In response to the post, “Comments from LYS Trainings, Camps and Presentations,” an old school LYS Principal writes: As a principal of now multiple LYS schools, I have to comment on “buzz words.” We all hear them, everyone uses them, very few know what they mean, and even fewer implement the ideas. I was talking to an Education Support Center (ESC) curriculum “expert” a few weeks ago. He used all the right language, gave a great presentation, but upon closer questioning it became apparent the “expert” we were receiving training from had some serious misconceptions concerning rigor. In our ongoing discussion it became clear that the “expert” had only a cursory knowledge of instructional issues and a poor understanding of Bloom’s Taxonomy. I then spoke with a principal in the training session who from a large, middle class, mostly white, suburban school district. She certainly spoke the language and I was impressed, until I found out her school missed recognized (even with TPM) by just a couple of points. Seriously? LYS principals have taken EXTREMELY low SES urban schools in the middle of gangland to recognized with TPM. TPM is the ultimate wildcard, if it is not helping you, what are you doing? Because it obviously is not aligned instruction. It is the knowing/doing gap, and that is what we strive to close as LYS leaders. We walk it like we talk it. As I have built my resume cleaning up the messes left by others, I see that is a rare quality. Welcome to what education can be Alice, enjoy the ride down the rabbit hole. SC Response As always, I wish I could contradict what you present, but we both have cleaned up too many messes. What makes you want to scream is the fact that the problems we face in education are solvable. Solvable, if we would simply do three things. 1. Quit shooting ourselves in the foot, reloading and shooting again. 2. Recognize that the fundamental practices of creating a self-sustaining learning organization are not difficult, but they are fundamental. Ignore them and everything else you do is an empty exercise. 3. Work hard, with purpose, reflection and passion. And there is the rub; purposeful change, fundamental practice and hard work isn’t a program that you can just plug “those” kids into, so it isn’t a viable solution for anybody other that the special breed of teachers and leaders that make up the LYS Nation. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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