What are Advocates Reading and Listening to?
April 18, 2019

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.

Thomas Rains, Vice President, Operations and Policy, A+ Education Partnership

During session I tend to gravitate toward books that have nothing to do with education or politics, and Fresh Off the Boat by Eddie Huang (the book, not the show) fit the bill. But, I also enjoy learning about how education plays a role in people’s lives—good or bad, stated or implied. Huang’s story definitely provides a different perspective on growing up in the United States, and it served as a good reminder for me of the uniqueness of every child’s journey.

Jessica Eastman Stewart, Executive Director, Go Public Schools Oakland

I’ve been loving the Best of Both Worlds podcast. It’s two executive-level moms who love their jobs and their families and are discussing how to make it all fit together as working parents. It’s funny, validating, and gives me great ideas and inspiration.

Sanford Johnson, Deputy Director of Advocacy, Mississippi First

I recently read a post from ProPublica entitled, “Where in the U.S. Are You Most Likely to Be Audited by The I.R.S.” Humphreys County, Mississippi, the “Catfish Capital of the World,” is also the county where you’re most likely to be audited than any other county in the U.S. In this Mississippi Delta county, where the median income is $26,000, you are 51 percent more likely to be audited than in Loudon County, Virginia, which has an median income that’s five-times higher. This reason appears to be because of the high number of people who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. It’s interesting (and alarming) to see that in a county that’s so under-served, this is what “attention from Washington” looks like.

Erin Hart, Chief Operating Officer, Expect More Arizona

As someone who oversees operations in my nonprofit organization, I am constantly thinking about our practices in how we support and develop our staff. Our performance management system is a big part of this. I love this video where Daniel Pink shares his thoughts about motivation and how traditional bonus systems might not have utility any longer as the type of work has shifted from inputs and outputs to creative, knowledge-based roles. His research shows that mastery, autonomy and purpose are far more important in driving motivation. So I’m intrigued about this concept and have been thinking about how this could be reflected in our practices.

Interested in sharing your recommendations? Let us know.


Ashley Schmidt

Ashley is PIE Network's Senior Director of Member Engagement & Communications


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