March 19, 2005

A Super's Comment Great to have a school superintendent reading this blog. Unfortunately, her comment to my post on "The Best Advice" reveals that I did a poor job of putting that post in context. The original post is immediately below this one. Here's the super's comment: As a teacher, principal and now a superintendent for 10 years, I find the substitution of "teachers" for the word "people" to be limiting. If your substitution is to imply that no substantial improvements are going to occur without the teachers, then I will agree. I suspect you mean more than just teachers. There are students, parents, taxpayers, elected officials, state politicians, all kinds of "howling hordes" as Jamie Vollmer calls them. As superintendent.....I worry about them all...and it is never enough. :-) I know exactly what she's taling about, but disagree with her point. The reference to "people" in the original quote was to employees -- the creative talent in an advertising agency, to be specific -- not to customers, competitors, board members, regulators, activist groups and all the other "howling hordes" that any business faces. And, if your initial reaction is that, "Sure, creative talent is important to an ad agency, but you can't expect to get that kind of quality in teachers," then you don't get it. (Not talking to the super here, she probably does get it.) Yes, a superintendent who builds a system focused on teacher-led instructional will have to provide "high cover" for that operation. He will have to defend...

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