Last week I was all fired up to rescue LA city schools with an initiative from the business community to bring free internet to all students so every child would have access to remote education and we wouldn’t see them lose another year of education.
Being so enthusiastic about my brilliant idea, I didn’t just share it in my blog, I shared it with friends and colleagues and got some response from business people who could help. I told my wealth advisor all this as she reported my YTD earnings, and asked if I wanted to talk to her friend who was teacher in LAUSD about her experience on the ground. Enthusiastically, I said yes.
So what is reality on the ground? Every child got a laptop or tablet when the schools shut down in March. Verizon gave free high speed internet to all families that didn’t have it. Nevertheless, most of the students in her middle school classes did not log in all semester. She said many were caring for younger siblings as both parents were working. The state stated that all students would get the grades they were receiving in February whether they showed up for class or not, so many took plan B. What an example of unintended consequences. And look at my perceptions of reality versus the reality on the ground.
More on the side of data from the ground: many of my Vistage Members have told stories of trying to bring team members back from layoff, only to be told that they were making more money on unemployment so they’d be more interested in August when the $600 federal supplement ended. Knowing this, I was thinking McConnell had the right idea to lower the federal supplement. Today, I was reading an article that described the benefits to our economy in terms of rent and mortgages still being paid, retail spending not dropping as much as expected and the likely fall out to all of us if the federal supplement ends. Yes, a small fraction of the unemployed will go back to work but many will lose their housing, be homeless and hungry and extremely discontented. So what is reality here?
This week, I have been reminded not to hold my beliefs as THE TRUTH but rather as hypotheses subject to change as additional data comes in. My opinion can change when I look deeper into the data and listen to insights from people I don’t always agree with. I invite you to join me.