Well, I’ll Be Darned!

I’ll be darned. Somewhere in the midst of my most recent blogging frenzy, somebody lurking out there in the interwebs pushed my site over the 1,000,000 page view milestone. If it was you, thanks! That’s AWESOME!

Of course, the first person I face-timed was Jimmy Fallon. He was noticeably excited.

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My second call, to former state superintendent, Janet Barresi, was not met with the same elation.

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Seriously, I owe Dr. Barresi a lot of credit for this achievement. Her crazy antics were the impetus behind some of my more popular posts over the years. All told, 20 out of my 379 published posts included Barresi’s name in the title. Another 141 mentioned her somewhere in the text of the post. Despite my intense disdain for her decisions as Oklahoma’s education leader, she was good for the blogging business.

In fact, my all-time best day was March 13, 2014, for a post titled, “We’ve Been Opted Out, Really!?!” This post singled her out for her ill-fated decision to opt Jenks and Owasso schools (and no one else) out of field testing in 2014. I hope she loved reading this one as much as I did writing it. So did 30,613 other readers in one 24-hour period!

To bore you with a little math, this is the 830th day since the launch of my blog in July 2013.  Given that, an average of slightly over 1,200 readers have visited View From the Edge each day since its inception. Wow! I cannot thank you all enough!

On the topic of genuine appreciation, I have a few more individuals to thank by name.

I was able to have success as a blogger only due to the trailblazing efforts of several iconic individuals who started before me. The incomparable Claudia Swisher, retired master teacher and author of the Fourth Generation Teacher blog, is widely considered to be the Godmother of Oklahoma education bloggers. Her work is routinely sincere, heartfelt, and generates from her deep and abiding love for students, teachers, and schools. She continues to inspire me. Thank you, Claudia. I owe you a hug!

Claudia also inspired a guy named Rick Cobb.

Dr. Cobb, the formerly anonymous author of the Okeducationtruths blog and current superintendent of Mid-Del Public Schools, has set the bar very high for other bloggers in the state for the past few years.

During the lowest days of the Barresi regime, Rick was always there to shine the light on the idiocy and hypocrisy going on in our state. With The Oklahoman clearly acting as sycophants for the Barresi camp, Rick saw a need for someone to tell the other side of the story– OUR story.

As he continues to do today, Rick shares our perspective with integrity, common sense, and impeccably timed humor. His understanding of data and statistics, along with the unique ability to make them understandable for the masses, make his posts both enlightening and indispensable for many school leaders and lawmakers in our state. Rick also knows more about 1980’s music, movies, and culture than anyone I know. I appreciate you, Rick!

Anyhow, it has been my pleasure and honor to follow in Rick and Claudia’s large footprints. Our state is fortunate to have many outstanding bloggers that help to inform and entertain our parents and teachers about what is really happening in our schools. I would try to list them all but am afraid to forget someone, so for now, I will just say that I am honored to listed among you! Thank you.

My joy in writing this blog is that it lets parents and educators know not only what is happening–the good and the bad–but mostly that they are not alone.

Blogs, Twitter, and other forms of social media have transformed the conversation about public education in our state and nation.  It is my hope that my words have served to stimulate conversation, even when we disagree, as well as create a community of discussion, debate, and free expression, all in the service of better education for all.

After watching firsthand the destructive effects of the education reform movement, I knew years ago I had to be more involved.  The blog has been my form of activism.  I have enjoyed every minute of creating, researching, writing, editing, and engaging with all of you on the important educational topics of the day.

In case you didn’t know, this blogging stuff takes a lot of time and doesn’t pay a dime.  Therefore, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my wife, Anna, for her enormous patience and unwavering devotion while I chase this mission and purpose in life: to make a difference in the lives of children and schools.

And, even after 380 posts, I still have a strong passion for continuing this mission. We still have much work to do. I hope you will stick around for the next million!

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8 thoughts on “Well, I’ll Be Darned!

  1. Thank you so much for your posts, I have learned a lot. I was a school counselor for 35 years and cannot believe the sorry state that our system has been pushed to. I am now running to be on our local school board and hopefully make a difference. Keep on keeping on!

  2. Rob, there are not enough words to describe my appreciation for the advocate you have been. Thank you. (I’m also going to say a big thanks to your wife! Many of us volunteers have spouses that make sacrifices for us) Keep up the great work!

  3. Happy 1,000,000 Ron! Your blog has been a daily stop for me ever since I became aware of it earlier this year. With every new post, I look forward to spending a few moments pondering reason and sense in these often unreasonable, nonsensical times. While the articles concerning politics, statistics, and education policy are always enlightening, I especially enjoy the ones that show your heart for teachers, for students, and for the simple joy of learning.

    I’ve been meaning to share this with you, but haven’t found a good place. I suppose a View From the Edge milestone article is a good place! Your post on June 7 of this year, It All Started With a Book, was a keeper for me. (http://www.viewfromtheedge.net/?p=6262) Enjoyed it so much that I read the book over the summer and saw the movie as well. Pretty sure I’ll never attempt anything on that scale, but it’s helped me to look at my own non-serious hiking endeavors in a new light. Can’t really put my finger on it . . . just know something is stirring in the back of my mind. 🙂 Thanks for writing and sharing.

    • I so appreciate those nice comments, TC. Relative to the book, Walk in the Woods, someone opened my eyes to it 10 years ago. I would encourage you to take at least one trip to the AT. Maybe the first 50 miles in Georgia or the Great Smoky Mountains. If you ever get a real itch, let me know.

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