Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Moving Education Forward

Moving is horrible.  For any of you that have moved lately, you know what I'm talking about.  To me, moving is an abomination.  It took me 6 weeks to find my son's shoes and I know there are still things hidden in a box somewhere.  However, the process of moving from one's house is much less daunting than moving a whole system. 

How do we move forward in education?

  • For starters, we have to acknowledge the fact that there is no "moving company" to hire in education.  You have to pack the boxes and do the heavy lifting yourself.  
  • In order for change to happen, we need to confront the fact that the "educational house" we built no longer meets the needs of our students.  
  • It will take everyone in the neighborhood to help with the move.  This must be a community effort. Author Jamie Vollmer has a book titled Schools Cannot Do It Alone.  I highly recommend his book, especially for those that have been out of school for awhile.  
  • Change begins with the students.  I have a student principal advisory group that meets with me monthly to give feedback on school policy and general happenings in our school.  Thanks kids,  I listen!  And remember, I work for you!
  • No longer can learning be confined to the four walls of our schoolhouse.  Lets extend opportunities in the workplace, provide kids with college credit and/or certifications in a job related field prior to graduation.
  • We need to change grading practices to improve student learning.  Schools need to develop better assessments that provide feedback to both the teacher and student.
Will that get us to where we want to go?  What else would you add?

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