I had a brief but interesting conversation with a gentleman name Mike from New Mexico at the TweetUp last night. (Sorry, Mike, I missed your last name) He is a school turnaround specialist and related a story about attendance. One of the schools with which he is working in a rough neighborhood in Boston was suffering from an attendance problem, nearly 30% absent on a given day. The problem sprang from the fact that students living within 2 miles of the school were not given trans passes. “Sorry, kid. School Policy.” While 2 miles may not seem like much, students and parents alike were concerned about safety. Two miles through a rough neighborhood can feel like an eternity. After much cajoling, Mike managed to get the trans passes for students within the 2 mile mark and attendance shot up to 92% on average. By moving the district from ideology to pragmatism on this one issue, Mike managed to remedy the attendance problem and most likely a host of ancillary problems caused by chronic absence. I wonder what else could be solved with a simple change of perspective.