Education leaders tackle complex problems, tenuous negotiations, and tough realities every day. We asked a handful of leaders what they are reading or listening to when they need a source of inspiration or a distraction to refuel and recharge. Here are just a few responses from leaders across the Network. Interested in sharing your recommendations? Let us know.
Courtney Bell, Director of Educator Engagement, State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE)
In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School by Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine
There has been a lot of conversation in Tennessee over the last several years about the need to revisit high school and think about how we can ensure it is truly preparing our students for what’s next. Almost half of Tennessee college freshmen require remedial math, and a third require remedial reading. Additionally, less than half of community college and four-year university students graduate within six years of enrolling. To help us start exploring this more, SCORE conducted a high school learning tour this past fall to get a better feel for the landscape in our state, but this book takes a much deeper dive in a nationwide sampling of schools and highlights promising practices and areas for future consideration. It’s helpful to see a national view of an issue we care about deeply in our state as we contemplate what work needs to happen next.
Ariel Johnson, Director of Government Affairs, Illinois Network of Charter Schools
Crime Junkie and Criminal podcasts
It’s a three hour drive to the Illinois State Capitol from Chicago. While I often fill that time with phone calls, I spend much of it listening to true-crime podcasts. It’s such a guilty pleasure that takes my mind off the severity of the work. At present, I’m listening to Crime Junkie and Criminal. The suspense is captivating and catching the bad guy in just one hour is always so satisfying.
Rachel Posada Fletcher, Events and Operations Associate, PIE Network
Binge Mode: Game of Thrones podcast
The finale of Game of Thrones is upon us, and every episode this season has left me wanting more! The Binge Mode: Game of Thrones podcast, hosted by Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion, gives me just that—deep dives into the episode, as well as in-depth knowledge about GoT history (of both the series and the books). Word of warning: these podcasts are 2+ hours, so they’re best consumed while driving, doing laundry, or perhaps on a flight to your next PIE Network meeting!