Hope may be a virtue, but it is not a strategy. – Fullan & DuFour
by Cathy Gassenheimer
Research and best practice tell us that consistently high performing schools are places where both adults and students are committed to continuous learning and where everyone values collaboration, reflection, and growth. But, how does a school “get there?”
Michael Fullan and Rick DuFour suggest a strategy for becoming that type of school, district (or even region) in their compact, thought-provoking book, Cultures Built to Last: Systemic PLCs at Work
Cultures Built to Last
represents the best thinking of both educational leaders: Fullan’s perspectives on whole system reform, moral purpose, and coherence, and DuFour's insights about growing effective professional learning communities.
Fullan and DuFour suggest that building the type of sustainable culture that results in continuous improvement is “absolutely doable, but is also undeniably difficult” (p. 2).
And they challenge us even further by suggesting that having isolated high performing schools is not sufficient: We must create high performing districts
where the work of improvement is continuous and embedded deeply in the system's professional culture; where success is documented and transparent and therefore able to inspire other districts to commit to culture-building.Read More
by Cathy Gassenheimer
I love The Marshall Memo
– a regular email from educator Kim Marshall summarizing some of the most interesting new education material published in a large collection of magazines, journals and websites that he follows. Books, too. He calls it "a weekly roundup of important ideas and research in K12 education."
It's not free (a single subscriber pays $50 a year or about $1 per issue; less for groups
) but considering the amount of time and effort it takes to produce each weekly edition, the Marshall Memo is a bargain and a wonderfully efficient way to follow important news about education research and practice.
A recent issue (#577) included a synopsis titled "How Can Successful School Improvement Ideas Be Taken to Scale?" In about 500 words, Marshall crisply summarizes an Educational Researcher article by Dr. Catherine Lewis
(an expert on Japanese lesson study): "What Is Improvement Science? Do We Need It in Education?"Read More