Inspiring work of considerable genius

A quick note from Claus von Zastrow, executive director of the Learning First Alliance and keeper of the LFA blog site Public School Insights:

All three installments of our Dave Eggers interview are now online. The last of these installments addresses Eggers’  plans to create a documentary film on the professional lives of teachers.  He’s working with Oscar-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth on the project, which should go into final production in the fall.

The easiest way to audio-browse the Eggers’ interviews is to visit this PSI blog entry. Eggers, of course, is the author of the acclaimed memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, the publisher of McSweeney’s magazine, editor of the annual essay series The Best American Non-Required Reading, and most  importantly for our purposes, a philanthropic-minded soul who co-founded 826 Valencia, a nonprofit tutoring center and writing school for children. In 2005, he co-authored the non-fiction book Teachers Have It Easy, whose subtitle reveals its true message: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America’s Teachers.

Eggers was among three recipients of the prestigious TED award for 2008. At the TED conference, Eggers introduced Once Upon a School, “a new project that shares stories about communities supporting public education and challenges adults across the country to become involved in their local public schools,” Claus tells us. You can watch his talk at the TED website.

While you’re visiting the PSI blog, duck Claus’s Cat and read this item about exhibitions as preferred forms of student assessment. A topic close to the hearts and teacher minds of many TLN members.

(The Learning First Alliance, by the by, is supported by a wide-ranging coalition of prominent “alphabet” groups in education, including NEA and AFT, the National School Boards Association, and the American Association of School Administrators. A crowded bed!)

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