What Is School For

As we either finally go back to school for the new year, or get serious about it if we started before Labor Day, something to think about!!! Much of what we talk about in “school reform” and “innovation” is nothing more than a conversation about the cosmetics, not the fundamentals of schools that can actually make a difference and matter to our students. Too many school improvement plans start with “What?”. Too many meetings that purportedly are about increasing student performance start with “What?” Or “How”?. They seldom start with a conversation about what school should be for. They should start with “Why!” What is important in student lives and their futures is not measured on a series of assessments or a single high stakes one. But we typically don’t ask our kids what is important in their lives, neither do we ask those who work with our kids after they leave us what they consider important for our kids to know and do. If you are a school leader and want to know where to start to make a meaningful difference in your school, I suggest you look at the allocation of time, particularly in the roles of your student support staff. To be blunt, let your counselors be counselors, not the builders of student schedules, not doing the jobs of college admission intake. Let them counsel kids. Before you hire another teacher, think about hiring another counselor or school psychologist or social worker, someone who will work with the serious issues challenging your students, not someone who will help teach them something else they will soon forget. Someone who will prepare them to pass the test of LIFE, not the test of ESSA. Innovationplaylist.org is waiting for you, are you confident enough as a leader, and secure enough in your beliefs about what kids really need, to accept the challenge of really making a difference in your school, or will you continue to examine only the cosmetics?

What is School For

And so it goes…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s