Archive of Blog

West Wind Open House (Postponed)

on February 2nd, 2015 in Blog by | No Comments

Due to the winter storm, we postponed our annual Open House, which had been scheduled for February 2. We’ll post the new date at this website and send an announcement via email. We look forward to sharing with you some of our new work, including our collaboration in the Creative Corridor…

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A MLK Day to Remember

on January 20th, 2015 in Blog by | No Comments

I hope you had a meaningful MLK Day yesterday!  We are proud that our very own Alecia Brooks was honored yesterday at the 1st Annual Stride Toward Progress Bell Ringing and Awards Ceremony here in Iowa City.  Royceann Porter, 2014-15 African American Achievement Award Recipient, took it upon herself to publicly acknowledge the hard…

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2015 Martin Luther King Day of Service

on January 16th, 2015 in Blog by | 4 Comments

 “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding  will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with…

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On Teaching Ferguson Part One

on December 30th, 2014 in Blog by | No Comments

Recently, a University of Iowa grad student invited me to speak at a panel titled Teaching Ferguson: Race, Riots and Critical Reflections for Classroom Teachers. The invitation was timely, as I’d just read an editorial from Michelle Alexander, an author and criminal justice reform advocate. Michelle describes challenges she encountered…

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On Teaching Ferguson Part Two

on December 30th, 2014 in Blog by | 3 Comments

I spoke with a community member who said an altercation between students occurred after they had a charged discussion about the Darren Wilson grand jury outcome. Although a small part of me supports keeping Ferguson out of classrooms, reality is many students already reacted to what has unfolded since the…

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Facilitating Communities of Education Professionals

on December 8th, 2014 in Blog by | No Comments

No man is an island, Entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. –John Donne, No Man is an Island   We are all parts of communities where we engage daily – with family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues; face-to-face, online, and on…

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Senior Policy Analyst, Deb Hansen, Retires

on November 26th, 2014 in Blog by | 29 Comments

This month the team at West Wind Education Policy is proudly celebrating the career of our own Deb Hansen. It has been an honor for all of us to share the capstone years of her career. During the past four years, Deb has lent her wisdom and experience to West…

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On Grace and Gratitude

on November 17th, 2014 in Blog by | No Comments

This blog is a letter to my colleagues at West Wind Education Policy, written as I end my tenure at West Wind and as I phase into retirement from the education profession. Dear West Wind Friends and Colleagues, This month marks both the anniversary of four years of employment at…

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Are Teachers Still Widgets? Five years after the Widget Report

on October 31st, 2014 in Blog by | No Comments

Five years ago,TNTP (formerly known as The New Teacher Project) released The Widget Effect, a report that influenced the debate about educAre Teachers Still Widgets? Five yearsator workforce policy-making and generated advocacy for policies such as improved teacher performance evaluations, administrator training, and performance-based pay. According to TNTP, the report identified a…

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Learning to Celebrate

on October 22nd, 2014 in Blog by | No Comments

My children’s elementary school recently celebrated our 60th birthday.  We gathered at the school, listened to alumni who are now junior high and high school students play orchestral music, ate cookies, picked a few remaining vegetables from the school garden, and spent time with our friends and neighbors.  Retired teachers,…

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