Perfect Time for a K-12 Redesign
Why Do Singapore Students Outperform the Rest of the World?
Do What’s Best for Children
Preparing to Reopen Schools
Will Education Leadership Adapt?
The Coronavirus has caused great uncertainty and change — especially in schools. It has also given us an opportunity to pause and think about how we can improve education in America. Ryan Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of Qualtrics, wrote in a recent Forbes article, “Data shows that workers are looking to their own employers and managers to lead even more than they are looking to governments and other organizations.” Unfortunately, one of key features of today’s public education system is a lack of effective leadership that can help us navigate these stormy waters. ACTE program chair Don Nielsen explains that we have an ineffective system of training, hiring, and promoting leaders within public education. The core of the problem is Read More ›
Progressivism Fails to Clear the Gap
A recent report, The Secret Shame, shows the deleterious effects of progressive policies on education outcomes of minorities. The report concludes that the top 12 progressive cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Detroit have larger educational achievement gaps between whites and minorities than the top 12 conservative cities, such as Fort Worth, Anaheim, Virginia Beach, and Oklahoma City. Specifically, “progressive cities, on average, have achievement gaps in math and reading that are 15 and 13 percentage points higher than in conservative cities.” To determine the progressive and conservative cities, the report relied on independent political scientists Chris Tausanovitch and Christopher Warshaw who “pooled data from seven large surveys of U.S. public opinion to rank the nation’s biggest Read More ›
Innovative Leadership: An Emptiness In Public Education
One of the largest cities in the country once applied corporate solutions to the public education problems. The time frame was 2003-2017, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg worked with Joel Klein, Chancellor of New York City Public Schools, in bringing about a training academy for school principals, a concept we at ACTE have been promoting. The NYC Leadership Academy was in search of a change agent, an educational entrepreneur who thinks of doing school differently—a leader who is not satisfied with the status quo. With a limited supply of innovative leaders in public education, Bloomberg invited Jack Welch, former GE executive, to chair the Academy. Welch linked educational leadership to that of the corporate world: “We used to say in the Read More ›
Visualize Becoming a Visionary
Bravo to Ben Rodriguez, the new principal of Buckeye Union High School in Buckeye Arizona. He recognizes that you “become the visionary as the principal.” These words echo what Don Nielsen, program chair to the American Center for Transforming Education, writes in his book, Every School, “A visionary principal always leads an effective school.” However, too often schools are not left in the hands of visionaries, but with managers. Why is this? The answer is two-fold. The present system advances education leaders not on proven leadership , but upon who wants to be an education administrator. As Nielsen argues, “Leadership development in public education is a process-driven system, not a competency-driven system. Further, the quality of leadership training provided Read More ›
What is Missing in the Equation of “Reinventing” Schools?
“Change occurs in schools, often for the better, but it’s almost always gradual and incomplete.” So concludes Chester E. Finn, Jr., Senior Fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in a recent essay on the difficulties of “reinventing” schools. Finn focuses on “break the mold” schools of the “America 2000” plan of the late President George H.W. Bush. Finn brings to light the fact that the “break the mold” schools concentrated solely on creating brand new schools while other programs focused entirely on transforming existing schools. He notes the deficiency of this approach: “In the former situation, ‘it ain’t broke,’ so why change it? In the latter situation, it’s tantamount to taking an education sow’s ear and striving to turn Read More ›