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  • Elliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF "Are you with me now" 10.12.21

As usual from my talk with Kapua about their new facilities/learning environment I took more than I gave. Once completed, this learning environment/community/school is going to make waves. It has Hawaiian ways built-in that are a direct reflection of emerging research on the environment including a recent story/report about limu (algae) where over 60% of the Earth’s oxygen come from. It is common knowledge that plants produce oxygen and that is true but ‘we’ fail to fully grasp in our accounts something that Hawaiians have known for a very long time that seaweed and algae are the part of the plant kingdom that is the largest contributor to other life and is what keeps us in oxygen. Land farms and forests are a much smaller contributor to this part of the ecosystem. Case in point, because of the raging fires in Australia where CO2 was released into the atmosphere there was an enormous algae bloom. In size, it was bigger than all of Australia and produced all this oxygen from the fallout of the fire. We barely hear about this in our news reporting but algae are what regenerates the planet with oxygen. Whether all this new oxygen in the atmosphere is good or bad thing scientists don’t really know but keeping the limu healthy is what Hawaiians have always known about. Our students at Namahana learn about limu from cultural, practical

, and scientific perspectives, all at once. This work of students is an example of what needs to be shared with the world and will soon be on the BPLIving website. To top it off, many forms of limu are a very healthy organic food source and taste really good.

Juggad“A bending of the rules - a flexible approach to problem-solving that uses limited resources in an innovative way.”

We had our first IBPLC training today. Folks from Barbados, Ireland, Australia and the US were on the Zoom. I love that this amazing work was a true give and take from assessment work that started in the US and then staff and students in Australia really put it all together. There is a level of sophistication and simplicity here that we are hoping catches fire. We all know you can have a great tool and practice that gets sidelined by work that is not nearly as good. Our hope is that we can get this to the education market in time to make a great contribution that is long overdue. Thanks to Viv, Tanya, Nikki, Jayne, Daniele, Zoe, Jacqui and Joe. We are hoping that we get additional funding for this work soon. Next week, we will continue this work at the International Meeting.


The K-8 Revenir

On Thursday, Carrie facilitated a meeting of our k-8 work from around the world. It is not the first time we havecome together but this time there appears to be more energy and more BPL schools involved. Our work has always had a major shift/disruption built into it where the lowest common denominator is working with each and every student/young person starting with their interests and choices around the things that matter to them and give their lives meaning. Schools and for that matter youth development organizations have their lowest common denominator as the small group or a class. The k-8 work is ideal for this denominator of one while also having students in groups (advisories) discussing those interests. This work has levels of family and community engagement built into it. Coincidentally, I was on a call the next day with a foundation that wants us to move our k-8 work forward in the out-school learning space with k-8 schools and youth development organizations using the IBPLC starting at this young age.


In the milieu of BPLiving, B-Unbound and Harbor Freight Fellows, and Project InSight there were in-depth meetings with people in Alexandria, VA, California, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Pittsburgh, and NYC keeping the quality and at the same time growing. It was great to meet face-to-face with Anthonette, Isary, Kim, and Pam.

Just today NYC Public Schools announced it will phase out its controversial gifted and talented student program for 65,000 students. This was a program that judged 4-year-olds by one test for admission. It is part of the reason New York City public schools are some of the most segregated in the US, according to the UCLA Civil Rights Project. In an updated analysis using 2018 data, a report released this year found that New York retains its place as the most segregated state for Black students, and second most segregated for Latino students, trailing only California.

The segregation is stark in New York City. In the city's public schools, 74.6% of Black and Latino students attend a school where fewer than 10% of the student body is White. Additionally, 34.3% of White students attend schools that are majority-White, according to the DOE.

Next step, is to bust up those one-test admissions high schools.

Meisha Porter NYC Schools Chancellor and Hewlett/BPL Equity Fellow stated "As a lifelong educator, I know every child in New York City has talents that go far beyond what a single test can capture and the Brilliant NYC plan will uncover their strengths so they can succeed,"

"I'm excited to get into neighborhoods across the city to hear directly from communities about the types of learning opportunities that pique students' interests and let their gifts shine." Now that sounds really familiar. Way to go Meisha!

Finally, a message from Los in Medium. A beautiful story to start off the week.

Be Well!


Elliot Washor Co-Founder Big Picture Learning

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