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Education Opinion

Questions

By LeaderTalk Contributor — March 01, 2009 1 min read

It seems to me that if we’re going to make systemic changes in how we deliver learning opportunities for our children, we’re going to need to do a better job of creating the public’s sense of urgency and the public will to provide support and political cover for our leaders who toil every day in their buildings and districts. Disruptive innovations of the sort made possible by technology are exciting and are providing evidence that there are ways to provide quality education that we heretofore have not even thought of, but how will they gain currency?

The PDK poll results (my school’s great; everyone else’s schools are C-) phenomenon still works against true innovation. How can we mobilize support for a new way of doing things that can protect visionary leaders from risking losing their jobs as they present the brutal facts to their patrons?

It seems we have parallels in what is happening at the national level with the new administration’s efforts to rescue us all from this economic crisis. What can we learn from their efforts? Do we have a “bi-partisan” commitment to helping parents and other taxpayers understand that the 21st century survival skills detailed by Tony Wagner are not a retreat from the “hard academic skills”, not soft skills that will water down our educational offerings, not another move from educational leaders to sidestep accountability? How do we frame this so people can understand that traditional educational structures must change if their children are to be successful in this very new world?

Troyce Fisher

The opinions expressed in LeaderTalk are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.