Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Can every school be an excellent school?

A loaded question, indeed.

Over on the Evergreen Freedom Foundation's Youtube channel there's a video touting the upcoming release of Flunked, their documentary on the education system. It's looking like it will highlight some schools that are succeeding against the odds, and I'm looking forward to it coming to Spokane.

The thing about a movie like Flunked, though, is the question of whether the model is replicable. It's one thing to highlight schools that are doing incredible things; it's another to take what works at that school, apply it to a different school in a different setting, and expect the results to be the same. Worth trying, sure, but only with an understanding that the experiment might well fail.

This is why there are no "THE answers" in education. Competition might be ONE answer, in some settings, but they certainly aren't THE answer. The same could be said about vouchers, merit pay, pay for performance, small class size, increasing teacher salary, or any other adaptation in the field today.

Given that I ask you this--what's getting in the way of making your school an excellent school, and how would you fix it?

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2 Comments:

Blogger Angie said...

Ryan,

You hit the nail on the head! It really isn't about programs or vouchers or even class size, it is about "What's getting in the way of making your school an excellent school?"

My argument is we can all do something, a little more here or there, seeing opportunities for our students and taking advantage of them, recognizing the roadblocks and working around those.

I am featured in the film, but as you know, I have no control over the film. I have seen the film and I think the one thing it says is lets start talking about what is working. I do not believe there are any cookie cutter solutions, but I know we all have a lot we can learn and take bits and pieces and use them in our setting IF they will work.

I look forward to meeting you in Spokane. Please be sure to come up and introduce yourself. Maybe we don't always agree, but I do know that you many good ideas and we can all learn from each other because we are all on the same team with the same goal -- helping our kids get the best education possible and therefore the best future possible.

Best,

--Angie

12:50 PM  
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12:34 AM  

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