Had lunch today with a principal here in Nashville who is a close friend. I'm always charged by his energy and enthusiasm for kids. He led the committee that implemented Lesson Study after I got it passed on the Board. Tom, of course, is smart enough to keep his mouth shut, but I always think about what we almost had when he and I get together. Our new administration killed Lesson Study as they walked in the door, and now are seeking to take away the planning days that helped make it possible. Not much I can say, but when I see what the Bellevue, WA, school system is doing, I wonder why our Board can't see what they have allowed to happen. And I wonder at how so many educational leaders can miss the clear message that's emerging from so many areas: Lesson Study, value-added, organizational theory, cognitive science, adult learning theory. They all point to the importance of engagement and the role of small teams, ownership, and community in achieving that. There are no magic answers. No programs that can "fix" schools. Teachers and a good principal can create a great school, engage students, draw in parents, build community support, etc. Not every school will be great in the same way, and no school will be great for every kid. But greatness in a system of schools cannot develop while the central office focuses on handing out answers and "training" teachers to perform them.