Bruce Lear

Thoughts from Disney World

Seven Orlando parks in eight days equals gallons of sweat, aching legs, and gigantic lines. It means grandchildren smiles and fast food overdose. Days divided into ride time waits, Fast Pass deadlines, and heat-induced observations before being dropped and twirled. These are those observations.

If a party is going to defend ripping babies from their families at the border, it can’t call itself pro-family or even pro-life.

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One and done!

Bruce Lear reflects on the president’s negotiating style. -promoted by desmoinesdem

You don’t make lasting deals with 140 characters. The price is sometimes wrong, and definitions matter.

As a candidate for president, Donald Trump convinced enough voters that he was a master negotiator who always wins. Now, many Americans are left wondering if that keen negotiator should be on a milk carton as missing.

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Wishing is not a strategy

Bruce Lear, a longtime regional director for the Iowa State Education Association, ponders what a new governor could do to help pass a fairer law on bargaining rights for public-sector workers. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I wish the new Democratic governor could simply wave a magic wand and restore public sector collective bargaining rights.

I also wish every day in Iowa were 70 degrees, the Cubs won the World Series, and I lived in Mayberry. But wishing is not a strategy.

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Of black holes and school boards

Former educator Bruce Lear explores how school district administrators or attorneys can often control decisions made by school boards. -promoted by desmoinesdem

It’s a mystery. It’s a phenomenon. It’s the political black hole. Where do those fired up well-meaning school board candidates go after they are elected? The black hole sucks them in and dampens their resolve and fortitude.

What causes this bad thing to happen to good people? It’s caused by lack of independent information, group speak, with a little magical thinking added. Combine all three, and you have the ingredients for a black hole, so deep the escape is difficult.

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When TLC isn't Tender Loving Care

Bruce Lear explains the problems with a teacher development program that has consumed a substantial share of new state funding for public education in recent years. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Since when does TLC not stand for Tender Loving Care? Since 2013, TLC has come to mean something totally different to Iowa educators.

During the second coming of the Terry Branstad administration, a new teacher funding program called Teacher Leader Compensation (TLC) began. While all of the major education groups in 2013 welcomed the new money, everyone forgot what it could do to overall school funding for the future. Like the un-forecasted snow storm, TLC has caused major unpredicted and unintended damage to Iowa schools.

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A perfect Iowa storm

Retired educator Bruce Lear warns about factors driving Iowa toward a significant teacher shortage. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Iowa is in the midst of a perfect storm. It’s not a blizzard, a tornado, or a flood. This one is man-made, and unfortunately it won’t move through the state until the current batch of majority party politicians are blown away by its gale force wind.

There are really three man-made causes fueling this storm, which has the potential to cause at least two major kinds of damage.

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