WonkyFolk Vol 1 – Introducing WonkyFolk

Greetings, CharterFolk!

Today I am delighted to announce a new partnership with Andy Rotherham. 

Andy, as many CharterFolk already know, is one of the education reform world’s most respected leaders. In addition to having founded Bellwether, Andy serves on the Virginia State Board of Education and somehow finds enough time to keep writing Eduwonk, a publication that has been keeping national ed reformers abreast of late-breaking issues for the better part of two decades.

Now, Andy and I are going to team up on what we like doing most: seeking solutions to big challenges confronting public education while engaging others and having as much fun as possible in the process. Twice a month, we’ll post a half-hour conversation on conundrums that education reformers are grappling with. Sometimes it will be just Andy and me. Other times we’ll bring in well-respected guests with special expertise in the matter at hand who can help Andy and me deliver on our shared commitment to listeners, which is to do all we can to host conversations that are both useful and fun.

Reflecting our desire to try to create something that combines the best of Eduwonk and CharterFolk, we have decided to call this new podcast series “WonkyFolk.” As ever, Andy will bring his unique ability to make deep discussions about wonky education policy matters both informative and engaging. And I’ll bring my never-ending obsession with all things charter, not so much to make every conversation focus on charter school issues, but to hopefully help cast light on the broader ed reform landscape so that CharterFolk can better understand how our efforts fit into and help drive new thinking in the quest to improve educational opportunity in our country.

With all that as background, I’m delighted to provide a link to our first conversation where you can listen to the podcast (soon to be available wherever you get your podcasts). And for those of you who would prefer a video recording, we provide a link to YouTube as well.

This week some of the topics we discuss include the following:

  • Why we are making WonkyFolk (00:00:00)
  • Reactions to Nashville and trends we often miss at tragic moments like this (00:02:14)
  • The commonalities and differences facing public education in Los Angeles and Chicago (00:09:39)
  • Andy’s recommendation of the best read to prepare educators (00:25:32)
  • The changes that ChatGPT may or may not bring to public education (00:28:29)

As ever, I’m eager to hear feedback and suggestions from CharterFolk. So, if you have a chance to listen to the discussion and want to drop me a line with some thoughts, feel free to reach me at jed@charterfolk.org.

Meanwhile, I thank you once again for being part of the CharterFolk community and for the efforts you are making to improve educational opportunities in our country.

WonkyFolk is a discussion series between Andy Rotherham and Jed Wallace intended to provide an informative and engaging forum where education reformers can grapple with tough issues related to our shared quest to improve educational opportunity in our country.

If you have ideas for WonkyFolk discussion topics, please email me!