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  • Elliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF "Are you with me now?" 05.06.22

Here’s a headline from California Community Colleges:

“More than 300,000 fewer students enrolled in fall 2021 compared with fall 2019. They were challenged by online learning, financial needs, and mental health.”

These challenges are just the tip of the iceberg . Who delivered online learning? Who created the financial issues and who added to their stress? Even if, the students stayed what would they get out of a degree that in all probability doesn’t take who they are into account?

Although it was not framed in the same way as the story above, there was a quick reference at our BPL board meeting that there are 100,000 students missing in both NY and LA. They did not return to school. Where are they and what can we do about this?


BPL Board Meeting

The BPL board meeting was jam packed with presentations on BPL School growth and sustainability presented by Sonn Sam, Ashe presented by Eunice Mitchell, IBPLC delivered by Andrea Purcell and Peter McWalters, B-U, BPLiving, College Unbound by Dennis and students, ImBlaze, etc.. A highlight is always talks with Met students and College Unbound students. It was great for me to catch-up with Angel and Jazmin from Andrew Coburn’s advisory. They will all be coming to Big Bang presenting on their BPLiving work over the last two years.

Sticking with the theme from last week about Olmsted and Prospect Park. When board members and students went out for their walk and talk onto the commons at The Met you could sense the difference in the conversation being outside in this environment. Peter McWalters, Dennis, and I reminded everyone of the struggles to build the school with no fences and no police with a school front-facing the neighborhood. And, to this day the Community College right across the street is enclosed by a fence with its back to the neighborhood. What does that say about COMMUNITY?


ImBlaze and B-Unbound

Regionalism and Distributive Justice are two terms that are defined in this article about the production of offshore wind power in one state to the sale of that offshore wind power to another. Turns out that Rhode Island does not like to sell its wind power to its rival state Massachusetts. Terms like distributive justice start to get tossed around. Distributive justice refers to discrepancies between who bears costs, like having power plants and equipment in sight, and who benefits, such as from revenue and energy produced. These same terms playout with schools and school districts around who “owns” internships. In ImBlaze there is more regionalism and in B-Unbound the internships are shared throughout. It is a good article to read because it puts a similar argument in a different context for us to make things we are doing more visible.

This morning I did a video session with Brian Mills for a documentary Beth is working on for Harbor Freight. It was great to catch-up with Brian and hear about Rodney’s incredible graduation speech for C-U.

Also, had really great calls with Brookings Institute about Community Schools and Transformational Change and the other call with Stephen Tosh Executive Director of the NYC Boys and Girls Clubs. We are definitely on the same page about the potential of B-U. Stephen doesn’t use the term afterschool at all. It sends the wrong message to youth where what they are doing at Boys and Girls Clubs must be so much more than what they do at school.

Finally, The Namahana Charter gets its review for approval next week. Andrea Purcell is going over to Oahu representing BPL to be part of the team orchestrated by Kapua. Fingers crossed.


Other Thoughts:

One more thing…

In my time in Ireland last week, I mentioned being on the island of Inishbofin for 3 days. Not only do police not carry guns in Ireland but there are no police on this island. Pretty interesting to think about coming from a country with armed police and a high police presence.

Here I am the 100-year--old man celebrating his birthday at work. Only wishful thinking but this article celebrates Walter Orthmann the real 100-year-old man breaking the Guinness Book of World Records for working at the same company for 84 years. Here's his advice.

Here and Now is What Counts
Follow your passions, and find an employer who aligns with your goals and values. – Meaning and relationships
When we do what we like, we don't see the time go by.

Be well!


Elliot Washor

Co-Founder of Big Picture Learning

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