Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Welcome to the SEEL Academy

It’s time for me to put up or shut! I have rather harsh on our State’s education system. Whether it be the overall inequity, the HSPA, the core curriculum, teachers, or administrators, no one nor nothing has escaped my wrath J Well in my latest blog on the horrific decision to close Emily Fisher Charter School I alluded to a school of my own design. It’s time for me to introduce you to the S.E.EL. Academy; the acronym stands for School for Entrepreneurial Education and Leadership. In the next few weeks I will intermittently detail some aspect for my school, and if you have a few hundred grand laying around, let’s talk!
Today I want to share my thoughts on the Academy’s academic program. At the SEEL Academy there are no specific course requirements, though the school and each student must complete the proscribed number of years of a particular discipline (Science, Math, Phys Ed…). It will be up to each student, in concert with their guidance counselor and teacher/adviser, to make sure that they are taking classes that will meet college expectations. For those students not interested in college, they are free to take any classes they want within each department.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In terms of hiring, what kind of teachers will staff the SEEL Academy? Since the HSPA does not test students in areas other than Math and Language Arts, I’m really not that concerned about teachers meeting the plethora of onerous Cumulative Progress Indicators delineated in the Core Curriculum Content Standards. If the State does in fact begin to introduce subject area tests, it will be up to the teachers in each department to make sure that SEEL’s curriculum tangentially aligns with the State’s CCCS.
In the formative stages of the Academy’s academic program, focus groups will be set up for each department’s staff- though other teachers are free to join in- to brainstorm a list of the content (and skills) that they believe each student MUST know as a prerequisite for graduation. Though this work will include skills, the foundation for the Academy’s skills requirement will be the Core Curriculum being pushed today in the national debate.
So who will be teaching? The first hiring requirement is that the prospective teacher must have a degree in discipline other than education, so yes in fact most if not all teachers will have a “specialized degree.” Education courses could be taken as part of a minor or taken for enrichment once they begin teaching. I will deal with professional development and support in a later blog. Our Science Department will have a Biology teacher, a Physics teacher, and a Chemistry teacher. There may be an engineer, an astronomer, a botanist, a geologist, an environmentalist, or most any other type of subject specialist. The Social Studies Department may include an historian, an economist, a pre-law student, a political scientist, or maybe a sociologist. The Physical Education and Health Department may include a nurse, a physical therapist, or a kinesiologist.  You get the picture.
These teachers will be free to design their own semester courses. It is my contention that by hiring individuals with knowledge and passion in a particular area of study and expertise, that the resulting courses will “be” an expression of that knowledge and passion, which are two of the 5 metrics we use to develop and evaluate effective teachers. With proper clinical supervision, these classes will be lively, rigorous forums for true learning.
A smart teacher, one that is determined to engage his or her audience, will design the course in such a way that student interests are also integrated into the curriculum, whether through the required coursework or through activities and assessments that empower students to pursue these personal interests.

I may be overly optimistic about the impact that this intellectual freedom will have on student achievement, but one thing I do know is that whatever is being done today is not working in our urban schools.  Intellectual freedom, increased accountability and empowerment are the hallmarks of curriculum development at the SEEL Academy. We will draw on the knowledge and passion of our educators, and hopefully we will see our students demonstrating the same.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dormtories for Urban Public Schools

Even in schools that were to adopt a Broken Windows approach to discipline (see the previous posting), a majority of kids in these urban schools will return home to neighborhoods that suffer from the same lack of commitment to stemming street level crime. About a decade ago Professor Elijah Anderson, who at the time was at Penn but now resides at Yale, wrote a poignant essay in the Atlantic Magazine titled “Code of the Streets,” where he described and explored the difficulties encountered by “regular folk” that reside in these communities but are overwhelmed by an ethic, the Code of the Streets, that is based on “respect” and ultimately leads to an acceptance of violence, blood feuds, and a general value system  in direct conflict with the middle class values- call it the Protestant Work Ethic if you want- that regular folk try to impart on their kids. There are also cases where children of parents who “live” the street code aspire to better themselves and adopt a middle class ethic. In the absence of strong role models and supportive parents, these kids are resigned to fighting a struggle they are ill equipped to win.

 There must be a way to help these kids, and given the crisis in urban education, we must be open to all ideas, even those that at first glance might seem crazy. I have such an idea: establish dormitories for select students to live in while they attend school. I envision this at first for high school age students, as they are the group most able to advocate for themselves and assist in caring for their needs. These dormitories would be staffed by teachers, college students aspiring for a career in education, and other professionals in some way connected to the school, such as members of a child study team. These dormitories would operate under strict rules, be secure, and have a variety of resources to enhance a student’s learning experience, including their health. There would obviously have to be extensive oversight to these facilities as well.  

There is no time to waste addressing the tragedy of urban education. Unfortunately, many of the solutions being proffered today lack creativity, ingenuity, and yes, risk. If you believe as I do that an entrepreneurial mindset is needed in the classroom and in the schools, then it follows that any attendant solution to education should embody that same mindset. Dormitories for public school students is such an idea, and I believe it deserves consideration.

Broken Windows / Broken Schools

In the 1980’s Professor James Q. Wilson introduced the “Broken Windows” theory of crime. He postulated that serious crime tends to flourish in neighborhoods that neglect to deal with the smaller, annoying, misdemeanor type offenses such as criminal mischief, public urination and drunkenness, graffiti, and muggings to name but a few, but in those neighborhoods that deal aggressively with the “broken windows,” relative peace and civility will reign.
Simply put, I believe that this theory should be applied to the schools in these neighborhoods at the “tipping point,” and that by doing so it will engender an environment of civility that will foster a climate where a culture of learning can flourish. From what I have been able to ascertain through conversations with high school students, urban schools are focused on reducing violent crime but neglectful of dealing with what might be described as nuisance behavior, disruptive to the school community but so common as to be accepted.

I would suggest that it is time for administrators to start dealing aggressively with “broken windows” behavior, whether it be in the classroom, the hallways, the rest rooms, cafeteria, or any other part of the campus.

Students often say that a lack of security and a preoccupation with violence, bullying, and intimidation makes it difficult to concentrate on academics. It’s a contention I’d find hard to dispute. I think that it is time for administrators in our inner city schools to learn and implement Broken Windows precepts in their buildings. Rather than live by the credo “don’t sweat the small stuff,” it is time to make those guilty of the small stuff sweat.

The Idiocy of Closing Emily Fisher Charter School

Although I’ve written on this subject before, it bears repeating that the decision to close Emily Fisher Charter School is a reckless, short sighted and wrongheaded decision that is symptomatic of a process that is close minded and overly tied to the current obsession with data that seems to guide decision making among our politicians and educational leaders.
By tying decisions on the closing of charter schools simply to progress on test scores neglects the need to look at our teenagers holistically. There seemed to be absolutely no consideration to the enormous growth that many of Emily Fisher’s students demonstrated at becoming mature, caring, motivated, and forward thinking young men and women.
By talking to students who presently or previously attended Emily Fisher (which I’m sure was never done by the decision makers), and reading stories in the local papers, it was clear that Emily Fisher provided a safe, nurturing, and supportive environment that instilled a strong sense of the importance that education plays in breaking the cycle of poverty that many Fisher students are otherwise trapped in. These lifelong lessons may not pay immediate dividends in test scores, and though I accept the fact that the data were disappointing, there is a good chance that many of these students may one day reconnect with school, whether it be at a community college or trade school. The seed has been planted, and its importance cannot be overstated.
The case of Emily Fisher makes it abundantly clear that our State officials need to redesign the metrics they use to make decisions on the success of charter schools, their continuation, and their closing. It is my hope that Dallas Dixon, his “investors,” and others involved in the creation of Emily Fisher will try again. I personally knew the former student, affectionately known as “Lips,” that recently met with a tragic death. In the short time I knew him it became clear that the school had a profound effect on his sense of optimism towards the future. In the inner city, this is an important thing.  I would have loved an opportunity to share my belief on creating a culture of learning based on a “culture of entrepreneurism;” it would have worked beautifully in a school such as Emily Fisher that placed a high value on student empowerment and self-advocacy. My heart goes out to the students, teachers, and administrators at the school. They deserved a second chance.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Vouchers for Teachers

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal lamented that Pennsylvania Governor Corbett, along with leader legislators, have been dragging their feet on pushing voucher legislation, They, like other critics of public education, believe that giving kids the opportunity to not be “captive to their zip codes” will not only allow individual families to seek out better schools for their children, but will put competitive pressure on public schools to improve performance. And while I believe the “competition” argument is nothing but ideological claptrap, I am sympathetic to families and to some degree agree with providing them with vouchers. However, I think that everyone in the reform movement is missing what might be a much more appropriate use of vouchers and a possible solution, at least in part, to the problems ailing inner city schools.

What I propose is making vouchers available to teachers as an inducement to working in inner city schools. That, combined with an agreement that their tenure will move with them to an inner city school, may provide an important incentive to exemplary teachers interested in helping to reshape the culture of learning in urban schools. These vouchers could be provided to the teacher with the option of taking the full amount all at once or spread out over several years, secured by agreement that the teacher will agree to “x” number of years working at a particular school.

There have been proposals to improve the pay scale, or to offer loan forbearance, as a way to encourage new teachers in particular to choose work  in urban districts, but until a system of performance pay is in place the idea of a higher pay scale will serve to reward undeserving teachers as well as the exemplary ones. A voucher program, however, won’t suffer from that defect. As long as the district does their due diligence in hiring these “voucher teachers,” the program could have a dramatic effect on urban schools, where sometimes it takes nothing more than the leadership and guidance of a few exemplary teachers to help transform the culture of learning at a school.

Vouchers for teachers are an idea that I believe holds great promise. I hope that our legislators and other reformers will take it under consideration.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Busing and Regionalization for Mercer County's schools

West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North and High School South are both highly successful centers of learning. The students score high on tests, they graduate and move on to a variety of colleges, many of them highly elite institutions like MIT, Harvard, and Princeton. The kids receive honors and awards, they oftentimes win highly competitive academic competitions, and the classrooms are by and large filled with curious, perspicacious, determined young men and women preparing for professional careers.

Now the reason I bring up West Windsor is by way of comparison. We spend a lot of time discussing what it would take to bring Trenton High up from the basement, to make them a high functioning school. Well let’s see if we can gain some insight into that question by looking at it in reverse: What would it take for West Windsor-Plainsboro North and South to sink to the level of Trenton Central and Trenton West? Could that ever happen, and if so, how?

From my time in the WW-P school district, I can tell you emphatically that the number one fear of the community was an increase in the local population, specifically the increase in low income housing. As far as parents were concerned, that demographic change constituted the single greatest determinant of the schools’ quality. Not the teachers, not the administrators, not funding. It was socioeconomics, plain and simple. You might say that this is just an unwarranted, slightly racist view, but it was nonetheless a fairly widely held view. Now personally, I feel that teachers play an invaluable role in sustaining a vigorous culture of learning at school, ideally with the support of an active, engaged administration that recognizes, rewards, and encourages student achievement. Teachers set expectations, they are responsible for designing creative curriculum and assessments, and in many situations they act as de facto parents. They must be considered an important determinant in  the equation.

So here’s the hard part; since the demographics and faculty are unlikely to change in any significant way, how do we “do right” for the kids in Trenton. I’ve thought a lot about it, and here is what I see as the only solution ‘with teeth,” the only solution that will result in a more equitable system of education: busing and regionalization.

New Jersey has the largest number of school districts in the country; some districts have no more than one K-3 school. Regionalization is a hot topic in the State right now, with many communities now seeing it as a solution to escalating public sector costs. I would like to refer you all to David Rusk’s book “Elastic Cities,” where he developed the hypothesis and concluded that “metropolitan areas in which central cities have been able to expand (annex) have experienced more favorable social and economic results.” I agree with Rusk’s conclusions, but realize that an expansion of Trenton through the power to annex is highly unlikely. However, there is widespread sentiment in government, especially with the current governor, that regionalization of school districts is a necessary step in controlling costs by reducing redundancies and improving efficiency.

I firmly believe that regionalization of Mercer County’s school systems, with a concomitant policy of busing ,,,,,within the County, is the only way we are going to improve the quality of Trenton’s schools. It is the only way to truly affirm our supposed commitment to equity in education. It is the only true salvation for the students in Trenton. Will busing and regionalization meet with resistance? No doubt. But I challenge anyone out there to give me an alternative. I’d love to hear another solution to solving the horrible inequities in our State. We have the highest test scores in the nation, yet also have the greatest variance in outcomes in the nation. It is an embarrassment and an egregious example of our State turning its back on the families in our inner cities.

Honestly, I’d prefer simply finding a way to incentivize having middle class families move back into the city and attend Trenton schools, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. It’s time for our leaders to take bold steps to make things right. It’s time for a dialogue on regionalization, and it’s time to revisit the use of busing to affect positive change in our low functioning schools.                     

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Some Observations and Ideas for You to Ponder

I taught social studies for 21 years in a highly affluent New Jersey school district, having foregone a stint at law school to become one of the first “alternate route” teachers in the United States.
Though I taught in an affluent district, I live on the outskirts of Trenton a district with a 48% graduation rate. The dichotomy between these districts is saddening; seeing the excitement and enthusiasm of Trenton’s elementary students knowing what awaits them, oftentimes moves me to anger mixed with tears. For purposes of time let’s just say that I have a very Rawlsian outlook with regard to opportunity and equity in education.
What you will find below are some observations and ideas I would like to share with you regarding education, more specifically with the failure of our schools to “secure the blessings of liberty” for our most neediest children.
Ø  There is an absolute lack of commitment to proper teacher supervision. Department supervisors do not have the time nor the expertise to properly collaborate and guide new and “at risk” teachers. In my mind, every school should have at least one clinical supervisor in place to do proper observations, which include pre and post conferences and are very time consuming. I scanned the Help Wanted section of New Jersey’s main newspaper consortium  and could not find even one advertisement for a clinical supervisor.
Ø  I am tired of the argument that teachers aren’t motivated by money, and that performance pay won’t work. To say that teachers teach “because they love kids” is a sophistry; it is like saying that accountants do their job “because they love numbers.” I can cite you a myriad of reasons why people go into teaching, and in some way remuneration is at the core of that reason. I met scores of highly effective teachers that are sickened by the way they are paid, with absolutely no consideration to effectiveness. Far too many teachers perform at the absolute minimum level of competency for that reason.
Ø  The majority of teacher currently at work, and the college cohort of future teachers, are drawn from people in the lower third of college students. The majority of teachers also come from families where a career in teaching is seen- in terms of income- as a socioeconomic advance for the family. This is all well and good, but we need to draw college students from the top of the class, where most other future professionals can be found. This is but another reason why a higher pay scale, tied to performance pay, is critical if we are to elevate the quality of teaching.

Ø  Simply giving more money directly to schools is NOT the answer. If money is to be allocated, it should be given to teachers as a condition of performance; it is essential to also find a way to allocate money directly to poor families that are highly motivated to guide their children to high achievement but lack the money to provide the kinds of resources readily available to affluent children.
Ø  Kids in the inner city lack the “readiness” for learning that their brethren in the suburbs have. Compounding this problem is the reality that inner city schools do not, in general, attract the best teachers. This disadvantage is made worse after these teachers are forced to endure years of frustration and a lack of support. This results in a “bar of expectations” that gets lower and lower. We literally need to “turn over” the faculty at many of these schools, or at least provide a clinical supervisor that can ratchet up teacher performance.
Ø  The key to success in the inner city is to remold neighborhoods to have more socioeconomic diversity, maybe by creating financial incentives for middle class families to relocate to the inner city and send their kids to those schools. We literally need to recreate the kinds of inner city neighborhoods that thrived in the mid- 20th century before the mass exodus to the suburbs. The well documented concentration of poverty and minorities in inner city neighborhoods is a touchy subject. My “study” of the differences between Trenton’s two high schools, one with a 75% graduation rate and one with a 42% graduation rate, clearly shows that demographics (income and family composition in particular) do matter.
Ø  Parents cannot escape scrutiny, and it is incumbent that we find ways to incentivize parenting to “prod” effective parenting (see my Op-Ed for metrics). In Trenton we literally have children raising children. These teenagers dropping out of school will soon become dependents on the city and State for social services. Have we really begun to consider the long term consequences of this? I think this focus on parenting is one reason the Harlem Children’s Zone has become such a wonderful success.
Ø  Most of the kids in inner city schools, unlike the kids in the affluent school where I taught do not know how to “self-advocate,” and have almost no sense of student empowerment. Some of this blame also falls on teachers and the type of curriculum they develop for their students.
Ø  If New Jersey is typical of other states, then I can say emphatically that the test we use for graduation is completely detached from the real world, is disconnected from the required “Core Curriculum,” and thus provides us no meaningful data to assess student learning. The New Jersey HSPA is three days of Language Arts and Math. Where is history, government, financial literacy, science, health and nutrition, American culture, etc..? We require these things to be taught, but we do not test kids on these requirements, essentially giving teachers a free pass; there is no accountability. We also really need to ask ourselves what kids MUST know when they graduate high school, not what we would like them to know. How about reading a contract, calculating interest, understanding opportunity cost, supply and demand, the Bill of Rights, global warming, rudiments of proper health and nutrition… get the point. We have become so obsessed with comparative global testing that we have lost sight of “testing with purpose.”
Ø  We keep requiring kids to learn more and more, and anyone with any knowledge of the “science of learning” will tell you that actually learning something is very time consuming and requires a variety of assessments. There has become a complete disconnect between teaching and learning. By narrowing, not expanding what we require kids to learn, we can liberate education and allow for greater innovation and creativity in the classroom.
In addition to the new ideas introduced in the observations listed above, there are two additional ideas I want you to consider:
Ø  I have developed what I believe is a wonderful idea to create new partnerships among stakeholders in education. The idea is based on Urban Enterprise Zones. My idea, in a nutshell, is to create what would be called Urban Opportunity Zones, where businesses, non-profits, and a host of other public and private entities would receive incentives for creating programs tied to local schools, for example to hire, train, and mentor students or to provide resources for use in the schools. (I would be happy to send you more details). I have tried contacting city officials and local legislators and have gotten nowhere with something I believe has enormous potential to elevate the quality of learning in the inner city.

Ø  We often hear teachers described in a variety of ways, teacher as coach, teacher as mentor, teacher as “fill in the blank”, but the one analogy we never hear, and the one that I believe holds the greatest hope for education, is “teacher as entrepreneur.”

We herald the “American entrepreneur” and the entrepreneurial spirit as something that defines our uniqueness and identity. Since the days of Ben Franklin, the entrepreneur has been seen as the catalyst that drives our dynamism and growth. I’m not talking about so-called edpreneurs that seek to profit in the “education industry,” but rather an “entrepreneurial class” of teachers. Interestingly, classroom teaching is one area that has failed to capture the entrepreneurial drive in evidence throughout other sectors of the economy.

I have spent the last several years studying entrepreneurs, trying to find common qualities that seem to exist among all, or almost all entrepreneurs, and I think I’ve done it. Those five qualities are Passion, Organization, Knowledge, Empowerment, and Resourcefulness. These are the five qualities characteristic of entrepreneurs, and I believe they are the characteristics that define the successful teacher. They are the metrics I would use to evaluate teacher performance and effectiveness.

I believe that a key to success in our inner city schools is to create a culture of learning that is synonymous with a culture of entrepreneurism. Teachers would see themselves as entrepreneurs, with their curriculum as their “product.” They would profit from developing a successful product in the form of performance pay, which could be considerable. Teachers would be given a degree of academic freedom heretofore not seen, but would also be held to a much higher degree of accountability and scrutiny.

I’ve always felt that we should assume that no child is required to go to school, and work from there to design a school that children would choose to attend. An entrepreneurial high school is, I believe, the best way to create the energy, dynamism, and intellectual spirit that we so desperately need in our inner city schools.

I have scoured the internet, searched education databases, and nowhere have I seen any literature addressing this radically new idea. I firmly believe that I am “onto something,” that my philosophy and approach to teaching will generate highly productive teachers and well educated, perspicacious teenagers.  I have developed a charter school based on these ideas, but unfortunately I have yet to find any way to garner the support and financial backing I would need to put these ideas into action.  Suffice to say it is extremely frustrating.

Fun With Hypotheticals

I love to engage in hypothetical arguments, they are a wonderful way to raise questions, get to the heart of one’s assumptions, and engage in some meaningful creative and critical thinking. I have two for us to play with:

 For one year, let’s take all the kids from West Windsor-Plainsboro’s Village Elementary School, Community Middle School, and High School South, and bus them to an elementary, middle, and high school in the Trenton school district, and vice versa. Only the students will move, the teachers, administrators, will all stay put. What do you think will be the resulting learning outcomes of the students. We can really play around with this and scenario and have the kids go to live with the parents of the child they are switching places with.

 Let’s take two teachers, each with 10 years experience. One is a Calculus teacher, the other is a Physical Education teacher. When they open their respective pay checks this Friday, all else being equal, should they be seeing the same amount?

In the first case, we are delving into the question of what variables affect a child’s learning outcomes. How much of a role do teachers play, as opposed to other things such as parenting, the physical plant of the school, or local environment? And what do I think? It is my contention that the inner city kids will show a slight increase in their grades, due primarily to a better overall faculty.  Further, I believe that the West Windsor kids may show a slight drop in their grades but in all likelihood their grades will stay just about the same.  Why? Well the way I see it, parenting and the dynamics of the community one lives in are the main determinants of a child’s academic success. By parenting by the way I include such variables as a child’s diet, sleeping and daily habits. If I am correct the ramifications are significant, because it means that we cannot improve the success of a child in school without also making changes to the environment in which the child resides. This is both an expensive and delicate undertaking, with undertones of race and income lurking on the scene. I do believe that the quality of teaching in wealthier districts is better than that delivered in the inner city, and I believe that the support services in the school are better; this is partially a function of the person doing the teaching, partially a function of the quality of professional development provided for teachers in this wealthier schools.  It means that parenting is a critical, primary determinant in a child’s performance in school. Parental expectations are different, peer pressures are different, the exposure to positive role models is different, and access to supportive resources is different, all to the benefit of wealthier children and to the detriment of poor children. All of these realities combine to limit the positive impact of moving inner city kids to West Windsor for school. I think that the success of programs like the Harlem Children’s Zone, for example, in a way confirms my suspicion that these variables (parenting and community realities) are indeed significant.

There is one other variable in play that must be mentioned. I believe that kids in wealthier districts have learned how to advocate for themselves and have a much greater sense of empowerment when it comes to education and making sure that the education they are receiving meets their expectations, which are high. I do not have data to support this, but I have spoken both informally (extemporaneous conversations) and formally (organized discussions I have run in the community) with inner city high school kids, and dropouts, and feel confident in drawing this conclusion.

This does not bode well for inner city education in the immediate future, but it does identify the difficult challenges we face in trying to improve learning outcomes and the performance of our inner city schools.     


In this second case, issues of equity and performance pay are raised. As to the paycheck, my answer is that their paychecks should not be the same, but not because one teacher instructs a more rigorous curriculum. Quite frankly, I can make the point that physical education is as if not more important than a calculus class, at least for the majority of students not planning a career requiring proficiency in calculus. I could actually make the case that, under the right circumstances, that the phys ed teacher should be paid MORE!

Now the way educators currently receive remuneration, with years of service and years of personal education as the only two variants, is perhaps the most asinine way of paying teachers that I can think of. It is the reason why you see phys ed classes where kids in the springtime seem to do little more than walk around the track for a half hour to get exercise. The current pay system provides absolutely no incentive for excellence in teaching, for innovation or creativity, for performing at the top tail of the curve rather than the middle. Phys Ed and health teachers have an incredibly important job to play, especially in this age of childhood obesity, risk taking behavior, and an overall ignorance of proper health, nutrition, and fitness. The need for “lifelong learning” in this department is critical for the overall health of our nation.

The bottom line is that the amount in the paycheck of the math teacher, and the paycheck of the phys ed teacher, should to a great extent be in the hands of the teacher, and this is done by instituting a system of performance pay.

I’ve discussed, and will reintroduce again in a future blog, the fact that metrics are available that are “teacher friendly” but still rigorous and legitimate enough to support scrutiny by those that want to hold teachers to a high degree of accountability. I realize that no system is perfect, but the system in place now is the worst possible system, especially in the absence of any real program in place to provide comprehensive clinical supervision of our at risk, non-tenured, and low achieving teachers. Keep in mind that the majority of teachers in place today were drawn from the middle to low end of the performance scale in college. Why would we expect their performance to be any different on the job?
I'm curious to know what you think about these hypotheticals and how you see the scenarios play out. Feel free to share!