On opening day every year, school heads spend more time recounting success stories than charting statistical successes. Data retreats, all the rage a decade ago, have disappeared from the landscape. Why despite being flush with data do school leaders prefer to tell stories to open the year?
Paris has some great schools. An American friend of mine lives near the Bastille with her French husband and two primary school-aged kids. She likes her kids’ school. But she still wants to move her family back to the US when they get to high school.
Public and private sector leadership development remains divided, especially in formal degree programs. Creating transformed schools necessitates bridging the bifurcation. An immediate solution is signing up more would-be education leaders to great MBA programs.
The two greatest impediments to transforming education come from the public. Public opinion needs to change in two areas to open the floodgates and radically improve schooling for children. The public needs to embrace the idea that the schools of the future will not look like the schools of the past, and the economics of education need to escape partisan politics.
The Illinois pension crisis is only part of the story. Funding for Illinois schools affects students profoundly.
School leaders in the next few years are going to face seismic disruptions in every aspect of teaching and learning. Before accepting a leadership position, the mindful leader needs to gauge the likelihood the school will absorb disruptions or be permanently disrupted by technological change.
People come together to provide each other support and take advantage of collective strengths. High-performing teams start with the same premises.
Workers dislike teams for many reasons. Teammates are often assigned, not chosen. Teams work in meetings, and ineffective meetings mean wasted work time. But there is hope.
Team success is organizational success. Capacity to build and deploy effective teams has repeatedly been shown to be more important than individual skill, procedural clarity or even well-defined performance targets in improving organizational outcomes.
If opening the US to international entrepreneurs is the solution to economic growth, what does it mean for innovation in education?
Before considering whether to leave teaching and take a role in the administration, teachers need to learn an important lesson about indemnification.
When children were given a computer, they self-organized learning groups and reinforced the central tenet of education. We all need more memory and faster processors.
Public education in the United States resists change. That schools look much now as they did in the 1950s and the entrenched interests that resist change is old news. The story less often told and much more provocative is how gatekeeping to school heads hinders change.
Big new grants announced recently by the feds seek to remedy fears of over-testing students. The current political fight misses the big picture. There is plenty of reason for optimism in more testing.
Organizations can transform, whether it's a $17 or $25,000 change.
Education is loaded with insiders, and for outsiders, education is often a monolith. Insiders know education is highly fragmented. Addressing fundamental challenges in education is the central mission of any leader’s work. With that in mind, here are the top four pain points across the education space.
Education needs to be untethered from measuring success based on how long students spend in a chair. But the same logic applies to people working in schools. Top talent values being allowed to work at a time, place, path and pace of their choosing. Schools need to remember to untether its employees as well as its students.
Big data offers the biggest hope for schools since the invention of the abacus. Taking a moment to let the mind wander through the possibilities is a visioning exercise well worth the time.
The right size of a school the smallest size necessary to ensure it achieves its mission. To be at the right size, leaders need clear answers to two questions. First, what is the school's purpose? Second, how do we know if we're being productive? Until purpose and productivity are defined, schools will always be bloated or baby-sized.
The public and private education sectors need to talk more, and trust more.