Even though I’ve been a NASSP member for years, it took me until yesterday to run across the Principal’s Policy Blog – definitely a source I’ll start tracking from now on. It’s amazing what’s out there if you start looking. It just verifies my belief that everything’s on the Internet somewhere – you just need to be able to find it!
In her post about proposed bonuses for principals, Shana Kemp says:
While I agree wholeheartedly with her statement that quality leadership is desperately needed, I would respectfully argue that instead of turning our education system around (which implies back toward what was being done successfully before) we need to be turning our education system in a new direction.
One of the contributing factors to schools’ increasing dropout rates and students’ stagnant performance on standardized tests is that an ever-growing number of students are recognizing that much (most?) of what they are learning in schools is unrelated to the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the technology-infused, globally-interconnected world at large. This disconnect contributes to student apathy and disinterest in current schooling approaches.
A new conceptualization of schools that was more cognizant of their obligations to prepare future digital citizens might make them less irrelevant for today’s schoolchildren. As David Warlick and others have so aptly noted, the issue is not whether students are successful regarding 19th century skills but whether they are being adequately prepared to be productive members of our increasingly technological future.
I would love to hear more about what NASSP and others are doing to prepare secondary school administrators to be better technology leaders.
And why are we not building coalitions with technology companies to assure that we have the latest technology at affordable prices so that they (the technology companies) are guaranteed a workforce familiar with their products as both consumers and prospective employees?
I saw an article on CNN http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/ptech/09/07/school.of.future.ap/index.html where Microsoft worked with a Minnesota school district to open a new style campus. It got less than half a fold (on regular newspaper) and listed nothing about it other than the school leadership worked with Microsoft’s management to align the teaching style. What? It is touted as the “School of the Future” only saying: “The school is being touted as unlike any in the world, with not only a high-tech building — students have digital lockers and teachers use interactive “smart boards” — but also a learning process modeled on Microsoft’s management techniques.” Not only did the campus cost $63 million to build (for only 170 students currently, 750 future), but the school district paid for it entirely on their own. Was Microsoft a little short on change at the time? And the article still calls the campus Microsoft High School. I’m not saying the Gates have to pay for everything, but let’s be realistic here. Build a model school as a partner and then share the designs, ideas, visions, and the total concept with the rest of the world. Invest in the future in a bold way.
Nah. That would make too much sense.
Of course I meant Pennsylvania and not Minnesota for the location of the school. Sorry about that.