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What is making policy?

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Lead from the Start: What is making policy?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

What is making policy?

What is making education policy? I am begining to think that it is really a frame of mind or a way of being. As a former avant garde artist turned all too mainstream, I understand that performance art is the same way. It can become a way of living. I wonder if I apply myself if I can become a policy "maker" like I am and was an art "maker."
This metaphor has a huge appeal to me because, in times of frustration, I question if I am on the right path, if maybe I should be making more paintings and spending less time trying to make a difference for kids. If I became a policy "artist" then, that would put me in a frame of mind I can live in daily. I am comfortable with the insecurity of the artist who doesn't know exactly where the next "piece" will come from.
I am excited and scared to realize what I am getting into as I step gingerly into education policy making. I recently made some recomendations to the Virginia Board of Ed. The experience was part of the policy making class I am taking through VCU. Getting my comments down to 3 minutes was excrutiaing but a very useful exercise. Actually presenting went well. I was afraid I was going to mess up because my wife has told me that when I read out loud, unless it is a children's story, I am unintelligible. Well, it went well. I didn't connect the way I would have liked to but, I know I made sense because I could tell they were listening.

I have considered associating myself with a an organization but, I just keep finding things that make me pull up short of contacting an advocacy group. Maybe it is my independent spirit. Maybe I am not commited yet. Time will tell.
I have finally begun to find other preschool teachers of the same mind as myself. One is Ms. Pappas at Inside Pre-K
She has some very thoughtful posts and is interested in the bigger issues of preschool.



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