Turning around Failing Schools-Colleagues, this is on us!

There is a piece in the Denver Post, Feb. 21, 2012 on turning around failing schools.  Link is: http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_20007363?source=commented-news

Sure it is tough to do this work.  As we know, those funded with federal dollars to do this work have four options:

• Turnaround: replacing 50 percent of the staff and hiring a new principal.

• Restart: turning the school over to a charter or education management organization.

• Closure: shutting down the school and transferring the students.

• Transformation: providing professional development and coaching and changing the curriculum, and hiring a new principal.

What is troubling is that this sluggish pace is ON US colleagues.  We all know that this takes a relentless daily focus on instruction, making mid-course corrections, energizing and re-energizing kids and teachers, and of-course providing real supports that teachers need to improve their work and how they spend their time with each child.  Frankly, this is the recipe for high performing schools as well.  So why the underwhelming results?

I fear we remain so engaged in rhetoric, so focused on others to blame, and heads-in-sand when it comes to facing up to our own individual shortages of knowledge and skill, that we remain sluggish in mounting and driving success strategies.

What is your part in any sort of turnaround?  What are you doing to accelerate the work?  What good news can we share?

The kids can’t wait any longer for us to up our game for them.

JW

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