Sounds like a crazy question? Not really!
On the surface, all educational leaders state that of course student achievement is the priority of the school or school district but privately many leaders indicate that they are overwhelmed with mandates, minutiae and a myriad of operational issues. Others indicate that fulfilling state mandates associated with teacher performance, the student achievement issue will solve itself. Obviously, in reviewing student performance results by state, it is clear that the implementation of any one program to solve the complex problem of underachievement is not the answer. Conversely, layering programs on top of each other or a combining of unconnected programs are also not the answer.
Without question, there are many interrelated layers to the achievement challenge which require an in-depth examination. To peel back the layers of the “achievement onion,” take a moment to examine the organization’s alignment to its goals, outcomes and resource allocation. Ask one’s self if a culture of continuous improvement has been nurtured. Is there an internal attitude committed to overcoming obstacles? Is your staff willing to persevere until it meets the organization’s achievement goals? Additionally, accountability systems must reflect the values of the organization. Remember, what gets measured gets done! Finally, as leaders do you have the “will” and courage to facilitate the change necessary to meet the achievement challenge.
We believe that All schools have the internal capacity to reach higher performance levels. One need not look further than one’s own staff and leadership team to identify the talent to get the job done. Having observed low-income schools with few resources reach amazing levels of student performance, we know that it is not about money and gimmicks. We also know that excuses will not deliver better outcomes. It is all about instructional focus and finding the gaps in the interrelated elements of alignment, attitude, accountability, and leadership.
If your focus is about survival or maintaining the status quo, let us help you or your organization focus on real student achievement growth and begin to take the next step to “reaching higher for success.”