Sunday, March 13, 2005

Ownership of student success

In the March 2005 issue of Educational Leadership, Dick Corbett, Bruce Wilson, and Belinda Williams report on a recent three-year study of urban schools. They found many differences between the successful and unsuccessful schools. Here is what they say:

But the most telling difference was that in these two schools alone, every teacher we talked to (and we interviewed almost all of them) asserted that he or she was responsible for student success. The qualities that made their school different from the others, they attested, derived solely from their desire to act on this belief. LIke thier highly effective colleagues scattered throughout the two districts, these teachers argued that they could not alter conditions outside school that impinged on student performance, but they could affect the conditions in their classrooms. Using best practices alone was insufficient; effective teaching meant giving students no other choice but success.

I think this attitude is very strong at Halecrest. Teachers here take it personal when student don't succeed. As we seek to serve an ever-changing student population, we must continue to focus on the things that we control - and there are plenty of those, and not wring our hands about those factors that fall outside our sphere of influence.