Early Learning Digest

Education Talk Radio: “How Superintendents Lead Early Learning”

“We felt like it was an important time to start that conversation around early childhood learning and how superintendents can really be the conduit to the success of early childhood and be that community-centric voice of bringing all of the players together.” -Anne Brown, VP of Education and Business Development, Waterford Institute

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For the Education Talk Radio podcast on March 20, 2018, host Larry Jacobs spoke with Anne Brown of Waterford Institute and Bernadine Futrelle from AASA (The School Superintendents Association) on the subject of “How Superintendents Lead Early Learning.” Anne and Bernadine share the differences and similarities of their experiences with early learning and school districts.

These two diverse educational backgrounds provide commentaries on how different organizations can help contribute to early education, and how they see superintendents playing a key role in early learning. Listen to Bernadine and Anne as they describe their experiences on creating an Early Learning Cohort that is beneficial to the district leaders as well as the children involved before they even enter the school system.

Highlights include:

  • Waterford Institute and AASA introductions
  • How to create a culture of love within schools
  • Building a network of school district leaders
  • How to become an AASA Early Learning Cohort member

Listen to the podcast on blogtalkradio.com/edutalk, and continue reading below for the full transcript. Learn more about Waterford UPSTART, our kindergarten readiness program.

Education Talk Radio: “How Superintendents Lead Early Learning,” Full Transcript

Larry Jacobs (Host, Education Talk Radio): Happy March 20th everybody. I wonder if you’re having the same weather we’re having. Boston’s going to get 10 inches of snow tomorrow, and Maine where I live is going to get a little bit on Thursday. Welcome to spring in New England.

Larry: Okay. I’m Larry Jacobs. This is PreK Education Talk Radio, and my voice is still strained, so I apologize for that, but I got to admit, I do sound cute. We have a wonderful show today with both Waterford Institute and AASA, The Superintendents Association. We were supposed to have Mort Sherman, my good buddy, with us today. I’m sorry you can’t join us, but we have Bernadine Futrelle who is the Director of Leadership Services and Anne Brown who’s the, let me get this right, the Vice President of the Education Division at Waterford Research Institute. And it’s going to be a pleasure to have them here: “How Superintendents Lead Early Learning,” which is so key these days. I’ll say the cliché, “Build a good foundation, you build a good house.” We’re going to archive the show at education-talkradio.org and Tweet it out over at @edutalkradio, like we always do on Twitter, and also you can same address edutalkradio for Facebook if you want to follow us over there. Our schedule’s over on the website, and we change it every Saturday. Okay. Without further ado, let me bring on my two wonderful guests. I was going to do ladies first with Anne when Mort was coming on, but I’m still going to do that. Anne, how are you? It’s Larry.

Anne Brown (VP of Education and Business Development, Waterford Institute): Hey good morning, Larry. Good to talk to you.

Larry: It’s a pleasure to have you here. And Bernadine, thank you for stepping into the great shoes of Mort Sherman.

Bernadine Futrelle (Director of Leadership Services, AASA): Hi, and good morning. And thanks for having me on. I always enjoy your show, and I appreciate the opportunity to join you guys today. Good morning, Anne.

Anne: Good morning, Bernadine. Great to talk to you too.

Larry: Well there you go. Okay, I’m glad you guys, you fine ladies are with us today. That’s wonderful. Anne, I wanted to ask you this. You’re the Vice President of the Education Division at Waterford Research Institute, that’s Waterford Institute right, or is the research thing a separate thing. I was just curious the way it was written.

Anne: No, no. We actually are the Waterford Research Institute. A lot of people just shorten it up to the Waterford Institute. Our soul focus has always been around research and efficacy and research as we develop our programs.

Larry: Okay, excellent. I just wanted to make sure that was clear, and you oversee, by the way, great stuff over there, Waterford.org: curriculum, marketing, professional services, business development, and the launch of the Curriculet, which we’ve done shows about here. Okay, it’s great. And Bernadine tell us what you do over at AASA.

Bernadine: Sure, I am the Director of Leadership Services, as you mentioned, and my role is to help lead and develop programs that support…

Larry: Wait are you on a speakerphone?

Bernadine: No, I’m not.

Larry: Okay it was just echoing a little bit. Sometimes that happens with a speakerphone. I just wanted you to be clear, that’s all.

Bernadine: Oh sure. No speaker. I do have a newer iPhone, so maybe the problem’s going on there. I’m Doctor Futrelle, I’m Director of Leadership Services at AASA, the School Superintendents Association, and my role in the organization is to help lead and develop programs that support our school superintendents around their professional goals and needs. And the early learning effort would be one of those professional learning opportunities that I’m pleased to help prepare with our superintendents.

Larry: And one hell of a job that AASA does with the superintendents. In fact, I just had a superintendent on this morning from the Meridian District in Illinois, PJ Caposey. You might want to listen to that show everybody, it was 9 o’clock on March 20th. Good show on teacher evaluation. But it just shows how the superintendents are so very involved in everything. Okay, and they should be, and it is really good stuff that comes out of AASA. And by the way, hello Jimmy Minichiello over there. Okay. Anne, how did you get involved? What’s going on with AASA and how are you involved? We’re going to talk about the AASA Early Learning Cohort. Let me just explain that. AASA has groups set up, okay, where superintendents talk about specific subjects. We’ve done a lot of work with them. One of them is the Early Learning Cohort. Okay. Anne, how’d Waterford get involved with AASA on this one.

Anne: So, about four years ago, Dan Domenech and I met, and we started talking about how do we get superintendents actually involved in personalized learning and bring that to be kind of a movement across the country. And, correct me if I’m wrong Bernadine, but personalized learning was the first or one of the first of these kinds of cohorts. And so we did a lot of work around bringing personalized learning to superintendents, helping them understand what it was, helping them understand how to begin it and move forward. And that was so successful that when I had an opportunity to come to Waterford, I called Mort and said we need to do the same kind of work around early childhood. And I felt like we were kind of at the exact same point when we started personalized learning, that there was buzz going on around early childhood in the industry. But I think there was confusion around whose responsibility is personalized learning. I mean most superintendents are tasked with K12. Oh, excuse me, not personalized learning. Who is tasked with early childhood learning because most superintendents are tasked with K12 although they certainly understand the importance of starting younger, but how do they do that? Where does that funding come from? You know some states provide funding, some don’t. And so, really, we felt like it was an important time to start that conversation around early childhood learning and how superintendents can really be the conduit to the success of early childhood and be that community-centric voice of bringing all of the players together because early childhood is so much more. It involves so many more entities than K12 because you’ll have communities and foundations and even health care and pediatricians and child care and Head Start and NAEYC and all these groups coming together to serve these children from birth to five until they get into school. But we really want to start as early as possible and help superintendents be that centric point.

Larry: Here, here. Here, here. And by the way, I should mention in case you’ve got your head in the sand everybody: Waterford is the leader in PreK too. Okay. They’re the leader. Okay. So good. I mean that. It’s true. Waterford.org.

Anne: We’ve been focused on this area from 1976, is actually when we started focusing on four-year-olds to eight-year-olds, school readiness into fluent reading.

Larry: And a hell of a job you have done in that regard, Dusty and Ben Heuston, okay, who have led the charge with their team for so long now. Okay. It’s just incredible. I was there when Dusty got that Lifetime Achievement Award at SIIA. Yeah it’s just incredible. I think at age 90, he’s still working every day. Okay. He’s just amazing. Am I right. Am I right.

Anne: Yes, but I don’t think he’s quite 90.

Larry: How old is he? How old is he? Sorry Dusty. How old is he?

Anne: I think he’s about 86, actually.

Larry: Oh, I was about four years off. Forgive me, Dusty, forgive me.

Anne: I know every day he’s reading research. I know he’s sending it on to Benj and those of us in the leadership roles. And so yeah. So he’s not in the office every day, but he’s certainly still influencing the work that we do.

Larry: Absolutely. He always will. He’ll live to 120. Okay. That’s amazing. Sorry, sorry I aged you, Dusty. Sorry about that. Okay. All that said then. Okay. How long’s the Early Education Cohort been in existence at AASA, Bernadine.

Bernadine: Sure. So the AASA Early Learning Cohort, we’re on year two and a half. And I just wanted to make a point about Anne’s earlier comment about how it came to be. So AASA started with a national collaborative with school superintendents where we would bring kind of leaders, our superintendent leaders together throughout the year to just discuss what was going on in their districts. What are some of the key initiatives or problems or practice that we might be able to offer professional development support? Spun out of that was, and Anne mentioned personalized learning, as well as the Early Learning Cohort. So they kind of started around the same time in terms of formulating the idea of it. I think for us, we see early learning, and we take the position that our members know early learning is important, we know the research, and as Anne mentioned the challenge becomes how to implement. So the cohort that we design and develop are around helping our superintendents and those district leaders identify best practices, or maybe if there aren’t any, to create things that are going to be effective for kids. And that’s why it’s important that we have our partners such as Waterford, NAEYC, and Head Start come to the table with us as we kind of look for ways to just simply make it happen because we know early learning is impactful and important. So did we start a summit, to test the idea, to see if it had some ground, and we had quite a few superintendents and national leaders join us at that summit, and then we decided to establish it as a full cohort, and we’ve been very happy to have Anne and the folks at Waterford, folks at Head Start and NAEYC kind of help us lead that effort to bring the best to our superintendents and our members.

Larry: How many people are in the cohort?

Bernadine: Right now we have about 35 school districts, and so I answer it around the school districts because we also have had this thought about a critical-friend model where we want a pair of superintendents with other superintendents across the nation but also the distributed leadership thinking behind how to really implement an early learning program to bring district team. So you’ll have some teams of districts come to some of the meetings, as Anne will tell you, will exceed the 30-35 people who are actually registered for the meeting. But in terms of district representation, it’s about 30-35.

Larry: And I have to ask, I’ll ask you first Bernadine and then I’m going to ask Anne kind of the same question. As the cohort gets together, okay, what are the commonalities? Are they all facing the same challenges, and I know some come from very wealthy districts. Others come from very poor districts, some come from urban, some come from rural, but were there simple commonalities as they started to discuss early learning?

Bernadine: Sure so I’ll say that I started my career in education working as a preschool teacher, and when I was a preschool teacher, what my goal was is just I felt like all my kids need to be loved. And I think all the parents believe their kids need to be loved. And I think we know, as you mentioned at the beginning of the show, that a strong foundation is essential for kids to excel. And when you combine that with high quality content, then we know the outcome can be positive for kids. So I think at a very granular level, I would say all of our leaders kind of enter into this Early Learning Cohort space with that belief, that this is what’s best for kids, but “I don’t know how to clearly define this,” so “I may have resources to implement this,” “I may have been doing this for 20 plus years,” or “I may have just read an article and I wanted to be more involved and figure out how to get it in my district.” So it’s really about improving and creating actionable plans for district leaders around that core belief that a strong foundation for all kids, and in early learning, we look at preschool as well as the early elementary grades for all kids, and we just try to help the district to do that. I would say if you want one piece where they all enter in, I would say it’s just that love.

Larry: You know that’s so interesting because I had PJ on earlier today from, the superintendent in Meridian Illinois, and he talked about that you’ve got to create a culture of love too. It’s interesting that word came up on both shows today, so obviously it’s there and it’s unrehearsed. So it’s for real. Anne let me ask you kind of the same question. Okay. And you know Waterford does have to go in and sell to the districts. And as you sell, it’s really the same question. What are you hearing from the districts about early learning, and I’m just going to make a point here that I know that Mississippi is making a real push into early learning. I think I’ve done shows with Mississippi and Waterford and so obviously you know things are getting better across the country. Okay. And so I’m just curious what do you hear? Your reps hear as you go in and talk to them about the wonderful products and services that Waterford offers. I’m just curious how the two come together.

Anne: And let me just clarify something. While we do sell a product, as a nonprofit our focus is on impact and how we serve children, and so in certain cases we work with district partners and they will bring in our software. But in other cases where we’re working with the legislature, where we provide licenses to a third of the children in the state of Utah for free to those families. We work with some fantastic philanthropic groups that allow us to serve even more children in places like Mississippi and like. Anyway, I guess my point of that is that we function very much almost like a Head Start in that we’re looking for funding so that we can provide those services to schools and to districts and to individual families. So, I wouldn’t put us in the category of we have to sell or we’re trying to sell; that’s not what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to have impact on children because, let me go back to your first question about the commonality…

Larry: Thank you for saying all that. Thank you for saying all that. I didn’t mean sell as a bad word. Okay. But thank you for clearing that up.

Anne: I know. It puts us into a little bit of a different category. Again, as a nonprofit, we function very much like an AC, like a Head Start. You know, like any organization that is for the greater good of the community as opposed to paying dividends to stockholders. It’s a very different place to be. And in my career, up until my Waterford time, I was working in those environments. And it’s a very different philosophy, and so I do always like to clarify that: being part of a nonprofit is an honor. So, that said I would agree with everything that Bernadine said about, it is about the love and the acceptance and teaching people the joy of education. But joy comes with success I think, and what happens so often to children is they have not had these experiences. And so, they’re not ready as they come in, so I would say readiness is a big commonality. As much as we want to love them the second they enter kindergarten, they’re going to be… somebody is going to sit down with them and they’re going to see, how are they going to, how are they going to perform as they enter into kindergarten, and decisions are going to be made about those children and about the speed at which they’re going to be entered into the school system. And so, we want to get them as ready as they possibly can be before they ever walk in the door for that. So school readiness I think is a key piece. And when we talk to superintendents, even in high-achieving districts, I’ll have superintendents say things like, “You know kids don’t know their parents’ names, they sometimes don’t even know their own names,” even in high-achieving places because sometimes to gain a higher achievement, there’s very busy people around those children. So, I’m just, I don’t want to classify it all into low-income children because I think readiness is an across-the-board issue. The other thing that I think is a real commonality is the numbers of children that people are able to serve. Because they may have phenomenal programs for preschool but there’s still a gap in service so you may have the best Head Start program there is to offer, you may have the district putting funds in for district-level PreK. And those are phenomenal programs and if there’s space for those children, that’s exactly what we want them doing. We want them in those high-quality PreKs, but they’re still going to be, and I’ll use, I think you had Mike Kuhrt on recently from Wichita Falls, and what Mike said to me is he said, “We have Head Start, we have United Way,” which does parents-as-teachers program, so people go into the home and teach parents how to teach their children – great programs. And he said, “But I still know I have 300 students who I’m just not able to provide a service to.” And so we came in as one of those pieces, so what we do at Waterford is different. We do the at-home school readiness piece where we provide the technology and provide the software and then coach the parents through the whole year. But I think the place that we feel is the place where others are, where children aren’t getting served. And so we come in and try to be that because we’re not trying to replace Head Start, we’re not trying to replace NAEYC or high-quality PreKs that districts are bringing in. There’s always a gap in service; there’s always those children who we know need service and are on the bubble and don’t get it. So I would say I totally agree with Bernadine. You know love is the most important thing that that’s going on, but for us we’re also trying to help those children that we know are not getting served in one way or another.

Larry: Anne that was a good… I want to add something, and I think Anne brought it up a few minutes ago. You said the word legislatures, and I know I’ll use Mississippi again, that the Mississippi State Legislature is working hard to provide PreK. Okay, or early learning, I’ll call it, which is really important, and I want to ask this. I’ll go to, either one of you can answer, I’ll ask Bernadine. Okay. Superintendents, because funding is tough right now, okay, and they understand the importance. Does the visa versa, the state legislatures understand the importance of early learning and then working with the legislatures and the school districts? What’s your take on that Bernadine, just legislatively?

Bernadine: Sure, thanks for that question. And I wanted to add I think I would add another point to kind of the commonalities between the superintendents that are joining our program, and one of the things is to kind of build up support for early learning at a national level, and to help convey the message that it is important and it is necessary, the rigor is necessary in it as well as the social-emotional component of it. So that’s a piece of it. So one of the components of our cohort that we didn’t talk too much about is this idea of our superintendents who are members of the cohort to be positioned as thought leader practitioners, to kind of put them out front to develop research and whitepaper and make presentations around early learning, around what they are doing in their districts but also to add a critical lens or critical perspective to some of the things that are currently happening in schools around early learning. So that piece is very important also for the cohorts. When we talk about legislative advocacy, and I say give a shout out to Noelle Ellerson, our executive director over that department, and they do a wonderful job of keeping our superintendents updated on information around all issues, particularly early learning and particularly this year looking at kind of the budget recommendations coming from the White House, from The President’s budget. And one of the things that we have around the budget, as we produced some recommendations in some points that we would like to see pushed and revisited when we talk about that budget, so the budget piece is huge; one is really just trying to get more money for, to do what’s right and to help kids be more well-rounded. And we’ve noticed a little bit in those budget analysis that some of those things are being reduced or eliminated and so those are the conversations that we broker with our advocacy department and our professional learning department when we bring our superintendents together, so we had them in February, not February, excuse me, Florida, in April of last year we included our legislative team to kind of help navigate the conversation around what does it look like so that we can have some points to bring back to the Hill. So, when we talk about advocacy, we know it’s not a one-and-done thing, but it’s something that you build support for and that is one of the things that we’re building support for around: high quality special education services for kids, better support for kids, innovation around STEM, all of those kinds of things that roll into the whole child and kids being successful, and we consider that starting before they get to school, as Anne mentioned with the home piece, because we do see the superintendent as a community bridge between the school and home.

Larry: Let me just ask this. Okay. If I may, don’t mean to interrupt Anne, I’m just curious about something. Bernadine said… Thank you. I’m the host; I control the microphone. I’m just kidding right. No seriously, you know, Bernadine just said, “Capitol Hill” and “the President’s budget” and all that sort of thing. Okay. Of course, federal budgeting is important, we all know that. Okay. The money goes in, etc. I won’t get into the politics of the situation, but my curiosity is with ESSA. Okay. A lot of power reverted back to, and budgeting reverted back to the states. Okay. And as we get early learning approved and into everybody’s hands in every state, what’s more important these days—I’m going to ask Bernadine this. Feds or the state? Where’s the superintendent’s push, okay, for early learning? State or feds?

Bernadine: I think it’s state, fed, and local, to be honest, because currently there are opportunities within ESSA to leverage resources towards early learning. And there are also opportunities at the federal level to leverage recourse and to advocate for some of those opportunities and those grant programs for early learning. But I would push, and we try to push, our superintendent to collectively as a cohort push towards the national level and then we work through our state affiliates on a state level. But we talk about individual superintendents and in that working with their community, that is a huge opportunity that we encourage because a lot of the early learning providers, just because the history of early learning not being a goal of the public the K12 school, a lot of those providers are in the communities and they are receiving federal funding and state funding to provide services. So, one of the things we know from the research is that if it’s a high-quality program, we know it’s successful. The program is not as high quality, we don’t know the outcomes of that. So, we want to push our leaders to engage with our community partners not only to see them as a resource but also to ensure that the rigor and the quality that they would expect for the kids’ readiness in kindergarten or summer bridging is something that they can stand behind it and be a part of. So, I’d say those three, and I’d say the community first as the main point of entry. And I think, like I said with my national cohort, we look at the federal piece and then we also encourage and connect them with their state affiliate, AASA state affiliate, to kind of engage in some of that state level advocacy.

Larry: And as I swing back to Anne, I want to make the point, I know that a lot of the work Waterford’s done in Utah, their home state by the way, okay, came from the efforts of the legislature in Utah but particularly Senator Howard Stephenson, who has worked with you guys so much, and that’s why I was curious where the sweet spot is these days: state or feds. Anne, I interrupted you a minute ago, what were you going to say?

Anne: Oh what I was going to say is I think the most important piece of the cohort, and Bernadine just mentioned it, is the fact that these 35 school district leaders that are in the cohort currently, and were building and creating work are inviting more people to join the cohrt, is they are creating the national voice in the national position to share out with the other 13,000 superintendents that AASA represents. And share those ideas. So, it’s not confined to the 35 members that we have. It really is helping them create that national voice. I… again you know Bernadine is brilliant. Again, I would completely agree. I think federal, state, and local, I think your largest impact as a superintendent is at the state and at the local levels, going back to what I said originally, being that conduit, being that center point of, superintendents are already going to be working at the state level, and with the legislature with their representatives. But they have such an opportunity to be that center point for philanthropic, for medical, for the child care, for Head Start for everything that’s going on for the children. You know, birth to five before they get to school, and then what happens for them as they enter school. And when we look at early childhood, we’re really thinking birth to eight, Waterford focuses specifically on four to eight years old, but being that group and one of the places that I think we’re modeling on or that we talk a lot about and I think we may even be trying to visit there a year from now is Hillsborough County, Florida where the superintendent there has brought all of these groups together. And I think they call it… I can’t, sorry I can’t remember the name of it, but their group is focused on the number 2000, because 2000 is the number of days that the child is alive from when they’re born until they enter into kindergarten. He’s bringing all of those groups together that have an impact, up until that point and then beyond. And the work that he’s doing there from a community perspective is just so important.

Larry: Well do you know the superintendent’s name in Hillsboro? I can’t think of it.

Anne: Oh no…I mean yes, I do. But I can’t think of it right now.

Larry: I’m going to see if I can find it real quick. You mentioned that you’re building a new cohort. Okay. If a superintendent or an aspiring superintendent, associate superintendent or something wants to get involved with the Cohort of Early Learning. Anne how do they do that?

Anne: So if you go to the AASA.org website, if you type in Early Learning Cohort, it actually takes you right into where you could sign up for the cohort. It gives information and a registration page. And when I say we’re building a new one, I wouldn’t say we’re… we’re not building a new one, but everyone is invited to be part of, to jump in and be part of this work. So you don’t have to wait for anyone to start or something. Our next event is in Shaker Heights, Florida May 7th to the 9th.

Bernadine: Ohio

Anne: Oh right. I apologize, yes Ohio.

Larry: Right. I’ve never heard of Shaker Heights, Florida, I had a feeling you meant Ohio.

Anne: That’s what I get when I look something up.

Larry: Shaker Heights, Ohio, and when is that?

Anne: May 7th to the 9th.

Larry: Ah so people can… Who would go to that? Can anyone go or just the members of the cohort?

Anne: No absolutely. We’d like any superintendent who is interested in early childhood and becoming a part of the cohort, they would be invited to join. So when you join the cohort, we sign you up for at least two of the meetings, and then we want you to continue to be part of it, so I’ll let Bernadine talk about exactly how that works.

Larry: I will let her do that. But the superintendent of Hillsborough County, Florida is Jeff Eakins, is that who you meant?

Anne: That sounds correct, yup.

Larry: Congratulations Dr. Eakins. I’m sure it’s Dr. Eakins, so congratulations on that Jeff. Okay. And got Bernadine talking about it. What’s going to happen there?

Bernadine: Oh absolutely. So we are going to. Well two things. The upcoming visit, and I’ll just restate the point that Anne made. So the cohort is a community that we continue to grow. So we currently have 35 superintendents or school districts in the cohort, and the meetings are open to the superintendent and her team or the superintendent and maybe a designee, or a designee can come. So those’re the people that come in, and it depends depending on the district who that person is. In some districts the principal may be the person who’s over secondary, I mean who’s over elementary early learning if they just have one elementary school in the district, so that would make sense there. So we are going in May to Shaker Heights, Ohio to visit with Dr. Greg Hutchings, who’s the current superintendent there, and also he’s going to be coming to Alexandria, Virginia at the end of the year to become superintendent at his hometown. So that’s a nice way. Yeah, it’s nice to see what he’s been able to build in Shaker Heights. We’re excited for him over the last four years. And then he’ll come back to Alexandria City where he was the director of PreK through 12 initiatives. So, it’s a nice connection for us because as we’re located in Alexandria and it’s a nice connection for the cohort to see him. Yeah absolutely. So the cohort itself, as Anne mentioned there, is a referral basis, and so we ask people to complete an application, but it’s more so to get a sense of where your thinking about early learning is and so that we can ensure that the composition of the cohort is something that is strong and can support your goals as well as the goals for the national voice. There are two, three meetings: two kind of two-day meetings, and a one-day meeting at the AASA National Conference that we have each year, and that’s kind of what you get as a member of the cohort. And then there’s also. So again, there’s really a participation enrollment form, not necessarily application, but we do call it an application because we want to get a sense of your philosophy. But again, it’s open to all superintendents and if you are over early learning in your district, reach out to us and we’ll definitely see if there’s a way for you to be involved as well. So, I think I answered, I was trying not to repeat Anne, but I think I repeated Anne, so any other questions about a cohort, or does that give you a good sense of how to join?

Larry: It was perfect by the way. Okay. It was perfect because even if you did repeat it, you can hear it again. Okay. To make sure that the word gets out there, so don’t even worry about that. Okay you did great. All right. Ladies we got to go. Thank you so much. Anne, keep up the good work over there, you work for a great company, I got to tell you.

Anne: Thanks. Thanks Larry. I mean this is great, thanks for having us.

Larry: Oh you’re welcome, anytime.

Bernadine: And I just wanted to say one more thing to Anne. You know from AASA’s perspective, when we look at partners to help us in this national work, we do look at partners who are bringing content value and expertise, and we think Waterford does that, and we’re very pleased to have you as a partner on this, and we do see them as a full partner in helping to push the agenda around early learning nationally for AASA’s cohort.

Larry: That’s what they’re all about; they do a heck of a job. You deserve it, Anne, and thank you for saying that, Bernadine.

Anne: And we love the work from AASA.

Larry: It’s a mutual admiration society. Don’t you love me? Wait a minute Bernadine don’t you love me too, don’t I do a great job? Give me a compliment, Bernadine, give me a compliment. Am I wonderful?

Bernadine: I love it. I love everything about the radio show, about you. And I think it’s all about love. That’s all we need is love.

Larry: Thank you. Anne can you top that with a compliment for Larry?

Anne: I can Larry. The work you’re doing to spread the word of education is invaluable. I go back and listen to your podcast regularly. Everyone should, everyone should be. You know when you’re looking at a topic in education, you can find it on your show. You’re doing great work for education.

Larry: Thank you so much. I thought you were both going to say I have a face for radio, so I appreciate those compliments. All right ladies, Anne, Bernadine thanks so much. When you see Mort tell him, by the way, is he okay? I know he was going to come on? Is he sick? Or is it just poor scheduling?

Bernadine: He’s okay, he had a couple of things going on with the schedule and couldn’t really get a good connection on the phone to join you today.

Larry: No prob, just tell him I said hi. Okay, he’s a good buddy. All right well. Okay. Thank you, ladies. Wonderful, as usual thank you.

Bernadine: Thank you.

Anne: Thank you.

Larry: I love those compliments. Thank you, ladies. We try, and you guys try and do a lot better than I do. You’re amazing. AASA.org and Waterford.org, check them both out. Put them together and they spell early learning, and that’s what superintendents need to know. All right we’re going to archive the show education-talkradio.org, tweet it @edutalkradio on Twitter, friend us on Facebook Edutalkradio. I’m Larry Jacobs, PreK12 Education Talk Radio. Get involved with early learning. Thanks for listening.