What I'm Working On #2
Fundraiser update, and the Sean Scott $5k match // the Spring 2024 semester, and the MNY master's exam // MNY political science updates
It’s been about two months since “What I’m Working on #1,” and a lot has happened! Maximum New York continues to grow quickly in effect and as an organization, and I’m regularly revising my near-term expansion efforts upward to meet demand. The name of the game is “growing pains,” and they’re the best kind of problem to have.
Fundraiser Update, and the Sean Scott $5k match through November 28!
I kicked off MNY’s $150k fundraiser on August 21, and we’re up more than $25k so far! This will pay for programming, event space, research materials, contract work, and more.
THE NEWS: Foundations of New York Cohort 7 alumnus Sean Scott is sponsoring a $5,000 match from now until November 28, which happens to be Giving Tuesday. You give a dollar, he gives a dollar up to $5k. I’m thankful to him for putting on this fundraising sprint, and thankful to all alumni who have gotten me this far.
And don’t forget: your employer might have a corporate matching plan too!
[$$$$=====================] ←where we are
[$$$$$$===================] ←where we will be after the match (maybe further!)
[$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$] ←where we’re going (before August 21, 2024, or sooner!)
How you can help 🗽
Send this to people and institutions who you think could or should give directly
Email me if you want to host a fundraising party, or invite me to speak at your event
Spring 2024: Minimum Viable Government Department
Last month I published “Political Science Degrees Must End,” and the response has been positively overwhelming. I’ve heard from people across government at every level, and many people who thought their undergrad (or law/MPA) degrees should have helped them understand the government in key ways, but didn’t.
MNY’s program of governmental mechanics is my solution to this problem. And in Spring 2024, I will be teaching ~13 classes that will make up my Minimum Viable Governmental Mechanics Department. These classes are aimed at equipping students for action based on a sound understanding of government and law, while also acknowledging the vital importance of New York City and State government.
Intellectually curious citizens, government staff, aspiring office holders, people who want to connect with others who care, and lawmakers are all welcome in MNY’s classes. If the regular course schedule doesn’t quite work for you, I can (and have) accommodated a variety of special requests. If you’re based in Albany, need special class sections, or anything else, let me know.
But where is this all going?
The capstone in progress: the MNY Master’s Exam
After Spring 2024 concludes, I will take the summer to iterate on MNY’s whole curriculum in preparation for Fall 2024. One principal component that I will launch then is the the Maximum New York Master’s Exam.
This will be MNY’s first terminal credential—the big win that students know they’re working towards, the externally valid credential and social signal, the thing that can get them a job, or help them earn more money if they want.
Besides designing the technical requirements of the credential, my role as the founder of MNY and chief examiner is to make sure the credential has the value mentioned above. MNY isn’t accredited like a four-year institution (yet), but neither are great coding bootcamps. Efficiently designed schools can deliver great value for students, and the MNY Master’s Exam will successfully show that this includes non-STEM credentials.
The exam, which students must apply to take, will resemble a thesis or dissertation defense in some respects, but it isn’t the same kind of thing. Some preliminary details:
It will take up the better part of a day, but there will be breaks and a party.
There will be a public presentation of already-accomplished work, live production of new work, and a closed-door examination by me and various experts inside and outside government, academia, and industry.
The exam will require on-the-fly demonstration of knowledge across city and state government primarily, but federal knowledge will also be tested. You’ll need to do budget analysis from scratch, write a valid statute, defend political and civic analyses, and so much more. But you should feel equipped to do this by the time you take the exam, or I won’t have done my job!
If anyone would like to become an instructor with Maximum New York, they must pass the Master’s Exam. But they must also successfully complete a few extra requirements prior to applying to take it, like:
Publicly perform civic material at least twice. The performance can be at a comedy open mic, a large party, a ticketed venue, and more. I will confirm appropriate events with those interested in doing this. The point: if you aren’t willing to take civic material to the world and successfully get laughs or good engagement, you shouldn’t be teaching civics to adults in NYC. The field needs more people who can outcompete Netflix, who don’t hold a bored audience hostage, and who treat teaching more like performing a set. Give people value!
Have successfully TA’d multiple classes, including several Foundations classes and at least one advanced seminar. Being a TA will come with its own set of requirements that will set potential examinees up for success.
Political Science Updates
MNY’s first political science research project is underway.is the project manager, and , , and have been the most superb data workhorses. I look forward to sharing the preliminary write-up of our work when it’s done.
Put Me In Coach!
If you want to work on curriculum design, fundraising, research, or anything else, I’d love to hear from you.
If you have a class you’d like to take, but you don’t see, I’m happy to discuss creating it. I’m aiming to train 10,000 New Yorkers by the 2029 city elections, after all.
And don’t forget the Sean Scott $5k match!