Sunday, October 08, 2006

Crappy People versus Crappy Systems

In another post by Sutton, there is an important lesson about organizational improvement. As much as school turn-around efforts rely on great leaders, there is a fair body of evidence that even star performers cannot overcome broken systems. One of the concerns I see for school improvement along NCLB lines is that that blinders that focus on reading and math scores may induce district staff for focus on getting leaders into buildings who can turn things around. It may be more important to improve the alignment of curriculum and professional development resources than fix leadership. If it is the crappy system that is getting in the way of success, it is vital that we step back to take a look at the incentives and sanctions inherent in the current system.


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