Oklahoma gets it, Kansas doesn’t

by Steve Wyckoff on November 13, 2010

It’s Saturday morning and I intended to get up, drink my coffee, and catch up on the news. But when I checked my e-mail I had a slug of comments from our Facebook group Rural Education and Community Development Collaboration. So I read through them first. Big mistake. I read a post from Craig Stranathan and it pissed me off!

I’m always thinking about school change so when I saw the link that Craig posted for a conference in Oklahoma City I clicked on it. My first response was “WOW!” They are having some of the most influential people in the world speak at their conference. The two that jumped out at me were Sir Ken Robinson and Daniel Pink.

Then I watched the little video on the front page of their website. That’s when I got pissed off.

Oklahoma. Are you kidding me. We make fun of Oklahoma. But here they are hosting a conference that we should be hosting in Kansas.

They’re talking about creativity and innovation. I just attended two recent conferences in Kansas. We’re talking about raising standardized test scores.

They’re talking about preparing their students for the future. In Kansas were talking about preparing our students for the past.

They’re talking about finding every student’s passion. We’re talking about figuring out how to make students passionate about standardized test.

They’re talking about helping every student become remarkable. Were trying to figure out how to make every student a remarkable test-taker.

They’re trying to inspire, were talking about pep rallies to raise test scores.

Thanks Craig! I was in a really good mood! We had a great conversation yesterday with a group of schools really interested in the future of their kids. But compared to what Oklahoma is doing we are in the slow lane being passed by everyone. Were making school change at the speed of a glacier, they’re facing the big issues head on. – Steve Wyckoff

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