All signs point to 2017 being an interesting year.
We’ve been asking our colleagues and friends in different parts of the nation about the mood in their communities and schools. Some of the concerns we heard weren’t surprising: anxiety over what we can expect from the incoming administration, and from the Congress; more debate on charter schools; how to meet the demand for services to struggling children and families. We also heard about trying to find more helpful, and more worthy, accountability approaches than school report cards (that’s been a refrain for a while now); how to honor the demand for personalization in standardized school environments; how to keep the excitement of learning in a time of standards and testing, etc.
In the face of these many issues some school people, good soldiers they are, will gear up for yet another proscribed run at success, likely guided by a master plan that emanated from a state department of education, a well-intentioned philanthropy with its own pet framework and money to lend , or a think tank associated with someone’s agenda. Or some hybrid of all three. However, as we urged last fall, (see link) other folks are beginning to coalesce around a “DIY” mentality, feeling that this is a good time to break from the cycle of the last 15 years, to think more transformationally, to believe in their own capacity and skills.
In keeping with our belief that there is no time like now for school folks to take matters into our own hands in 2017, we will be featuring stories of schools on the move, and adding some cogent topics as a part of EdHistory 101 Project – a new effort to revisit some key historical events and perspectives that continue to shape schooling in this country. We believe that knowing our history – the issues, beliefs, and language of other times- presents opportunities for us to reframe and reimagine.
To accompany our EdHistory 101 Project we continue to offer coaching, expertise, strategies, speakers and facilitators and TREK (see link) resources for schools wanting to look at serious redesign.
If you’re curious and want to connect with us and others who want to have a different kind of conversation about the future of schools in your community, please contact us.
We wish you an energetic and rewarding New Year in your work with schools, communities, partners, parents and students.
See Wayne's New Year's resolution link here.
Larry Myatt and Wayne Ogden