2014 was the end of the workplace revolution

2014 was the end of the workplace revolutionWhen I started writing about careers we were at the beginning of a huge revolution.

It makes sense, then, that I spent so much time trying to not write about careers. If you start at the beginning of a revolution you look like a crazy person. The revolution hasn’t started yet, which means that everyone is trying to hold on to what they know.

You can see this best in the American Revolution. The colonists were making plenty of money, so the Americans went to great lengths to accommodate the annoying demands of the British government so as to not disrupt the American economic and social order. There was no American Revolution until King George made such a mess of colonial taxation that Americans could no longer lie to themselves that it was a tenable situation.

Historical writing about the Colonial Era almost always charts gradual recognition that old European structures were inappropriate for the New World. Which means you can’t write extensively about the American Revolution without writing about sex.

For example, in Colonial America European rituals of courtship were no longer useful. Harsh conditions and long distance between homes meant that a man traveled a very long distance to meet a girl. Also, it would not be possible for him to make many trips to meet the girl. So the parents allowed the suitor to sleep over at the house.

But, like all revolutions, the sexual revolution of Colonial America has common tropes of denial, like the practice of bundling, which was putting a board between the two parties so, in theory, they could have physical relations within a context of restraint.

And like all revolutions, there were those who wrote diatribes to justify the inevitable ways of the future. One poet advises to just forget about policing the couple in bed and instead just save money by admitting that you don’t need to heat the room they are in.

Since in bed a man and maid
may bundle and be chaste
it does no good to burn out wood
it is needless waste.

The full poem is such a good read, especially if you think your kids should not have pre-marital sex. But it’s also a good read because writing that tells us a truth about our life that is hard to hear is always brave, honest writing.

Which is probably why I was such a failure as a sex writer.

The sexual revolution happened in the 70s. I read books by Judy Blume and Erica Jong, and I wanted to be like them, transforming how we thought about sex. But that opportunity had passed, which is probably why my best writing about sex was really about other stuff.

Like, I got a teaching position in Boston University’s writing program by submitting a story about being bulimic and using a blow job to make myself gag and then going to the bathroom for a quick, furtive vomiting session before popping in my diaphragm to finish up.

After graduate school I kept writing, but it wasn’t the writing about bulimia that paid the bills. It was the writing about careers. Which was an accident, really. I didn’t mean to be a revolutionary thinker about careers. I was just trying to survive financially. And that is how most revolutions happen.

My career advice ran in 200 newspapers, I got a book deal for $150K. Yahoo Finance paid me $1200 a week for a blog post. You know why? Because I said things no one else would say but it was hard for anyone to argue that what I wrote was not true.

The thing is, today what I wrote back then is common knowledge.

I wrote women don’t want big careers in 2005. Forbes said it in 2014.

I wrote that diversity is bad for small teams in 2007. The New York Times said it in 2014.

My own company, Brazen Careerist, told me to tone it down in 2007 so that the company didn’t get so much controversial press from me. But in the last few months I’m seeing  more and more of my blog post topics on the company site, like skip college and ignore typos.

I know my ideas are not at the forefront of a revolution when people appropriate them.

I want to be writing the ideas people read late at night, with a glass of wine, to dull the searing impact of the life they’ve already chosen.

When I started writing about careers, the internet was coming, all gatekeepers were changing, and Gen X was entering the workforce with nothing to lose. If you have nothing to lose you can ignore all the rules. Which is what Gen X did.

Gen Y finished up the workplace revolution; they want the same things as Gen X and you can’t ignore Gen Y because there are so many of them.

So we are at the end. Gen Z is not revolutionary. They need to hold things together. Societies are cyclical and not all generations can be revolutionaries. Society is held together because some generations tear down and some rebuild. Generation Z is in a time of shoring up institutions.

So I look around, and I think: where is the revolution now? The answer is that it’s in education. In 1994, when I started writing about careers, the workplace was completely failing the people it was supposed to support. That is not true today. But it is true of schools.

So what do I write on my career blog then?

I couldn’t find a Christmas gift for my husband, so I googled “best Christmas gift for an ISTP” and I found a forum for ISTPs. There was only one person in the forum. Of course. ISTPs couldn’t care less about other people. And the person said the best gift she ever received was when she moved into a new apartment and her mom gave her a doormat that has fancy swirly letting on it and said “Go Away”.

My husband is a very practical guy. What he really wants for Christmas is sex. I want to say to the kids, “You know what? I’ve got Christmas covered this year. Just leave that gift to me.”

See? I never stop pining for the career I wanted in my 20s. And I think that’s a common ailment.

But what we really want is to do something that is brave and honest and has impact among people we care about. At any point in time, there are sectors of our society where we are more likely to have that impact.

And right now, that sector is education. Fortunately for me, education transformation is a workplace issue. Because education transformation requires family transformation. And family transformation starts with workplace transformation because we’ve set up our lives with the assumption that someone else is taking care of our kids for the majority of each day.

We do not have evidence that kids of middle-class educated parents benefit from going to school. But we do have evidence that middle-class educated parents like not having to take care of kids all day long. So we are at a new frontier, where the realities of education clash with the realities of work.

Thank god. Because otherwise I don’t know what I’d write about on my career blog in 2015.

45 replies
  1. Renee
    Renee says:

    Since 2002 I’ve come to your blog to find out what’s coming next. I turned down a graduate degree opportunity after reading one of your posts and used the tuition money to buy rental property instead. (PS the property has appreciated and my tenant always pays on time)
    You helped me see that I didn’t want a big career and raise children at the same time. Some women can do it, but not me. And that’s OK.
    I remember reading about your projections of Gen Y changing our work environment and then I saw it happen right before my eyes. At the same time that I admired the influence of Gen Y, they also pissed me off because their impact was immediate and I felt ignored for years.
    I was just heading to bed and wondering what was coming next and I popped in here to find out. I can’t wait to see this new education revolution play out.

  2. karelys
    karelys says:

    Movies about the end of the world are everywhere. And I see how I never truly fit in anywhere with anyone. Except my husband.

    I don’t know if sacrificing work and career and opportunities to make lots of money in favor of raising kids well and being with them is worth it. Is it going to make much of a difference when they’re grown?

    All I know is this: if the world ends tomorrow I want nothing like being with my kids and husband. With them I fit almost all of the time. And they like me without me trying to pretend I’m someone different.

    So everything is very uncertain and I’m looking for all kinds of ways to make more money, even if it takes more work. Just for the sake of being with them more.

    Truth be told, having a job is less work.

  3. Jenny Hatch
    Jenny Hatch says:

    With Common Core about to wipe out American Education as we have all known it, I predict a wave of specialty schools that are part time and are set up to cater to families who are mostly homeschooling.

    I have been developing that very idea around Musical Theatre.

    It has been exciting to think it all through and finally set up the model. I plan to build a small school at some point, but for now we are an internet school that partners with homeschool and private schools to produce shows.

    If you want to check it out go here: http://www.zioncpa.com

      • Jenny Hatch
        Jenny Hatch says:

        I have been thinking about homeschool since I was an over scheduled teen in the 80’s. Because I was into performing, we sometimes had rehearsals until 10:30 at night and then I was up again the next day to start all over again.

        The resulting ill health has plagued me well into my adult life and getting off the adrenaline super highway that so many actors are on was key.

        As a passionate homeschooling mother of five for the past 27 years, I have had lots of time and opportunity to experiment. One of the problems we run into is that older homeschooled children feel disconnected from the community and may resent not being a part of a school environment.

        We have almost always had one child or another at home for education, but during the high school years my four oldest loved being a part of a small charter school that was college prep. They had a blast playing sports, being in choirs, bands, plays, and speech and debate. The many opportunities for new friends was a joy and my daughter met and married her husband because of participating in that school.

        My 12 year old homeschooled son is determined to attend public high school and I have told him he is free to experiment with various educational systems.

        Our four oldest were groomed to go to university and our two oldest have now graduated from college. They worked and earned scholarships and both graduated with only a few thousand dollars in student loans.

        As we move into a more fluid time with education, all families really have multiple avenues for developing family connections and helping our children to become the people they were destined to become.

        It will be fun to see how the education revolution plays out these next few decades. My daughters are both determined to be full time homeschooling home makers and I know that growing up in our home contributed to them wanting to live this lifestyle.

        Jenny Hatch

  4. VigilntCtzn
    VigilntCtzn says:

    Penelope Trunk, your blog is so refreshing!

    I am a Gen Y teacher and I see everyday how schools are struggling to adequately prepare students to enter the workplace now or even in the next 10 years. There are so many good practices that public schools could implement that would benefit students (i.e., smaller classroom sizes–creating more jobs for teachers, early access to student apprenticeship/ internship opportunities, more individualized learning, daily art integration to motivate and inspire, real-world, life skills such as the basics of growing your own food are just a few suggestions.
    I’m hesitant to use the word, revolution, because I think it implies completely changing something. I believe it is time to ‘restore’ our schools by using best practices that are researched based and NOT corporation-backed.
    As always, Penelope, thank you for your honest, non-PC article :)

  5. jestjack
    jestjack says:

    I look forward to your blogging on education which IMHO is a “mess”. I have put one daughter thru school and just wrote the last check for tuition for DD2 and it has become abundantly clear to me that education is a business…BIG business. As DD2 is finishing up she had a meet and greet with a visiting professor and his answer to her finding employment…”you need to go to grad school”….SUPER. DD2 being the “critical thinker” surmised education is a grand “Ponzi scheme” always looking for new money (tuition)…Would be interested in your take…..

  6. Mark
    Mark says:

    OMG. It is currently 11.15pm, and the glass of wine beside my chair is nearly empty.

    Congratulations, Penelope, you have achieved your goal!

  7. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    I believe that education is already in a revolution. Not just through homeschool but through more flexible schooling options. Post secondary options for high school students, part time homeschooling and other ways that a self directed learner can develop skills for the 21st century. Many traditional public schools do not want to recognize this change, but the ones that embrace the change will be the winners. This is not just a work place issue, education is a funding issue and right now schools need to be marketers if they want to survive the changes to come because students = money.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Kathy, I wasn’t going to respond to your comment, and then I saw Jim’s comment below, and I thought I should just keep going. So…

      A revolution in education isn’t changing curriculum. A revolution is admitting that kids don’t need to be in school. There is no research in the world that says kids learning the same thing in a group of 20 kids is the best way to learn. It’s just the best way to train kids to think like other kids.

      The revolution that’s coming is when parents start feeling incredible guilt sending their kids to school because they can’t lie to themselves anymore that kids need school. Then the structures of our society will all come down. How marriages work, how offices work, and how child-rearing works.

      The revolution that happened when we put into school is the industrial revolution. The education revolution will be that big.


      • Lianne
        Lianne says:

        Cheering you on, Penelope. The irony of people wanting to “escape cubicle nation” without giving a second thought about putting their own kids into the child version of the same.

        The problem is parents do need some emancipation – in traditional cultures there are about 4 adults for every child. My idea is something like an old multi-age one room school house for no more than 20 children updated, of course. With plenty of outdoor space – as that’s the other big problem we’ve made for children.

        I recommend this book to you with some reservation, as I’m not sure you’re enough of a romantic to fully appreciate it, still – I think it will give you much fodder: A Country Called Childhood

        If you do read it, please let me know your reaction. And Happy New Year to you and your delightful family, Penelope. xox

  8. Jim Grey
    Jim Grey says:

    There’s an old saying: The more you say something, the truer it becomes in your world. Someone told me that comes from EST training.

    You’ve been saying a set of things for years now, and you have enough of an audience to matter. So how much do you think you have created, or at least furthered, this revolution?

    Perhaps you’re not just adept at seeing coming trends, but also at using your bully pulpit.

  9. Tara Sayers Dillard
    Tara Sayers Dillard says:

    What about education from parent to child?

    My team hires gen x/y , but you don’t write about what we experience from them. Not even close.

    They have been parented, into Learned Helplessness. Finally, a label. Discovered, here, http://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2014/12/learned-helplessness/.

    Prior to this label, I had horribly thought, ‘stupid’. Glad it was totally wrong, it never felt good to think it. No one can know, what they don’t know !

    Could write a book, sad this is possible, about experiences working with the learned helpless. What were their parents thinking? On the outside, it’s easy to see the cliche. Gen x/y parents gave, and some continue to give, their children delicious fish dinners. Never realizing life is knowing how to fish that matters.

    Kudos to Renee, above, buying rental property instead of more education.

    Perhaps, hope so, there are a lot of Renee’s. Adore the good stories. Is there an HR questionnaire to identify the Renee’s within gen x/y.

    What do you think those questions would/should be Penelope ?

    Me? Graduated college into Jimmy Carter & 21% interest rates, no jobs. I’m labeled part of the baby boom generation but feel no part of it. Best aspect of my generation? Knowing and learning and being loved by my grandparent’s generation. Last of the Stoics. How I miss them.

    Unable to have children, I’ve had women friends 50 years older than me, and of course, many have passed. This is one small slice, friendships with those women, of the grace of infertility. Aside from how it’s helped my career.

    Seriously, those HR questions !!

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    • Dilys
      Dilys says:

      “the grace of infertility” – I never heard that phrase before – thanks – I will keep it in mind next time I feel sad…

  10. robyn
    robyn says:

    I have to agree with Kathy, that education is already in revolution. Along with the other things you mentioned that would have to go along with it. Parents are questioning what their children are really learning in school, but many do not realize that they do have the power and the ability to improve their children’s education.

    Robyn Dolan
    author, The Working Parent’s Guide to Homeschooling

  11. Ann Stanley
    Ann Stanley says:

    This blogpost was thrilling for me. Absolutely thrilling! As an ex-high school teacher I know that schools are no longer hitting the mark. They do some good stuff and provide some value to lots of kids but they are anachronistic and irrelevant in many ways, filled with apathy, compliance and boredom, and that’s just the staff. I gave my son a break from it for a couple of years and he went straight back in for his senior years having missed nothing. He just got back on with it. I know there is a revolution in education coming because I see the mad attempts to keep propping the old system up and I have worked with people at the highest levels and they admit that they don’t have the answers. Not that this stops them from pretending to schools that they know what best practice is and demanding accountability from them. At my workplace it meant the leadership team, dominated by ISTJs was working harder and harder to make it tenable and I was seen as ‘quirky’. So, I got into private tutoring. This is not revolutionary because it’s all about helping kids compete within the system and it’s driven by parents who are firmly entrenched in the early 20th century paradigm. But what the boom in private tutoring does show me is that many parents know that they cannot rely on schools, even the very ‘best’ ones that many of my students attend.
    What thrilled me, though, is the thought that I might be in the vanguard of a revolution! INFP heaven. How can I make an impact?
    And this: ‘I want to be writing the ideas people read late at night, with a glass of wine, to dull the searing impact of the life they’ve already chosen.’ Ha ha, that’s almost exactly
    what my ‘mission statement’ was when I started my blog, except I was imagining hot chocolate by lamplight with spiritual comfort provided by me. But then I’m an INFP.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I like that you’re excited about being part of a revolution. I like that it’s a nice surprise for you.

      I like the idea that we don’t really know for sure when we are being revolutionary – and being surprised is not uncommon.

      The most revolutionary we can be is when we are doing something just because it’s right and it’s easier to do what’s right for us that struggle to do what doesn’t fit.

      I have a feeling that when you *set out* to be a revolutionary it’s more like performance art.


  12. jen
    jen says:

    Best Line: “I want to be writing the ideas people read late at night, with a glass of wine, to dull the searing impact of the life they’ve already chosen.”

    How can we ever be certain we’ve made great choices when everything looks the same from one day to the next, until a decade passes and you realize there was something or a few somethings you didn’t make the most of.

  13. Caroline
    Caroline says:

    Where to start? I’m a fulfillment of the prophecy about “incredible guilt” and pulling my five year old out of school this past November. My safety concerns were too great and I finally caved into my own nagging doubts that traditional education is made out to be a god as if far more important than a family being together. I’ve been called paranoid, yet in my paranoia I can see a problem with this picture: helping Corporate America promote safety aspirations of “goal zero” while my mom-friends and colleagues respond to my fears as: “statiscially speaking it’s very improbable that your kid will be the next random one.” And it’s more than just safety. I can no longer deny that family means more than two to three hours together in the evening with a lovesick child and tired mom. I’ve even been reading “testimonies” of women who are writing “how God delivered me from the workplace” and the Biblical text that talk about women as “the keeper of the home.” After five years of working fulltime away from my baby while different nannies have left their babies to care for mine, I’ve finally turned down work for 2015. I’ve been the sole breadwinner for the past few years. My CPA informed me that I don’t have enough money to retire, and what about my daughter’s college fund? What good is college if my daughter is admitted to a drug care facility instead because she’s suffering from a lack of love/lack of family relationship? What good is retirement if our family suffers a divorce due to the pace we’ve been living? Perhaps this post is more about a family revolution than education, but I am excited about my new homeschool curriculum. I see the possibilities and difference between an education and putting my child in a cog of a “little society.” An aquaintance at a Christmas party just informed me that being a part of “this little society” of school was most important. I started reading Penelope after I made these decisions . . . We haven’t hit the end of our money, which will come soon. Until then, I’m enjoying the new order of things.

    • Karelys
      Karelys says:

      Humans are survivors at all points in history. I think we surprise ourselves when we allow ourselves to show and accept what’s most important to us. Then we stop at nothing to make it happen.

      Just like you I think “what good is retirement savings if I have a heart attack now from so much stress? what good is it to catapult my children to the Ivies if I can’t be there for them at all?”

      We are in a weird way poor.

      I say that because we live in America (duh) and it’s hard to be poor if you are self-sufficient. We are poor because we barely have money since I was the only income earner since mid 2014. We are poor but have new cars that get us to and from work. If I have to take on a major commute so I can make enough money so my husband can stay at home with our kids so be it. My car can handle it because it’s a good one.
      We are poor but we live in a warm house and have more than enough clothes and we never lack food. So we are not really poor but we definitely not look rich. We are probably in the poverty line or just a hint above it but we definitely not feel poor (until we have no money to go to the movies or see the Pompeii exhibit in Seattle).

      I just can’t continue living a life completely sacrificing what’s most important in the present for the promise of a good future. There’s gotta be a balance. And I am trusting MYSELF and my husband that we’ll figure out our way around in the future based off what we’re doing now.

      I cannot imagine what it’s like for those people who sacrificed their family lives and happiness to live at work and then a plane collapsed the towers. I just cannot do that to myself and my family.

      So it’s fine. I can tell you’re so smart. You are not the kind of person to forever be happy in a calm pond. I can see you’ll probably homeschool and grapple with the difficulties and all it means to be away from tell signs of success. Then you’ll get to know yourself even better. Then you’ll get these ideas and probably launch a business or do consulting work or something.

      Human have survived millennia. I am sure we’ll do it again because the rhythm we got going on now is killing us.

  14. Rebecca@midcenturymodernremodel
    Rebecca@midcenturymodernremodel says:

    Hi Penelope!!! I can go on and on about this post. I agree that people don’t want to deal with their kids all day. I am one of them. I have one boy, now a junior in high school. He is the PERFECT kid for home schooling. He learns much better on his own, and struggles in the structured environment of school. He has a passion for odd facts, history, the out of doors, hiking, fishing, etc. etc. He does love science too. Not so much math, Spanish class, and Religion… He does not do well in school. I encourage him to do an adequate job. I do want him to go to college because that will make me feel that I succeeded. However, I tell him over and over again do anything you want after you get the degree. Be a forest ranger, be a dive master on Turks and Caicos. He isn’t into the all mighty dollar (maybe because he has never wanted for anything… who knows), so he can be happy with very little (I think). There is a comment for another day about every time I hire someone who never finished college I regret it because there is always something deeply wrong with them… and I have numerous examples… Maybe it is a generation issue because I have seen older gen’s who skipped college… not the younger ones. They don’t hit my doorstep. Looking forward to posts in 2015.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I do think it’s generational. I think skipping college has become a less risky thing to do over time. For a time college was for overachievers – now I’m not so sure.


  15. robyn d
    robyn d says:

    Ann and Jenny, I’m onboard! I have longed dreamed of setting up a fine arts conservatory in our small town. Never pursued it; shared the thought and became convinced the grant money wouldn’t come. Sports is king here. Maybe I should rethink…

    Robyn D

  16. Cathy E
    Cathy E says:

    Amen sista! Revolution is right. Schools are teaching students to value grades, not learning, not curiosity, not creativity, not critical thinking, not life skills. Scores are what matter at school! Scores are empty numbers which don’t reflect true learning, or the process of learning. I am a former school teacher, both public and private. I have three children, all three have spent some years in school, two have spent some years learning in other environments (hybrid school, co-op classes and fully at home). And I have and do feel guilty that I didn’t home school all three for the entirety. While I do work from home, I completely see the need to revolutionize how we work, live and educate as they go hand in hand. I think the disregard many people have for making valuable, ethical and worthwhile work-life contributions comes from their learning to value superficial scores/grades while in school. When education stops being about how money is spent, how scores and grades can be increased and how institutions are ranked and becomes about helping kids develop their talents, grow their skills and explore new subjects to satisfy needs and curiosities, we may witness the much needed educational revolution. I honestly fear for the future of our country, because until this revolution happens, many of our young people will be ill equipped as they enter their work-life years, and thus the country will lack the leadership we need.

  17. Mayank
    Mayank says:

    Almost everyday I visit your website to find any new content you have written, and everytime I read any I become even more wanting to read another one.

  18. Jake
    Jake says:

    An interesting read is the National Occupation Estimate produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm). Read through the list of jobs and honestly assess their need for a four year degree. We here a lot about STEM jobs but they are only 5% to 6% of the jobs.

    I would quickly swag the breakout as
    30% or less need 4+ years. While 45% or more of the jobs require trade or vocational school type of training.

    The views of education needs to change to match reality. We want everyone to have a college education even if they do not need it.

    For example, the core compentency education requirement is that trying to push 100% of the students to be college ready. Even if it succeeds, it will fail because majority of the students do not need a college education.

  19. Joan of Argghh!
    Joan of Argghh! says:

    The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Why so many of us gave up that high calling for lesser pursuits is precisely voiced above in the comments: “work is easier.”

    • Amy A
      Amy A says:

      Joan of A, You nailed it.

      Though work becomes harder when we finally face the fact that our most precious & biggest responsibilities ever are elsewhere learning who knows what around who knows whom.

  20. Amy A
    Amy A says:

    I think modern parents need to buck up and have an influence on their kids, teach their kids their own beliefs, values, methods, outlooks & about the area in which they live.

    “Everyone” is so caught up in political correctness & saving the world that people are losing themselves. When we stand for everything, we fall for everything, right?

    As usual, my comment is in response to a compilation of PT posts, mixed with other modern cultural vibes I notice, because the themes all blend together for me.

  21. Astorienne
    Astorienne says:

    Is this the end of your Career blog? That was my first thought, when I saw the walking-away photo, and that the post was tagged “Quitting.” I would miss it, but I understand if you feel the Career blog’s time has come to an end. Or did I miss the point, and you are just planning to focus more on how the education system affects workplace decisions?

  22. Shyla
    Shyla says:

    Just wanted to say I love your blog. Been reading it for a few years now and you are one of the few interesting writers out there who says it like it is, even when people don’t want to hear it. Keep the blunt content coming!

  23. karelys
    karelys says:

    I don’t know what the workplace revolution is and at this point I am too afraid to ask. Maybe I joined the workforce while the revolution was happening?

  24. Mike O.
    Mike O. says:

    The state has a near monopoly on education because of its total monopoly on taxation. There will be no significant revolution in education until you can devise a way to unhinge the state education-taxation monopoly. Are you up for that challenge? Changing the workplace culture is peanuts by comparison.

  25. sls
    sls says:


    First, my mom and I pass your blog posts back and forth all the time. I love your writing because even if I don’t agree with something you say, it makes me think hard and search for info that supports my disagreement. Yay for mental exercise! My mom passed this one to me, and I got so excited, as I have just begun to pursue a career in teaching and am deeply fascinated by the politics of education, specifically in Chicago. So what I am wondering is:

    Do you have thoughts about how to serve poor urban minority students (same could be asked about poor rural white students, but right now my milieu is urban education) whose parents can’t homeschool or can’t/won’t even take advantage of the alternative schools available in chicago? I just started a masters program at U of Chicago’s Urban Teacher Education Program, part of the Consortium on Chicago School Research. Recommend their website for research on public schools in chicago. What do we do for the kids who’s parents’ don’t have the mental resources or time even to put their kids’ names into the lottery for a charter or magnet school? What system could we set up to provide for those most vulnerable students? I’m curious to see how the experiment with charter schools in New Orleans pans out.

    As a young middle-class white woman, raised in a tiny rural town west of Madison that is a delightful mix of old farming families and artist types, many of whom homeschooled, I have an easy time accepting the idea that some form of homeschooling is the best way to serve our children’s learning needs, and prepare them for the world. But I also was raised with a strong sense that I want to share the incredible opportunities I was granted by the luck of being born into this setting, and to create the opportunities that best serve kids who are born into less easy circumstances. Moving to Chicago, I’ve been fascinated by the politics around and “reforms” of schooling here. Curious if you have read much about it, and if you have any opinions. Because I think educational revolution is important for middle and upper class students, but the most exciting thing to me is what would happen if we were able to serve a whole untapped population of creative students who are currently languishing in terrible urban public schools? What would our culture and our workplaces look like if these kids were able to contribute more meaningfully?

  26. NickP
    NickP says:

    Penelope, why do you continue to hammer on about Myers-Briggs types when it’s been widely debunked:

    “Most psychologists have long since abandoned Myers-Briggs, if they ever gave it any credence at all, Stromberg continues.

    Instead, he says, Myers-Briggs lives on as a revenue generator for CPP, the company that owns the rights to the test. It makes an estimated $20m (£11.6m) a year by charging people $15 to $40 to take the survey and certifying test administrators for $1,700.”


    Also from the same article:

    “In a statement provided to the BBC, CPP president Jeffrey Hayes defends the test’s validity.

    ‘It’s the world’s most popular personality assessment largely because people find it useful and empowering, and much criticism of it stems from misunderstanding regarding its purpose and design,” he says. “It is not, and was never intended to be predictive, and should never be used for hiring, screening or to dictate life decisions.'”

    Note the last line from the president of the company that owns the rights to the test is basically saying not to interpret the test the way you choose to interpret it.

    Also see:


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