August 5, 2010

The official 2009-2010 EOC results are in!

Congratulations, Croatan Cougars.  Your hard work last year–under the formidable  guidance of Mr. Bottoms, Mrs. Zimarino, and Mr. Aldredge–has earned the school quite a designation:  NC Honor School of Excellence with High Growth.

Beyond that, the performance composite–or percentage of  students passing all EOC exams–stands at a remarkable 96.21%.

This number is the second highest of all 370 public high schools in the entire state of North Carolina.  Only Providence High School in Charlotte ranked higher…but not by much.  Providence posted an attainable 97%.

The elite designation for 2009-2010 continues the storied Croatan High School tradition of academic excellence, a tradition that will grow into the future.

It is time to raise the roof, Cougars.  The celebration is more than well-deserved.

2010 ABCs and AYP Status Report (Carteret County)

Carteret County High School Performance Composite Comparison, 2003-2010

Carteret County EOC Proficiency Results, All Subjects – 2006-2010

ABCs of Public Education, 2009-2010



April 3, 2010

Help Wanted: Economist

February 8, 2010

In a sign of the times, a local refrigeration company looks to strengthen its competitive advantage in a global market by adding an economist to its staff.

This classified from the on-line and print editions of a coastal town rag, published thrice weekly:

ECONOMIST, Corporate, Morehead City, NC needed by BMIL Technologies LLC. Conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to aid in solution to economic problems affecting the cold storage, refrigeration and dehumidification industries. Collect and process economic and statistical data. MA in Economics plus 3 years experience or BA in Economics plus 5 years progressive experience.

The reason this classified strikes me is that it relates to  my previous post on emerging issues and creativity.

Leadership of BMIL has devised a creative strategy to understand and attack “the economic problems affecting the cold storage, refrigeration and dehumidification industries.”  BMIL wants to bring on board an economist who will “collect and process economic and statistical data.”  That person will “conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans” relative to growing their business in its sector.

This is no different than how we in schools can and should creatively embrace data and research/policies to create plans for continued growth in our own sectors.

Ultimately, the refrigeration company’s success will be judged in terms of refrigeration units sold.  Our gold lies in how many units of academic growth we can influence annually for 100% of our students.

Emerging Issue: Creativity?

February 7, 2010

haulin netSeems odd that Creativity is stealing center-stage at the Emerging Issues Institute, Feb. 8-9 in Raleigh, NC.    Creativity, hard work, perseverance, and calculated risk have long been staples in the rise of this great nation.

Now, however, we seem to be stuck in the mud as an economic downturn drags on, resources tighten, and businesses/institutions search for answers.

According to an article in the News and Observer:

Creativity is one of those hard-to-define subjects that soon drift into talk of left brain/right brain characteristics and highfalutin references to “the cognitive age” and “the conceptual age.”

But everybody knows that the old jobs of priming tobacco and manning textile looms are gone, and the new jobs are much more likely to require hard thinking than back-breaking work.

So 1,000 leaders will gather at the sold-out conference to listen to such speakers as author Daniel Pink; U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan; Bill Strickland of Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild; Eric Liu, founder of Creativity Matters; and Mark Dean, IBM’s vice president for technical strategy.

In education, we would do well to revisit the place of quality and engaging literature, art, recreation, and music in the creativity revival.  But I would caution against throwing the accountability baby out with the bathwater.

Done correctly, the use of data derived from common assessments can inform creative decisions about students, staff, programs and schools…without which, we would often continue to be mired.

There is no dearth of scholarship and commentary on the topic of creativity.  Sir Ken’s video “Are Schools Killing Creativity?” is one modern example.

Just to be creative, I searched the term Creative on my blog and found these results.

The term Creativity on my blog yielded these results, the phrase Daniel Pink yielded these results, and the term Emerging yielded these results.

…and my all time personal favorite on Haulin’ Net when it comes to creativity is that I have had 19 job titles in education in the last 24 years.  I call it Riding New Gears.

Riding new gears is the essence of creativity.  It is literally and figuratively where the rubber meets the rode.

And that may be the challenge ahead of us if we are to embrace creativity as part of the solution to kickstarting economic and institutional engines.  It’s turning words and thoughts into organizational actions.

It requires leaders at all levels who are experienced in creative thought and creative learning for maximum educational gain.


January 12, 2010

The comments feature of an on-line newspaper had to be suspended “because of abusive comments and personal attacks posted on our Web site.”

Although this strategy will dampen the idiot winds for a while, the new information order calls for interactivity on the web.  This is another example of how we are going kicking and screaming into the future…

It shows that adults, as well as students, have significant learning curves when it comes to responsible communication and representation on the interactive web.  It also shows that he who holds the keys to the kingdom (in this case, the press) can and probably should make the rules when necessary.

You can go to almost any on-line news story today and filter through the comments for the stories (and agendas) behind the stories.

Will Richardson takes a much deeper dig on this topic in a post called “Norms of Participation“.  It is interesting to compare the quality of his commentators vs. the quality of commentators in a general news article.  Perhaps context is the key.

Silent Nights

December 27, 2009

According to a CNET article (Dec 23), Harris Interactive Poll reports that the average Internet user is on-line 13 hours per week.

The average number of hours that people spend online each week has grown over the years, hovering at 7 hours from 1999 through 2002, 8 or 9 hours from 2003 through 2006, and 11 hours in 2007.

The jump in time spent in cyberspace likely stems from a few factors, according to Harris. More people are comfortable using the Internet. More of them are shopping and watching TV online. In addition, the number of Web sites and online applications has increased.

To which, the president of Stephens College responds by inviting students to put away their digital contraptions and revive the tradition of contemplative evening vespers.  This from the Washington Post:

But Lynch (president of Stephens) fears all that time spent in the 21st century’s town square leaves few opportunities for clutter-free thought. She wants the students to also pursue the more elusive state of mind that comes with silence.

Several other schools are encouraging technology-free introspection. Amherst College in Massachusetts hosted a “Day of Mindfulness” this year, featuring yoga and meditation and a lecture on information technology and the contemplative mind entitled “No Time to Think.”

Peace on Earth and silent nights!

Mariner Gold

November 19, 2009

Go Team Go!

There is nothing like interscholastic high school athletics to bring unity to a school and community.

Welcome to the Fall 2009 East Carteret High School athletic recognition celebration.  Whether you or your student-athletes are from Beaufort, Harkers Island, Cedar Island, North River, South River or all points in between…this season they joined as one team…one band of brothers or sisters…in football, soccer, volleyball, girls tennis, cross country, girls golf, cheerleading, and sports medicine.

Tonight, we are here to recognize them for their individual participation and achievements…but more than that we are here to recognize the power of teams, the power of school, and the power of community…east of the bridge.

Go Team Go!

This year our 110 fall athletes and 16 coaches competed in over 65 events.  To put this in perspective, I want you to understand the input of all the adults involved before the game whistle even blows.

Read the rest of the Mariner Gold Speech