Big Challenges to Education

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Build a Team of Teams at Your School

What does fighting a terror-based insurgency have in common with running a school?  Fortunately the daily events are very different. But school leaders can learn critical lessons about managing large, complex organizations from how military, and increasingly business, leaders are learning to adapt to rapidly changing challenges. Retired General Stanley McCrystal led American forces in [...]

Schools Are Not Forever

There is something in our affinity for the institution of education that makes it seem immutable and timeless.  Schools that have been part of our lives will always be there. New schools will rise as communities grow, but it seems unfair or tragic when schools disappear as communities wane.  Yet the reality is that the [...]

39X: Best, Most Affordable PD I Know; Register Now!

Most educators who read my blog or follow me on Twitter are already in the "deeper learning" choir.  You believe that learning should be increasing student-centric; inquiry, project, and thematically-based; incorporating creativity and design more than recitation and regurgitation.  Some educators need to re-tool their skills to shift classroom practice to "get there". I don't [...]

Where Is the Balance of Technology and Humanity in K-12 Education?

In his new book, Technology vs Humanity, futurist Gerd Leonhard explores the really big changes that are driving fundamental shifts in how we all lead our lives, and may, within our own lifetimes, challenge the very paradigm of what it means to be human.  These shifts will have tremendous impact on the role and relevance [...]

What Keeps School Leaders Up at Night?

What is it that REALLY keeps independent school leaders up at night?  For much of 2017 and early 2018 I was collecting feedback on a series of simple, provocative, open-ended prompts from independent school heads, senior administrators, and trustees.  I have just published some results in Independent School Magazine.  Check it out; I think you [...]

The Opportunity Atlas and the American Dream

There is no American Dream without the possibility of upward economic mobility. Education is, at its core, about preparing young people to succeed in a life to which they aspire, which is almost always at least as fruitful, if not more so, than that of their parents. Today, that dream is more remote for more [...]

The Simple Equation of Value-Strategy-Innovation

Following the lead of my new friend, Seth Godin, short blogs are better.  This picture really is worth 1,000 words.  Schools that are increasingly faced with the challenge that their students can and might select another school to attend, must develop, communicate, and deliver a winning value proposition or face loss of enrollment, and the [...]

School Futures Lie in Strategy

As we get ready to launch a new learning year, let’s laser-focus on a very simple reality: Schools, like every other organization that lives in a competitive marketplace, have just two “keys to sustainable success” according to strategy guru Michael Porter: good strategy and highly effective operational systems. Operational effectiveness means that your school is [...]

Great Podcast: Why, What, and How of School Change…Even at Best Schools

I absolutely could not give the rationale nor tell the story of school transformation better than Tim Quinn and Liz Schmitt of Miss Porter's School on this podcast with Peter Baron and Hans Mundahl of Enrollment Management Association. I was honored to be able to help guide MPS over the last year as they began to [...]

Havasupai School in Need Hides in Desert Paradise

When we see people and places in need, do we stop, ask questions, and help? Or do we walk on by, assuming someone else will take care of the problem, hope it will go away, or silently give thanks that we are better off?  What problems do you have at your school that can even [...]