Wednesday, September 5, 2007

School Leaders Could Learn from Apple & Starbucks

A few months ago, I published an article, No Double Half-Caf Venti Low-Fat Mochaccino Left Behind, in District Administration Magazine. That article offered leadership advice for school administrators inspired by the phenomenal success of Starbucks.

Both Starbucks and their new partner, Apple, really understand the Experience Economy.

In an article I wrote years ago, Everything I Know About Reading Instruction, I Learned from Oprah Winfrey, I pondered what Borders and Barnes and Noble know that school librarians seem to be missing. Both of these bookstore chains know how, dare I say, to engage children for long periods of time in positive civil activity. Starbucks does as well.

Since so many kids already do their homework at school, perhaps Starbucks should open their own schools. Just a thought.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Skip the 600 Words. Write the Review First!

My articles in District Administration Magazine and The Pulse: Education's Place for Debate often elicit strong letters from readers, but today's mailbag reached a new low.

Someone read an online synopsis of a recent article and sent me a screed full of personal attacks.

The email and my response follows. Enjoy!

The email message I received:
I see that you have nothing better to do. Jealousy! What can you do about it? There are more important issues than Oprah and her money. What's your contribution to how we tackle illiteracy? What else have you written? What research have you conducted? As the old saying goes, You're a part of the problem. Where is the solution?

Record: 1

Title: Oprah's Edifice Complex.

Authors: Stager, Gary

Source: District Administration; Jun2007, Vol. 43 Issue 6, p84-84, 1p

Document Type: Article

Subject Terms: *EDUCATIONAL leadership

*SCHOOL buildings

*SINGLE-sex schools


Geographic Terms: SOUTH Africa

Abstract: The article discusses the author's perspective on the establishment of the school Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. He cites that the $40 million school established by TV host Winfrey has been subjected of controversy which some people are offended that it features fine china and trillion thread count sheets. He admits that he already read and watched about the school but still asks the educational philosophy of the school and the learning theories that excite Winfrey.

ISSN: 1537-5749

Accession Number: 25585814

Database: Academic Search Premier

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This e-mail was generated by a user of EBSCOhost who gained access via the WALDEN UNIV account. Neither EBSCO nor WALDEN UNIV is responsible for the content of this e-mail.

I responded as follows:

Dear Anonymous Card Catalog Reader:

Thank you for your email. You may read my dozens of publications at and my qualifications at While there. You can actually read the article that seems to have offended you.

All the very best,


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