Yesterday Superintendent Elsie Arntzen invited the U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos to visit Montana. Nothing surprising here and nothing new at all. To Arntzen’s credit it’s something she should be doing. It’s good for Elsie to take a step with the right foot for once given the past couple of weeks she’s had, even though she’s only been in office a few weeks. So why would this rise to the level of yet another post? Click the link, read it, read it twice. It’ll take a couple of times to sift through the poor writing.
Of its several oddities is her reference to Montana as a ‘frontier’ state and having frontier-school‘frontier schools’. Do you suppose she’s referencing some old map that shows the region as a frontier or is Elsie trying to lure DeVos out on a long train ride and then a stagecoach trip from Havre to Helena? Perhaps DeVos will have the good fortune to shoot a few buffalo from the window of the train as it passes a grazing heard. Or it could be that Arntzen is just trying to personify a mystique from days of old now that Montana has finally broken into the current century with indoor plumbing, electricity, cable TV, and grizzly bear free schools!
So really, Arntzen deserves a gold star for getting her letter out. She wants to showcase her office and Montana’s ‘frontier’ schools. Now comes the oddity from yet another email tip.
Tim Tharp, Interim Deputy Superintendent sent out an email to all staff at OPI letting them know he’d be visiting with them soon to understand how they ‘contribute’ to OPI. Had the transition gone more smoothly over the last month this would seem like a reasonable gesture. In reality the new administration has no clue about the day to day functions of OPI and now they need to find out just what they are doing. Tharp intends to ask five simple questions and get to know each OPI employee in just five minutes; sort of like six minute abs. One can only imagine the questions: ‘What is your quest?’ ‘What is the wind velocity of an African Swallow?’ ‘If you were a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?’ ‘Hammer or nail?’ ‘X-ray vision or gills?’. How does Arntzen plan to bring Devos up to speed about education in Montana when she truly doesn’t know? Perhaps that’s really a rhetorical question since it insinuates that DeVos knows something about education as well. Maybe together using DeVos’ twitter pencil they can figure out the three “R’s” of education.
Fun Family Feud question: What do Arntzen and DeVos have in common? Survey says…A vote from Steve Daines!