A Thanksgiving Centered on Love

I am often quoted as saying, “I love my job.” I love what I do. I love the opportunity to lead this dedicated, talented team. I love the challenge of preparing over 16,000 young people to be the next generation of America’s leaders. On this Thanksgiving weekend we have an opportunity to pause, to get our minds focused on what’s most important to us, and to share with those in our lives. Read More

Embracing the Complexity of Education

For generations we have summarized student performance in school with report cards. Parents hung them on the refrigerator, students sweated the final assignments of a quarter, and teachers would add handwritten comments.

However, our performance in school was evaluated by more than the grade . . . it was the communication between the teachers and the parents. It was the teacher’s comments; it was the conversations at conferences.

The performance of an entire school district is complex; it can’t be reduced to a simple report card. Yes, we must have accountability, we must measure performance, and we must continue to pursue improvement. You will get no argument from me about assessments and performance measures, but we must embrace the complexity of our work. Read More

Elimination of BCD – Blame, Complain, Defend

In his book, Above the Line, Ohio State Football Coach Urban Meyer shares, “My advice to leaders: ruthlessly eliminate BCD. Instead of accountability, BCD creates a culture of excuse making and victimization – things that are toxic for your organization and performance.”

BCD – blame, complain, and defend – is often an immediate first reaction when we are confronted with difficult situations. For some, BCD has become a habit. It has become a default way of reacting to challenging events. But as Coach Meyer explains, “BCD has never solved a problem, achieved a goal, or improved a relationship. Stop wasting your time and energy on something that will never help you.” Read More

Reminders as the Weather Changes!

This is an article Dr. Marschhausen wrote almost a year ago to the date. It has some important reminders as we see our weather get colder and the dreaded SNOW word creeps out again!

I’ve been asked several questions about our calamity days. It seems that the decision making process is a bit mysterious to some – especially the students who follow me on Twitter. There is no mystery – we put safety first, gather all available information, and make the best decision possible at the time. Here are a couple common questions from the past couple days, with my short answer to each. My goal is for our community – our parents and students – to understand the decision making process. Read More

Time Flies . . . Success is Earned

It seems like just yesterday we were preparing for convocation and welcoming students for the first day of school.

The 90 degree days with evening sunshine have given way to darkness in early evening, leaves falling from the trees, and a bite in the nighttime air.

It has been a great start to our school year in Hilliard. From the iPad distribution days for our middle school students to the shift to Canvas as our learning management system – we are doing business better. We are utilizing textbooks written in iBook author by our own teachers – resources better than anything we could purchase. Hilliard is doing more with data; we are utilizing the KidzMet survey to add learning and personality styles to our toolbox as we strive to personalize learning for every student. In our classrooms and with our resources . . . we are doing business better. Read More

One Time Assessment Have Little Value

This week the Ohio Board of Education was presented information about student performance on last year’s PARCC Exams. A recent Columbus Dispatch Article says the State Board is considering setting a lower “benchmark” for passage rates. Members of the State Board are quoted in the piece sharing that Ohio’s students are expected to have lower scores because the test is more difficult. Here we go . . . brace for the sky is falling headline in the future.

First of all, we need to be cautious about what we read into any assessment, but this situation requires us to “press pause.” Think about it for a Read More