Bruce Lear

The next step

Bruce Lear: “The post mortem for this election cannot be done exclusively in Des Moines by party professionals or even elected party committee people.” -promoted by desmoinesdem

The corpse of an election is barely cold when the concealed knives come out for the official, or more commonly, the unofficial autopsy to determine cause of death. What happened to those campaigns that looked so healthy in the glossy brochures and slick TV ads? The next of kin (the party faithful) are left to blame, grieve, and figure out how to get their affairs in order.

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"The most important election of a lifetime"

Bruce Lear on the stakes in this midterm: “Public education as we know it hangs in the balance,” which has never been the case before in Iowa. -promoted by desmoinesdem

In January 1976, I trudged through the Pella, Iowa snow to go to my very first presidential caucus because it was the “most important election of our lifetime.” I caucused with about eleven over-eager college students in the basement of the student union. We were a small but determined group. After all, it was a Democratic caucus in Pella, in January.

By the way, I caucused for Fred Harris, a little-known and soon-forgotten senator from Oklahoma. His only claim to fame was he drove around in a recreational vehicle and never used hotels. Instead, he stayed at supporters’ houses and in exchange, gave them a card good for one night in the White House. None were redeemed.

That’s how my involvement with the “most important election of our lifetime” began. For the next 30-plus years, every two years that phrase roared to life on radio, TV, and in countless mailings soon deposited in the circular file to be forgotten until the next most important election of our lifetime.

It got old. It got cliché–until now.

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When good people make dumb decisions

Bruce Lear examines some common mistakes by school districts “that help the critics take aim, fire, and reload on public education.” -promoted by desmoinesdem

In sports, we call them unforced errors. In real life, we call them dumb stuff that someone thinks is a good idea. I’m talking about decisions that, when implemented, leave most people scratching their heads wondering why we ever made that stupid choice in the first place. Yes, it’s “Monday morning quarterbacking,” but sometimes those Lazy Boy quarterbacks are right.

Like private business, public education sometimes suffers from unforced errors that make the critics howl and redouble their efforts to privatize. But remember “New Coke?” Few Americans believed the only way to solve that corporate problem was to dissolve the company and start guzzling large quantities of another brand. Instead, the problem was quickly fixed by going back to the tried and true recipe, and “New Coke” became a footnote on bad decision making. The company learned from the mistake.

Because public education is now under heavy fire from the likes of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her disciples, it’s hard for school leaders to look inward, examine some of their own mistakes, and find ways to avoid repeating them.

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Back to school with the family

Bruce Lear calls on members of the “public education family” to “unite to defend what we love.” -promoted by desmoinesdems

The back to school ads have started. Even with heat indexes of 100, those ads send chills down the spine of educators. Those chills are a cocktail of optimism, excitement, worry, and dread, with a garnish of hope and a twist of anger.

As the new school year begins, it’s important to have the public education family around the kitchen table for a meeting. That family includes teachers, professional support staff, administrators, school board members, and parents. Like all families, there is always the weird uncle or cousin you want to hide in the attic, but with November looming, the public education family needs all its members to be speaking in one voice.

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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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