Leading in EducationI am summarizing the book LEADING in a culture of CHANGE to assess what Alameda can do to accomplish "Student Success -Whatever It Takes" in the AUSD Strategic Plan for 2003-2008.
Each component is summarized:
Change is a leader's friend, but it has a split personality: its nonlinear messiness gets us into trouble. But the experience of messiness is necessary in order to discover the hidden benefits - creative ideas and novel solutions often generated when the status quo is disrupted. While the world is complex, the key is to "disturb the status quo in a manner that approximates the desired outcome.
In schools, the main problem is not lack of innovations but the presence of too many disconnected, piecemeal, superficially adorned projects. Beside facing a turbulent, uncertain enironment, schools face the additional burden of having a torrent of unwanted, uncoordinated policies and innovation raining down on them from hierarchial bureaucracies.
While "disturbing the status quo" appears to contradict coherence making, unsettling processes provided the best route to greater all-round coherence. The most powerful coherence is a function of having worked through the ambiguities and complexities of hard-to-solve problems because the only coherence that counts is not what is on paper nor what top management can articultatem but what is in the minds and hearts of members of the organization. The leader's coherence-making capacity is a matter of timing. There is a time to disturb and to time to cohere. Good leaders attack incoherence when it is a function of random innovativeness or prolonged confusion.
The author has developed the idea of "assessment literacy". It is defined as:
In sum, through focusing on outcomes (what student are learning), assessment literacy is a powerful coherence-maker. Focusing on outcomes clarifies for teachers and principals what they are trying to accomplish and drives backward through the process toward moral purpose. It helps schools produce more coherent action plans.
Implications in Alameda
The challenge of coherence making for Alameda's educational leaders at all levels: classroom, school and District is daunting. Ultimately it gets down to that famous Nike phrase: JUST DO IT!
Send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with
questions or comments about this web site.