School change: it’s time for the revolution!

by Steve Wyckoff on October 20, 2010

Schools are evolving slowly. Too slowly. The rate of change in society is dramatically faster than the rate of change in schools. School change as it currently exists is losing ground on a daily basis. Our schools are already obsolete and getting more so every day.

As part of the Kansas Education Commission I am extremely concerned that the discussions are still focusing on how to get better at what we’ve always done. We are working extremely hard to improve a one size fits all, factory model system, that even if we reach our goals won’t be satisfactory.

I am utterly amazed at all of the conversations I have with educators who get this. Yet at the upper levels of policymaking and administration, we are still focusing on the past.

The problems are overwhelming. Where do you began? Our system functions under so many misconceptions, old traditions, and outdated policies that I honestly don’t know where to begin.

I once heard Tom Peters explained the best advice is father ever gave him, “Dammit Tom, do something!” Perhaps we should give that same advice to superintendents? I am amazed at how many superintendents are paralyzed by the fear of repercussions for any move they make. A well justified fear, but a paralyzing fear nonetheless.

I worry that we have killed the innovation and creativity among our kids. But we have done even more damage to the creativity and innovation within our system. Educators are terrified to make the kind of systemic change necessary to prepare our kids for the 21st century.

So in my opinion Tom, LET THE REVOLUTION BEGAN! It doesn’t really matter where you start, dammit, do something! – Steve Wyckoff

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