such things. It seems the only group who … Continue reading

Getting Students Engaged in Their Learning – A Challenge of a Lifetime

It seems wherever one travels these days, the attention-grabbing caption, whether it’s an article title, a keynote presentation, a conference marque, a White Paper, or a TED Talk, is how to get students engaged in their learning. The news that keeps surfacing from all of these settings is that unengaged students do not learn as well as engaged students. And, … Continue reading

Big DATA, Big Challenges

Educators, for the most part, have always had information (data) available from which to make decisions on everything from student learning to financial challenges to school improvement. In the day, it was neatly kept in file drawers and represented by simple graphs, charts, or constellations of data points on storyboards or overhead projector film. The information was used to pass … Continue reading

If Students Get Promoted Every Year By Achieving Their Goals, Why Don’t Teachers Get Promoted for Achieving Theirs?

This is a question I hear often at this time of the year, especially from teachers eager to move from the classroom to administrative ranks. It seems a simple question on surface, but the answer is not simple at all. As CHIE’s mantra states: “Education is a complex process.” It is often difficult to understand just how complex it is, … Continue reading

Metacognition Redux

I have long heralded the value of metacognition, or the process of thinking about thinking, as a key component of a successful learning regimen. The process provides a natural pause in the forward movement of learning, allowing a learner to reflect on what has happened and is happening during a learning experience. In so doing, the learner can pre-select value … Continue reading

When “Just Showing Up” Doesn’t Work – Why the Common Core Are Important

I am increasingly amazed, and also frustrated, by the enormous bombast encircling the Common Core State Standards, better known as Common Core. In their simplest state, and they are far from simple, they represent a chance to level the playing field in education. Think about it – students in each state learning content, developing skills, and presenting mastery in sync … Continue reading

Developing Handwriting Skills May Be Beneficial After All

In our techno age where keyboarding, nee texting skills, reign high on the instructional leader-board, it seems handwriting may be important after all. In a recent NY Times article (, Maria Konnokova shared research by Dr. Karin James, Indiana University that underscored the value to brain development when children used handwriting skills vs. keyboarding. The importance comes from the brain … Continue reading

CHIE Partners with Epic & Valley Health

CHIE is proud to partner with Epic and Valley Health (Winchester, VA) in implementing a new electronic medical record (EMR) protocol systemically throughout Valley Health’s five hospital system. The “go live” project will carry through June and is an immense, stressful, but truly beneficial undertaking.

Making Education Relevant

Remember Paul Simon’s famous lament in his hit song Kodachrome – “when I think of all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all . . . .” Although not as poignant as it was when Simon’s song echoed the feelings of baby boomers everywhere, this dirge is still heard over and over … Continue reading