Misalignment

[cross-posted at LeaderTalk]

Last week I triple
dog-dared
readers to listen to an excerpt from a speech by Dr. Richard
Elmore
of Harvard University:

[Dr.
Elmore
's full speech and other excerpts are available on my Podcasts page]

One of the reasons Dr. Elmore’s speech speaks to me so much is that it raises
quite vociferously the issue of misalignment. In my
work with schools and districts, I see numerous examples of misalignment,
including:

  • classroom pedagogy that fails to regularly employ high-yield instructional
    strategies to achieve optimal results;
  • professional development plans that are based on teachers’ preferences
    rather than students’ needs;
  • staffing plans that fail to put the best teachers in front of the students
    who need them the most;
  • intra-organization funding decisions that fail to put resources where they
    are most needed;
  • a
    lot of wasted instructional time
    ;
  • and so on (I’m guessing that you can add to this list!)…

We say that we want results. We say that we want high levels of achievement
for all students. But we are not doing what it takes to achieve the results that
we say we want.

5 Responses to “Misalignment”

  1. Another thing for your list is that some schools? Many schools? Would prefer carbon copy teachers who all do the same rather than setting a baseline of practise that enables educators to then play to their stengths, provided staff are individual and have a variety of stengths and weaknesses (you know, like regular human beings) then students will not only be taught to a high standard in those areas but by enthused teahcers!
    For examples: Don’t give me a Maori or music class if you want enlivened, enthused learners give me Technology, Literacy and Art. I’d prefer to engage students in those subjects with my joy, passion and knowledge.
    Mrs Jones can take music (She loves it).

    Of course I teach Primary (read Elementary) kids, the education world at high school probably looks very different.

  2. I appreciated listening to this speech and reading your comments. They are very much in line with my own thoughts on the matter.

    I am discovering, in working with different school communities, that in order to shift the incredibly resilient teacher culture towards a culture that makes sense for student learning I need to access individual teacher’s values and passions around teaching, around caring and helping. I need to make their own learning make sense for them.

  3. I’m sorry, I mis-typed my blog address above. It is correct in this comment.

  4. Let the Data Do the Leading

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Elmore via McCleod | Eric Hoefler - September 8, 2010

    [...] McCleod pointed to Richard F. Elmore’s UCEA conference presentation a few days ago and hosted the mp3 on his [...]

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