Mindworkers

Charlet T. Kerchner / MindWorkers

Tracking Tracy Lum in Outrigger Canoe Race 2,500 Miles Away

We’re home bound in Claremont, hunkered down in the 105 degree heat today tracking our daughter-in-law Tracy Lum as she and her crew from the Newport Outrigger Canoe Club race in the Queen Lili’uokalani race between Kailua and Honaunau off the Kona coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. It continues over four days and is billed [...]

Five Days in La La Land: Hiding in plain sight in Hollywood

Leanne and I have explored Paris on the #69 bus that goes to the Pere Lachaise cemetery and Florence, where the #7 bus goes up the hills for a view of the city.  We visited Berlin when we were young, before the Wall went up, and when we were old after it came down.  We [...]

Using the ‘R’ Word

  Last week I put ‘On California,’ my column at EdWeek.org on hiatus, maybe permanently.  Retirement has always been a funny concept to me.  I’ve failed at earlier attempts, but it’s time for an earnest try. Here’s what I wrote: I was 16 when I walked into the Barrington (Illinois) Courier-Review with the object of [...]

All the Stuff that Wasn’t in the Christmas Letter

In my Christmas letter, volume 54 of the Kerchner Chronicle, I promised readers an extension of the narrative here on the Mindworkers blog.  That was probably a mistake. Christmas letters are a difficult genre.  They veer from cute to seriously boring, and it’s hard to say anything substantive about family issues—no, no, too much information—religion, [...]

Something Completely Different: The Red Sock Caper

Just when your eyes were beginning to cross reading ed policy verbiage,  I offer the mystery of the Red Sock. The red sock disappeared.  Leanne had given me a very comfy pair of bright red socks that I wore when I was feeling reckless, wanting to make a fashion statement, or to put out flares [...]

A Small Tribute to a Fallen Photographer

I weep for fallen journalists, particularly photographers who put themselves in harm’s way to tell us stories that we find inconvenient. I never met Anja Niedringhaus, the Associated Press photographer who was intentionally shot by Afghan police officer on Friday, but I cry for her nonetheless.  Reporting war is one of the most dangerous jobs [...]

‘California The Great Exception’ at Education Week

Education Week has published an opinion piece about California that I think sets the tone for substantive discussions about the direction of public education in the United States.  The state, pointedly, is not following Arne Duncan’s lead, but it is not following Diane Ravitch either.  It’s headed in a third, or is it a fourth, way. [...]

‘On the Road’ with the Common Core

I’m headed out on what I am calling the Common Core Road Trip, to see what schools in California are doing with the prescription to teach to “fewer and deeper” standards.  Over the next weeks and months, I’ll be traveling the state, and telling the stories of how the 30,000-foot glossy promises of increased student [...]

The DMV and Expensive French Shoes: Who Treads Better?

I’ve had a close encounter with the California DMV.  The dreaded Division of Motor Vehicles required that I take the exam before it would renew my driver’s license.  Since I had not taken the written driver’s test for nearly 40 years, the experience filled me with much trepidation, and put me in a room with [...]

The Conversation I didn’t Have with Barack Obama

12/31/13 Kailua, Hawaii: I’ve been working on an Obama sighting for several days now.  He’s vacationing here, and we jog on the same beach…just not at the same time.  But a rum-punch inspired dream conjured up this conversation: CTK:  Nice day, Mr. President. BHO: Chuck!  Fancy meeting you here. CTK: Just vacationing with my family. [...]

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About

Charles Taylor Kerchner is an Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Fellow at Claremont Graduate University. My daily musings appear in the blog. The archives of my EdWeek blog are available via link under the 'On California' head. Some of my photography can be seen by clicking on 'Gallery.' And numerous links to academic work and other research and commentary can be found by clicking on 'Projects.'

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