Governance and leadership

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What Do “Great” and “Leading” Mean to Your School?

What does it mean to be a great school? If you work at a school that is not struggling to survive, there is a good chance that the message you and your colleagues, perhaps even your parent community, tries to communicate, is "we are a great school".  There is nothing wrong with that; we should [...]

Four Drivers of Inevitable School Change: All Include “We”

Are there still stakeholders in your community, perhaps fearful parents or reluctant faculty members, who don't understand why schools need to change? Here are some tools for you. In my upcoming new book (which is out for peer review and feedback right now), I explore both what is inevitable in the transformation of education in the [...]

Virtual Reality Will Change “School” Forever: Major New Article

Transformational technologies — from the wheel to the printing press, steam energy, the telephone, radio, air travel, television, personal computing, and the internet — have never been just about changing how we “do” the mechanics of our lives. Truly transformational technologies allow us to fundamentally re-imagine our relationship to the world around us. In a [...]

Growing School in Chicago Taps Into Deep Progressive Roots

Progressive education is alive and well in Chicago, the home of John Dewey and the first laboratory school more than 100 years ago.  I found a budding example this week, spending two days with the leadership team at the young, rapidly-growing Bennett Day School, which, come August, will be expanding from a quaint four-classroom early [...]

Yes, Schools Can Change in Just One Year!

Most school communities and leaders say that significant, system-wide change from a traditional to a deeper learning model takes many years.  I think we are about to prove that wrong. Thirteen months ago at The Tilton School the entire faculty and staff, most of the board, and a large number of students, came together to begin [...]

Another Shot Across the Bow of “Grit”

The ongoing discourse about "grit" received another jolt with an article by David Denby in the New Yorker (HT David Monaco). Denby adds his arguments in opposition to the oversimplified, or possibly misleading, research and logic of Angela Duckworth which has made the word "grit" a fixture in some schools' mission and vision statements.  As we have [...]

Schools Need Marketing to Survive, Thrive

Schools need students. That sounds trite, but until a very few years ago, this was not a concern for the vast majority of public schools. By far, the majority of students attended the public school closest to their home.  That has now changed, and changed substantially for many American families who have a large and [...]

The Thesis of My New Book; Making Great Progress!

I have been less regular with my blog posts and Twitter stream over the last couple of months. I have been working hard on my new book, including about 60 in-depth phone, video, and in-person interviews and regular writing hours every day.  I am happy to report that I am about 80% through the rough [...]

Good Read: “Are You Smart Enough?” via Alexander Astin

What if we ranked hospitals by the number of relatively healthy patients they admitted instead of how well they improved the health of sick people? What if we devoted more resources to making "sort of" sick people well, and fewer resources to healing "really sick" people?  Would anyone think those were good measures of an effective [...]