Tag Archives: bloomberg

Back to Work on Friday. But How?

I will give Mayor Mike Bloomberg points for the way he has handled Sandy. Apart from bookending the storm with a panned decision not to evacuate zone A earlier (CBS’ weather guys were killing that decision) and ending yesterday’s press conference with a testy exchange, Bloomberg showed some smart leadership qualities. Sunday night, once he realized how bad things were going to be, he wised up, ordered evacuations, closed schools, and clearly gave New Yorkers information.

Day after day, we have marveled at the fact that the schools remain closed. It is probably unprecedented in our city’s history to have five days of closings due to natural disaster. But with so many people stranded by a crippled transportation system or dealing with flood damage to homes and cars, it kind of makes sense.

What makes less sense – and it may become clearer how it will work as today goes on – is the expectation that all staff members of DOE schools are expected to report for work tomorrow. You have to understand, if you’re not following the storm aftermath, that huge swaths of the subway system are shut down. Railroad service has not been fully restored, either. Gas lines are stretching for four hours in places. If it sounds like a horror movie, it could be.

I know several people who won’t be able to get to work tomorrow. They live on Long Island, in Connecticut, and in New Jersey. Their cars are totaled by floods and they won’t have the opportunity to rent one by tomorrow. They live in areas inaccessible by public transportation at this point.

The question is whether they’ll be penalized a day for not being able to make it to work. Unless the mayor plans to send a helicopter to these people, what are they supposed to do?


How Reformers Have Hijacked “Data”

This is my response to the letter I recently received from a colleague, with whom I am exchanging letters on various education-related issues. The original text of her letter can be found on her blog.

Dear Donna,

Long time, no write! I was very happy to read your letter and look forward to using this space to debunking the myth of data that has been perpetrated upon teachers.

There are two types of data.

You have data, which, when properly interpreted and used, encourages individualized, relevant, and urgent teaching. This is the kind of data we should all – reformers, traditionalists, principals, and parents – embrace. Here, “data” is a term that ought to frighten us on the scale of words like “puppy,” “kitten,” and “rainbow.”

The other type of data has become so important, and its use so encouraged, that its status can only be expressed thusly: Data. “Data” sounds like “data” (with the short a or the long a!) and it even looks like “data.” Where Data and data part ways, though, is in their use to students and teachers. It is Data that is undermining teachers like you. In fact, that this four-letter word is allowed to be uttered about and around children as frequently as it is is one of the great annoyances of education reform in this country.

Any dedicated teacher who truly wants to inspire the greatest achievement in her students understands the value of good data. I get this kind of data from quizzes, conversations with students, observations of what they’re saying and doing, homework, and exit slips. When I interpret the data, I am able to determine what my next steps should be for individuals and the whole class. This is what is meant by “data-driven instruction.”

You see how nice it is? Don’t you want to cuddle up with some data and figure out how it’s going to help you better teach your students? Of course, you already do, and you do it reflexively. I know you do because you understand its value. Any teacher who uses data would be considered in tune with student needs and is actively considering every student’s unique situation. This takes skill and dedication and teachers who use data to figure out next steps ought to be celebrated because they are truly tailoring their instruction to meet students where they are.

Data with a capital d serves a whole other purpose and has an entirely different value, neither of which have been determined yet! It seems that Data is mainly used to point out just how awful teachers like you and me are. That’s because Data essentially amounts to student standardized test scores. Unfortunately, too many know-it-alls in the reform dialogue don’t know what to you, me, and most is self-evident: all students are not the same!

Based on the Data on you, a teacher of beginner ESL students brand new to the country, published by New York’s papers, you are one of the worst teachers in the school, if not the city. I suspect if any Data was available on me, a teacher of self-contained special education, I’d be right there with you. The incredible fallacy of Data is that it doesn’t account for student needs and environmental factors the way the data we collect does. So that makes Data a prickly issue for those of us who know the term has been hijacked.

Now we have clarified the differences between “data” and “Data.” For a teacher who wants to encourage the greatest in her students, there are few tools that she has at her disposal that are more important than “data.” Unfortunately, when a reformer says “data,” they really mean, “Data,” and it is their failure to understand the difference that harms students and teachers.

Interpreting data is part of our job, but being chastised for Data shouldn’t be.


What I Remember

There’s a must read out there for every teacher who ever felt de-valued by value-added measures. It comes from a colleague of mine and I love the way she basically just up and says, “Uh-uh – I’m a lot more valuable than your stinkin’ numbers. Here are all the reasons why.”

Donna is now asking all of us like-minded (read: right thinking) folks to post examples of the value we’ve added unrelated to test scores. I’m doing that today. Thanks, Donna, for the inspiration.

I don’t remember your test scores, but I do remember the way you loved learning photography and how it helped you emerge from your cocoon.

I don’t remember your test scores, but I do remember a photograph you took while in my class appearing on the front page of the newspaper.

I don’t remember your test scores, but I do remember your shock and pride at winning the award for improvement in English.

I don’t remember your test scores, but I do remember you trusting me enough to confide in me that your best friend was being abused even though you thought it would get you in trouble and end your friendship. (In all honesty, this was one of the bravest acts I’ve ever seen from a child).

I don’t remember your test scores, but I do remember you graciously accepting my apology one day after I embarrassed you in front of the whole class.

I don’t remember your test scores, but I do remember our frank conversations about keeping you safe.

I don’t remember your test scores, but I do remember the time I made you laugh so hard, you had to go take a walk in the halls, and the way we all cracked up when you came back.

I don’t remember your test scores, but I do remember you crying when we watched a slideshow at the end of the year. (The reputation you had from everyone else – as being a nasty child – was mostly a myth).

I don’t remember your test scores, but I do remember you writing me a note saying you want to be like me because I see good things everywhere.

I don’t remember your test scores, but I do remember you quietly emerging as a top student.

I don’t remember your test scores, but I do remember you organizing a birthday surprise for me.

I don’t remember your test scores, but I do remember when I caught you in a lie about who did your homework for you and that it never happened again.

I don’t remember your test scores, but I do remember you overcoming intense and pervasive shyness, facing your fears and stepping outside your comfort zone, like when we went on the field together before the Mets game to answer questions in front of everyone.

I don’t remember your test scores, but I do remember you showing up one morning in tears and clutching a book order form because your mom wouldn’t buy you a 2 dollar book. I remember your gratitude when I bought it for you.

I don’t remember your test scores, but I remember everything that matters. I remember you.


A Public Hospital’s Saga (and How it Relates to Ed Reform)

On an icy morning, an oil tanker jackknifes on the highway. Drivers on either side have little time to react. The closest cars plow into the tanker. The ones that had some distance swerve to avoid the wreckage, colliding with other cars in adjacent lanes. Several raging fires burn high into the sky, lapping at the overpass where pedestrians are trapped in a ring of flame.

The nearest hospital is municipal, and it boasts a remarkably dedicated team. They haven’t won any awards, nor have their names been printed in the magazine saying their hospital is one of the country’s best. Their funding has been cut drastically over the last several years and they make the most of what they are given. Even though they’re not the top choice, they are the closest choice, and the emergency responders have determined that the vast majority of the victims on the highway need the most immediate hospital care they can get.

The first ambulance arrives carrying the most severely burned victim. Next, a helicopter brings another badly burned victim. The emergency room’s efficiency springs to life. All doctors and nurses overseeing patients who don’t need constant attention are ordered to stand by for more arrivals.

Another ambulance arrives, and then another. Pretty soon, the ER is overwhelmed with screaming, writhing burn victims, some with broken legs or backs. Others are unconscious from the pain. Others are dying as they wait. All demand attention for their needs, and the nurses and doctors, dedicated as they are, do their best to reach every single one. But the victims keep coming.

Realizing that this overwhelming influx of high-needs patients is too much for the staff to handle alone, the hospital administrator begins placing calls for more resources to be sent immediately – supplies, manpower, whatever it takes to save as many lives as possible.

The administrator pleads with the other hospitals, “Please, send anything you can. People are dying. We need help. We can’t do it alone.”

Private Hospital number one responds by saying, “We wish we could, but our patients can’t be inconvenienced by your needs. Sorry.”

Private Hospital number two responds by saying, “You obviously aren’t working hard enough. Stop complaining and do your job.”

Private Hospital number three responds by saying, “It’s exactly reasons like this why your entire staff should be fired!”

And so, without any help from the private hospitals – despite their seemingly endless supply of cash, superior technology, and opportunity to do right by those who need them most – the staff at the municipal hospital do what they’ve always done: their very best.

Thirty-six hours later, things have stabilized, but the staggering toll of being an underfunded, unassisted municipal hospital has taken its toll on the public who relied on it. Out of the 213 people brought in, more than half are dead. Many others are fighting infection and are, without the proper medicines, on the way to death, too.

In fact, by the time, one week later, the state has completed its investigation of the response to the highway fire, all but two victims – the first ones to arrive – are dead.

The recommendation is unequivocal: Phase the hospital out and, eventually, close it. After all, it is reasoned, they lost 211 out of the 213 lives brought to them. The administrator, chief of surgery, his best doctors, and 60% of the nurses are all fired. And besides, their record hasn’t been so good anyway since the new mayor took over.

Nowhere in the report is there mention of the hospital’s attempts at getting support to handle the aftermath of the fire (or their previous attempts at soliciting municipal funds). The media, in their castigation of the municipal hospital, neglect to cover the protesters chanting for increased funding (nor did they ever give serious coverage to previous rallies and petitions). Government officials all laud the phasing out and eventual closure of, “a hospital that is clearly failing our society.”

Would this ever happen to a hospital? Probably not.

But does it happen to schools? All the time.

Can Teachers Still Change the World?

Teachers change the world, one bubble at a time.

I can’t think of a more serious question right now regarding the current state and future of the teaching profession than the one I’m posing today.

In a society where outside-the-box thinking in the education world is discouraged and people with more money than the U.S. Mint are pulling the strings in the puppet show in which we’re the marionettes moving at their whim, you have to wonder: Can teachers still change the world?

Seems there’s less and less time for those things we came to this profession for. You know, trivial matters like inspiring kids to greatness, helping them discover the wonders of the world, and introducing them to a really sensational book. Or even more trivial things like, oh, I don’t know: learning to think for yourself, questioning authority, and being an active citizen in a democracy.

The process of education is eroding, if it isn’t already gone. That means, of course, that the goal of education is also in jeopardy if not already gone. In their places has settled the misguided, blasphemous reliance on test scores as the number one focus of school. Despite what politicians, supporters, and media – the vast majority of whom, it is always worth remembering, have never taught a day in their lives – would have you believe, yes, school has become about the test, and yes, countless hours of instruction and discovery time are lost because of the harsh punishments waiting for schools that fail to perform. For every photo-op of the chancellor of the country’s largest school system reading to pre-schoolers (which looks oh so fun and ideal), there are countless other cries that by the next year, those same kids should be taking tests.

“Happy fifth birthday, Johnny! Now, I know you wanted Legos, but, little buddy, you know there’s no time for that. So I bought you a book! It’s called Dick and Jane Take Tests!”

Rewinding back to kindergarten in my mind’s eye, I remember: the teacher playing a piano, blocks, a corner for us to play house, musical instruments, and a little bit of reading. Tests? Not so much.

How are we ever going to live up to the examples of our former teachers who helped spark in us all those interests that we still have today (which for me, include: zebras, turtles, the environment, whales, and writing)? How can that be done when everyone in the school is judged by the tests?

Ask me to tell you about the five best projects I had in my public school career, and I can do it with ease. Ask me about what my scores were on a standardized test, or if I remember anything about them other than a class aide checking my bubbles, and I’ll say, “Huh? School wasn’t about that!”

Will my students write their blogs one day reflecting about me by saying, “Mr. Ray was so great. He taught me how to underline the main idea when I read and made me make sure I bubbled really neatly inside the lines”? I sure hope not. What a horrible way to be remembered. It’d be depressing to think I dedicated my life to helping kids be good test takers, a skill that offers no readily apparent application to the real world.

This is the truth as I see it.

We’re no longer wanted to change the world. We’re not meant to inspire. We’re not here to make lives better. We’re wanted to enforce things we don’t believe are good for our students. We’re meant to follow the book and do as we’re told. We’re wanted to raise test scores. So the logic goes, no one who is anyone ever amounted to anything without good test scores (including, I guess, Abraham Lincoln and other bums like him).

This testing fetish brings in the whole issue of our students – like mine and so many others – who will never do well on a test. The major victories they score in school just aren’t good enough for the elitists who think everyone must, can, and should be educated and assessed in the very same way.

Too many tests to take. Too many kids to fall through the cracks. Too many kids to be lost in the shuffle. Too many kids to be ignored, ashamed, and forgotten. Too many books left unread. Too many experiments left undone. Too many instruments left untouched. Too many blocks left unbuilt. Too many potentials never realized. Too many.

So, I really mean it when I ask: Can teachers still change the world?

A State of the Classroom Address

It’s been a rough start to 2012 for NYC educators. The ball dropped twice on New Year’s Eve,  when the city refused to enter arbitration with the union over a new teacher evaluation system, thus causing the state to withdraw $60 million in Race to the Top funds that were budgeted for NYC. State Education Commissioner John King to city: “Drop Dead.” Union President Michael Mulgrew to city parents: It’s not us.

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo (humbly) declared himself, “the lobbyist for the students” in his State of the State (easily my favorite State of the ___ title, by the way), thereby pissing off principals and teachers who try their darnedest to do their best despite the limitations, and incidentally, offending a bunch of parents who paid Albany a visit in response.

And just yesterday, entrepeneur and mayor (in that order, according to this) Mike Bloomberg laid out a series of divisive ideas to further cement his (humbly) self-appointed title as “The Education Mayor.” Among them: bonuses of $20,000 for teachers rated highest in the evaluation system still not agreed upon; arguing the benefits of using the “turnaround” model in 33 struggling schools (ie. gutting the staff, despite state law requiring this be negotiated with the union); and continuing to open charter schools (despite the now well-established fact that they don’t do more than neighborhood schools and in more cases than not are actually significantly worse).

No doubt President Barack Obama will have plenty to say about education in his State of the Union address, highlighted, I’d imagine, by him praising states that are making the expected progress in their reform implementation and lambasting states that aren’t (like good old New York).

Outside the classroom, it’s bad. Inside, though – where it truly matters – it’s pretty solid.

This month, everyone of the students I assessed in reading progressed to the next level. The shyest kids have taken the lead in the Justin Bieber dance and singalongs as we prepare for our play. Struggling spellers seem to finally be getting it. Sloppy writers’ handwriting seems neater. Previously flippant authors are suddenly writing deeper and with more purpose than ever. We had a universally-loved trip and students are establishing friendships with new kids who they must have just discovered are in their class.

The state of New York may be dire, but the state of our classroom is just dandy.

Behind the Times and Students Suffer

The other day, the NY Times reported that NYC schools chancellor Dennis Walcott said the current cell phone ban for students is “the policy that will [continue to] be.”

Okay, but more disheartening than that was Walcott’s assertion, in response to evidence that cell phones can be used as educational tools, that, “cellphones can also be not useful in class as well.”

The law currently on the books, as per Mayor Michael Bloomberg in this article, says this: “You’ve always had the right to take a phone to school and take a phone from school. You just don’t have the right to bring it into the school, and that’s not changing.”

How chilling are those words? Never mind how didactic and authoritarian they are. Think, instead, of the ramifications such a policy has for students.

1) Anytime a large group feels oppressed, tensions will bubble beneath the surface and, inevitably, boil over. The majority of cell phone users, I’d venture, are teens. Trying to control teens can be as fruitful as trying to hold water in a sieve. It’s hard, frustrating, and in many ways, pointless. When a teen has his cell phone removed from his person first thing in the morning, schools are setting up very unfavorable attitudes toward school and authority.

2) If kids don’t have the tools they need to text each other in class, they’ll just default to the more primitive practice of passing handwritten notes. Does this therefore mean that we should confiscate paper, notebooks, pens, and pencils, too?

3) I am reminded yet again of the analogy of teaching kids proper ways to use technology. Yes, technology can be dangerous, but so can crossing the street. So, do we tell our kids not to cross the street or do we teach them ways to do so safely? The argument that cell phones can be used for bad things and that the good is not enough to outweigh that is just foolish. Should we remove Bunsen burners from chemistry labs and scalpels from biology?

4) Cell phones are not just for texting anymore. Students can use them as digital cameras. They can be tools for responding to class polls/questions like an updated version of a response card. Creative teachers might encourage students to write stories through texts or Twitter. Of course, this would be totally anti-establishment and against the status quo, so it scares people, but regardless of the medium, writing is writing.

5) Then there’s the whole element of hypocrisy. If we are to prepare our kids for a future that demands proficiency in technology, why are we telling them they can’t use one of the technologies that they are most comfortable with? It doesn’t make sense.

Mobile learning has vast possibilities and in schools around the country it is catching on. Why is NYC, which boldly, brashly, and (usually) rightly calls itself “The Greatest City on Earth,” lagging so hopelessly behind?

It’s a Start

I watched with great interest this afternoon as Brian Williams moderated a teacher town hall discussion on MSNBC, a special presentation of Education Nation. With reform dialogue reaching a fever pitch lately, from Marc Zuckerberg’s donation to Newark to Michelle Rhee’s seeming impending ouster from Washington, D.C., to of course, the release of the movie Waiting for Superman, education is pretty much on the forefront of American consciousnesses like it probably never has been.

The program, which hosted 200 teachers in the audience and a rotating panel of educators from across the country, started off as a shill show, and no real dialogue commenced until about 10 or 15 minutes in.

The discussion was limited to presentations of arguments about tenure, charters, parental involvement, poverty, and other hot-button education issues. But as so many in my PLN pointed out: no one seemed willing to offer any solutions.

Perhaps the most heartening development to me about the two hour forum was the fact that we teachers finally had a public, individual voice that wasn’t coming from the union. At the very least, we may have been shown to be human beings, rather than insensitive machines collecting a paycheck and taking it to the bank every two weeks. As many in the forum pointed out, one of our major concerns as professionals is the fact that while education reform has become a topic that everyone from Bill Gates to Oprah Winfrey feels they deserve a say in, it remains a topic where the most important voices – teachers’ – are withheld from the table. Today was a start, and if nothing else, we can hope our views have been, to a certain extent, been introduced to the public in a constructive way.

But there’s something that has been gnawing at me since the conclusion of the show. Never mind the failure of MSNBC to identify their panelists as charter school employees or Williams’ reticence at guiding serious discussion about the points being raised by the audience.

If our voices are to be heard, shouldn’t the people who vilify us like their life depends on it be there to rebut? Where was Arne Duncan? Joel  Klein? Mike Bloomberg? Geoff Canada? Eva Moskowitz? Gates? Zuckerberg? Winfrey? One woman questioned the absence of Diane Ravitch, as she is a vocal opponent of current reform movements. I’d argue it was more important for teachers to articulate their points for themselves, and that her attendance was far less vital than those who operate their vocal bullying at every turn.

Teachers have voices, opinions, and issues worth fighting for, and it’s exciting to know our ideals may finally galvanize in a productive way. However, I wonder: if a teacher scrapes his nails across the board, and nobody’s in the classroom to hear it, do they make a sound?

NY Post: 2+2=5?

I woke up this morning to find the top story on the New York Post’s web site was about the inflation of NYC test math scores. The article doesn’t really contain any information that news to me, but I figured it  would be a good catalyst to share my own similar experiences.

The article centers around a Brooklyn teacher hired and trained to mark the state tests. Referring to the scoring guide, the Post indicates the mistakes a student can make but still receive partial credit.

Now, to be fair, I did not see the fourth grade test this year, nor the scoring guide. So I can’t speak totally to the validity of the Post’s reporting about them. I have, of course, seen scoring guides from the past, and have even taught my students how the holistic rubric scoring system works, and how they are able to receive points even if their answers are wrong.

Here’s an example the Post pulls from the scoring guide, an instance in which children are allowed points based on methodology and not answers:

A kid who answers that a 2-foot-long skateboard is 48 inches long gets half-credit for adding 24 and 24 instead of the correct 12 plus 12.

I can tell you that would, in my professional estimation, be an accurate depiction of what a scoring guide would typically tell a scorer.

Commenters to the article are using this opportunity to blast the UFT for putting tenure and teachers ahead of students. These people miss the point entirely. The very basic fact, as all teachers know, is that tests are dumbed down. If it’s not because of the questions, it’s because of the answers. This isn’t news to those of us on the inside who are genuinely angered by the reliance on these tests that, you see, measure very little. As the Brooklyn source says,

“The kids who really need the help are just being shuffled along to the next grade without the basic skills to have true success. They are given a hollow success — that’s the crime of it. The state DOE is doing a disservice to its children.”
Uh, gee, ya think?
I’ve never scored the tests officially, but what the Post reports is not an isolated incident. Let me share some of what I heard from my own colleagues who scored tests this year and in previous ones.
  • In one scorer’s room this year, there was a class set of ELA tests where one of the written responses was the same in every answer booklet. It seemed clear to my colleague and the other scorers that the teacher/proctor modeled the response and either dictated it or had students copy it. The set was flagged and removed from the room.
  • Colleagues of mine were told that, on the ELA, even if a kid’s written response makes no sense, partial credit would be given for as little as one sentence.

Believe me, these things infuriate us as teachers. Here, I’m not talking about my oft-repeated stance that it’s unfair to the children to force them to take high-stakes tests that determine their worth on the basis of two days out of the year. What I’m saying is something I’ve felt since the beginning of my career, but have never really brought up in this forum. These tests, which are so obviously watered down for the purpose of inflating scores, do not at all indicate a student’s readiness for the next grade. I’m sorry: many are not ready. Yet, off they go.

Something we often talk about at work, and not in a joking manner, is how interesting it will be to see what our world is like when this generation is in charge. They have been rewarded for substandard work, don’t learn grammar or spelling, and in many cases, loathe reading. This is not the fault of teachers, or of students, or even parents. It’s the fault of a system that just is not working.

What flummoxes and scares me more than anything is who is winning the PR battle with parents on this issue. It’s the city, far and away. Parents are led to believe that test scores mean everything. A colleague told me parents of one of her students threatened to send the student back to her original country if she didn’t pass the tests. A school that crows about their improvement and success on test scores is lauded for being a great school. Sorry: no.

The reality, as I’ve written before, is that these scores are meaningless. No one’s course in life will be determined by how they fare on a 3rd grade test.

We continue to head down a troublesome path. We, the professionals, know it, but our opinions are not of any importance to people concerned only with bottom lines (no matter how poorly they indicate reality).

For the city, I guess 2+2 really does equal 5.

Update: 12:00 PM

I was remiss not to mention this in the original post. I knew it, of course, but Ms. Flecha reminded me. We will not have raw scores (the three digit ones) until July. School ends June 28. Another indicator of how meaningless these tests really are – the kids will be gone by the time we even know how they did. So, what’s the point?

A Jumbled Mess

I have quite a few educational thoughts buzzing in my brain of late. I’m trying to determine the most tactful, least injurious ways to tackle some of the latest hotbutton issues: 

  • Charter Schools – I’m currently reading Whatever it Takes by Paul Tough and will follow it with The Death and Life of  the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch. I’m becoming particularly interested in the charter debate as my friends go to work in them and with my discovery of the shiny new Charter Bug blog. I have very strong opinions on the matter, but I’ve been asked to educate myself further before I so resolutely define myself as either a supporter or detractor. Plus, if these places are the wave of the future (for better and worse), I better be versed in them. (Side note: after devouring the Eva Moskowitz/Harlem Success article in New York Magazine, I fought with every fiber of my being to resist firing off a scathing rebuke of the tactics and ideologies employed there, knowing that it’d be inappropriate to do so without knowing more. My compromise was to introduce you, my readers, to the article, hoping you’d find it as intriguing as I did, and knowing full well I might someday return to it).

    Which way should I go first?

  • Fairness in Schools – I’d like to consider administrations’ motivations for certain things, be they having us submit superfluous amounts of paperwork, requesting observations, etc. Also, I’ve had reason to think about administration-teacher interactions on the whole, not through anything personal, but through the experiences of colleagues. Perhaps it’s the end of year frustrations that are making me think of these things, and maybe it’s best that I bite my fingers for a bit on them.
  • Climate of NYC Schools – With the city having just decided on a budget (without the state having done so), schools, and all city agencies, are in a major state of flux. This opens up the Pandora’s Box of tenure, seniority, merit pay, and accountability debates. The Chancellor recently wrote that all hires made after the fall of 2007 could be in jeopardy of losing their jobs for next year. This would put me and a great deal of my friends and colleagues at risk. It’s a major issue that warrants exploration and discussion. Currently, it is the singlemost pressing issue of my career, and it has the potential to set me on a path I never anticipated at this stage – which could mean something good or something bad.

So, I shall return. Know that my absence from my readers has been on my mind, and I have a lot I want to say. I’m just trying to figure out how to approach things. I want to make sure I know what I’m talking about before I ask you to devote any time to reading my thoughts. I’ll be back, and I hope to see you then.