Saturday, February 23, 2013

Schools Cannot Do it Alone - Week 1

I have enjoyed reading the first five chapters of Jamie Vollmer's book this week.  He offers a very different perspective that I think most everyone who reads his book can appreciate.  He has a business background and evidently had a very pessimistic opinion of how public schools are run.  In addition, Vollmer paints a picture of public education that many of us have not thought about before.

As a public school educator, I appreciate the spotlight that Vollmer shines on the overwhelming amount of responsibility that has been added to public schools over the last several decades known as "Vollmer's list."  He goes on to say that all of this has been added without adding one minute to the school day or one day to the calendar.  I also appreciate the idea of having a very different conversation about what we can and need to do to transform our schools into 21st Century learning organizations.

Below are a few of my favorite quotes from the first five chapters:

"Initiative, creative thinking, and problem solving are now encouraged if not required at every level of employment (p. 4)."

"For the first time in history, our security, prosperity, and the health of our nation depend upon our ability to unfold the full creative potential of every child (p. 4)." - This reminds me of a book called
The Element written by Sir Ken Robinson.  This book talks about how each of us has an element that takes us to another level of creativity and engagement.

"The problem is not the people.  It's the system (p. 6)." - He does not mean the district, but the American public school educational system as a whole.

"Every year, our educators teach more children in more subjects to higher levels than ever before, and, every year, millions leave school with nowhere to go (p. 49)."

I found this video that summarizes Jamie Vollmer's message (VIDEO)

I am thankful to be in a school district and the principal of a school that is willing to rethink how we are doing things in order to best prepare all of our boys and girls for their future.  The conversation here in Richland Two began back in October at the RSD2 Parent Summit.  You can view some of that conversation by clicking HERE.
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