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Richard Corcoran wants you to read ‘Grit’

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The concept of “grit” has become increasingly popular of late, aided and abetted by the release of a book (GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance) by MacArthur Genius Fellow Angela Duckworth.

Duckworth, a former consultant who took a job teaching public school in New York City, learned that IQ was not the sole predictor of success for students.

Rather, “grit” or perseverance is an essential factor.

There has already been pushback on the importance of grit, as covered on NPR earlier this year.

However, House Speaker Designate Richard Corcoran is not a grit skeptic. Indeed, the Pasco County Republican endorsed the book recently in a note on Speaker-Designate letterhead to Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, a note which accompanied a copy of Duckworth’s book.

Corcoran, after telling Curry that “it was great to spend time with [him] at Mr. [Gary] Chartrand’s a few weeks ago,” said that he thought Curry would find this “new bestseller” to be “fascinating.”

Interestingly, given the Chartrand context, the New York Times review of the book notes that Duckworth has worked with the founders of the KIPP School Network … a charter-school consortium of which Chartrand is a national partner and the local board chairman.

For his part, Curry would seem to be a receptive audience to this book. His victory in the 2015 mayoral campaign was credited, in no small part, to his gritty work ethic and willingness to plan long-term.

Whether Curry will have much spare time to read between now and the pension-tax referendum Aug. 30 is an open question; however, he now has at least one unread book at this disposal.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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