The Simple Truth

EDUCATION. One of the multi million dollar industries of our time. “The Flavor of the Day” for many who seek to get involved. Many who have entered into this field beyond the school doors, have pure motives – a true desire to impact the current educational systems to develop thinkers, lifelong learners and college and career ready individuals. But there are some who prey on what the system is, offering a cookie cutter solution to an industry that is always changing.

Moreover, the cry for accountability has left the even widening gap between minorities and white children. Grants help a lot. Many solutions offered are grounded in thousands if not millions of dollars in building infrastructures, implementing curriculum programs, updating technology, teacher training on instructional practices, teachers salaries, support personnel and the list goes on.

Yet the achievement gaps and poor assessment results exists. Why is that???

If all things were equal – same building, number of staff (ethnicity and gender were the same), technology supplies, demographics, percentage of students, experience of teacher, yet one school scores proficient and the other doesn’t – why would there be any differences in the results? What is the one thing that could possible impact these results? The people – leadership, teachers and students.

All too often, reform has honed in on everything but the human capital aspect – the lifeline of the organization. Without students and without teachers, there is no school.

So why has no one taken the time to really delve into the realm of building capacity in the human capital and properly training teachers to build positive relationships with their students, to create a culture of achievement? There is plenty of research to validate the extreme and poignant need to develop these relationships if the culture is going to support achievement.

So why is every new initiative pushed by politicians, unions and big businesses focused on other areas and not the people?

The people are the X Factor to truly transform school systems. The simple truth has been skimmed, if not completely looked over by many. Could it be because it is so simple? Invest in the people? And not just with drive by PDs but purposeful, intentional training of staff around cultural proficiency and positive relationship building. Could it be that SIMPLE TRUTH?

Schools and educational systems have never been one-dimensional. They are multi faceted with ever moving parts, fragile and susceptible to constant outside influences; new policies, new superintendent’s vision, new strategic plans – always changing.

The only stable part of this organization is the people in the schools. It is important to consider the 3 C’s when transforming schools; capacity, culture and collaboration.