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  • Elliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF "Are you with me now?" 02.11.22

It was very close to two years ago (pre-COVID) that the BPL Big Bang scouting team met at The Diplomat in Hollywood, FL. Next week, a very excited BPL advance team returns to the same place to make this the best Big Bang ever.


Mayor Adams, NYC Health + Hospitals Expand Access to Lifestyle Medicine Services City-Wide

February 7, 2022

“This announcement represents the most comprehensive expansion of Lifestyle Medicine Programming in the U.S. The new expansion will provide dedicated team-based support for Healthy Lifestyle Changes, including A: emphasis on plant-based diet and programming to help address burdens of Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension; and other common chronic conditions disproportionately impacting Black and Brown New Yorkers.”

Next stop schools? “Get Stuff Done” Mayor Adams

Mayor Adams of NYC is in his words “getting stuff done.” Hopefully, the next stop from NYC Health and Hospitals in NYC Schools. In the end, perhaps Mayor Adams will have even more of an impact than he imagines because adhering to personally meaningful Lifestyle Measures in schools will improve learning outcomes of students no matter what assessment framework is used, not to mention the impact on families and communities.

To go along with these Lifestyle changes, earlier in the week, I started meeting with district people in New Rochelle to implement BPLiving, IBPLC, and B-U. Also, I was on a federal policy call about assessment. Honestly, being on this call was like being in the movie, Fifty First Dates. The same people saying the same things promoting the same programs that have run up against the same opposition from the Feds and Congress for the last 35 years. It was nice to catch up but it appeared from the conversation that their message won’t have much traction policy-wise because there is nothing new here. How come this is the case? Well, if you don’t change the forms of school, you can’t expect student assessment to change from where it is positioned. This is Reforms and New Measures not, New Forms and New Measures.

I’m having further conversations with a few of the people who were in the room about foregrounding Lifestyle Measures that are personally meaningful to students and their impact no matter what assessment frame we use to measure learning. And, I’m also having a conversation around the IBPLC because we now have teacher, student, and mentor judgments vetted and warranted by psychometricians. This is what is unheard of. This is what’s new. Let’s see what happens.

The other venue around new forms and new measures conversation is the work with the Carpenters Union and Maritime work on the waterfront. We are working in a partnership to create a new credential that will get youth to pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship experiences without first receiving their GED or high school diploma allowing HFFs a new avenue to pursue union work, not waiting till students are 18 years old. This is a big step. The work is being carried out in Philadelphia and Newark. In Newark, our principal, Mario Santos is involved and in Philadelphia, David Bromley from College Unbound is taking the lead. Charlie, Kurt, and I are also involved in creating this credential.

Viv White sent along with this front-page story of one of our students who used the IBPLC to gain access to post-secondary training and work. Welcome to the age of the apprentice, a trip in the Wayback Machine.


The Last Hatmaker – “It takes a long time to learn.”

Here’s some great advice for all who think mastery is achieved quickly.

“Doing a job you like,” he says with a smile, “doesn’t make you old.” Eighty-nine-year-old Italian Hatmaker Gian Piero himself started working in 1944, at the age of 12, before he’d even finished elementary school. He says he would have liked to have stayed in school, but the Second World War was still going on at that time; no one went to school anymore.”

“My learning was watching my father and my uncles,” he says. “They left me a shape to finish, and I finished it. It’s not like you learn how to make a shape in a month, not even in a year. Think about how many varieties of hats there are! It takes a long time to learn.”


On Track Data –

In Oakland, Calif., chronic absences went from 17.3 percent pre-pandemic to 19.8 percent last school year to 43 percent this year. In Pittsburgh, chronic absences stayed where they were last school year at about 25 percent, then shot up to 45 percent this year.

What is really going on? What are young people doing if, they are not in school? Remember what Gian says about what happened in Italy because of WW1. What does this mean about using all this tracking data to track being on track?

Rollover Beethoven and Tell Tchaikovsky the News – Chuck Berry

Legacy Admissions have recently been a hot topic for colleges to deal with but it is not the only way that universities play admissions games. Another is called Geographical Diversity. In essence, the term Geographical Diversity is university gerrymandering where applicants from sparsely populated states like Nevada, Montana, and Wyoming receive preference over students from competitive high schools in cities like New York. This system of Geographical Diversity dates from the end of World War I. At this time admissions offices at Harvard, Princeton, and Yale worked hard to find an answer to what they called the “Jewish question.” They came up with a formula for “geographical distribution” (now “geographical diversity”) that increases the number of “white” students on their campuses while radically decreasing the number of Jews. These rules were not exactly those described in the admissions brochures. And yet, to this day, this is a game that many play with consent from the powers that make admissions decisions about race, class, and gender.

To all who love their work from Toni Morrison. Happy Black History Month!


Elliot Washor

Co-Founder of Big Picture Learning

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