Harsh? Not really.
With the infotech and biotech revolution upon us, it is more important than ever to embrace the process of building high performing schools for ALL students. Creating equity is not about “teaching to the middle” or mediocrity but rather higher achievement and building student capacity.
One major challenge in reaching higher performance is the identification of skills and standards that will “stand the test of time.” Recognizing that “change is the only constant” is perhaps the beginning of creating a vibrant and performance-based school. Improve now, not just in some superficial way that placates those entities demanding it but rather in a substantive manner, or chance being left behind.
While some researchers suggest that we shift to exclusively teaching communication, collaboration and creativity, a combination of those skills with having essential knowledge in various fields appear more prudent. Possessing information has always been powerful but having the knowledge to interpret it leads to innovation and real solutions. Having the ability to discern fact from fiction and to go beyond the obvious to that which is inferred provides students with the foundation to think critically and proactively.
Moving an organization to embrace such skill sets and high standards for ALL students remains a daunting task as evidenced by the myriad of underperforming schools. Evidence suggests that breaking through stakeholder paralysis to commit to higher performance is a risky venture for those in leadership roles. The reality is that leaders really do not have a choice. Select Excellence or become Irrelevant.
Performance is Key!