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  • Elliot Washor

Elliot Washor "Are you with me now?"4.2.21

You can always have more than nothing.- A takeoff on the Mad Hatter

In his latest brief Anthony Carnevale talks about the 15 million infrastructure jobs being created over ten years for people with no more than a high school education. The training for those jobs will be about six months. I hopeful that a good living wage is attached to those jobs or the Mad Hatter will strike again.


Harbor Freight Fellows Initiative

"Less is only more when more is no good." Frank Lloyd Wright and more Harbor Freight Fellows is good.

Last week, I had a talk with Beth White about mentors and the reciprocity in the relationship between mentors and Fellows. One of Beth’s comments from a mentor that we have heard many iterations of is: “I get out as much as I put in.” This year, we are putting an emphasis on the mentor in the HFF evaluation that Scott is doing. I’m eager to see what we hear from mentors and how that influences our program going forward.

Kurt is continuing to develop the HFF work around the marine trades. HFF Maddie is now down in Florida. She started her voyage from Newport, RI on the Oliver Hazard Perry. We are hoping that next year, a crew of BPL students interested in the marine trades goes down. A major part of this work is: How to remove barriers and achieve access through the HFF initiative and what we measure?


Carrie, David and I had meetings with the EON – AR/VR organization and at our Wednesday meeting Carrie facilitated a conversation about where all of this work may lead. We all felt it has loads of potential for all sorts of students doing all sorts of work including Project Insight and HFF. From student productions to ways to practice skills, we can use EON in ways where students can explore and enhance their skills and interests. We have time to figure this out with the 1,000 licenses for students we were granted that also includes training for staff.

I spent a good amount of time with our students as well as putting in time developing new connections for BPLiving. Students are really putting out lots of social media from podcasts to webinars. Isary and Andrea are with them as the volume increases and quality improves. Today, the Skunk Works team met around the next upcoming weekly challenges around the ACLM’s six measures.

Then, I was off to Jay Deming’s exhibition. Jay is a student at Nashville Big Picture. Among other things he put together a great video on exercise and perseverance. It will be posted next week on BPLiving. I don’t want to give the story away here. Next year, Jay will be going to Auburn where he will pursue work in human services and will be playing D1 Basketball.

Later in the day, I had a meeting with Dr. Elizabeth Hammer, professor at Xavier. We discussed her college students working with students at the Living School in New Orleans around healthy lifestyle measures. There are loads of initiatives that can come out of this relationship with Xavier as an in-road into doing joint work with other HBCU’s and BPL schools.


Shirley A. Chisholm Center for Equity Studies

A few weeks ago, Andrew arranged a talk for me with La Tasha Brown. Latasha is the Program Manager of The Shirley A. Chisholm Center for Equity Studies. The Center’s work examines of the connections between historical racism and today’s structural inequities aiming to create opportunities for underserved communities, and to achieve equity through education. We had lots to discuss including our school in Barbados, where Shirley Chisholm’s family lived before coming to Brooklyn and my connection to Shirley Chisholm from my youth. It was a great talk that went in a number of different directions that we are following up on. One important one we discussed, was around the inequities of standardized testing and how our work with the International Big Picture Learning Credential addresses racial inequity by shifting the focus off narrowly prescribed, culturally-bound assessment, in favor of transparent, personalized methods for capturing and representing student learning and achievements. The Shirley A, Chisholm Center for Equity Studies is part of the SUNY system. I sent La Tasha info on IBPLC in the hopes that SUNY will do something similar to what the University of Melbourne did in warranting the IBPLC so, it can be used here in place of standardized testing used to gain admissions to colleges.



Next week Javier and will be doing a screening for B-Unbound. Our B-Unbound meetings this week were filled with the excitement and energy of doing something new. We are doing lots of in-house work in preparation for a release of all that the B-Unbound community will entail on May 20th.

Spring is here! This week on one of my walks, I spotted three fox pups.


Be well!

Elliot Washor, Co-founder of Big Picture Learning

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