In response to the 6/28/11 post, “More on PLC’s – Part 2,” an old school LYS’er writes:I understand the initial skepticism towards the power of the Fundamental Five. When the Fundamental Five was discovered, and it was discovered – not invented, it was difficult for even Cain to accept the fact that improving student outcomes could be that simple. We already had Cain’s Foundation Trinity, which dates back to the early days of the high school restructuring program put in place by Commissioner Neely. There have always been lots of good ideas about how to improve schools, some more practical than others. But it was Cain and Brown that identified the elements common to the ideas that actually worked. Then, they were the first to understand the power of the integrated implementation of those components. While PLC’s were evident in some successful improvement initiatives, they were not common to all successful improvement initiatives. Bottom line, though useful, PLC’s are not the end all of instructional improvement. Granted, it is easier for me to embrace the concept and power of the Foundation Trinity and the Fundamental Five because I was there at the beginning of all of this. I am proud that I was on one of the many campuses that contributed to the development of both. I lived it and witnessed it, and my students have been better off because of it. When my staff gathers to discuss improving student outcomes, the ONLY framework they need to confine themselves to are the Trinity and the Five. It really is that simple, and yes, those two things alone ARE enough to improve your student outcomes rapidly and drastically. SC Response I think what is comes down to is that there are many things that we can consider and do that are a benefit to students in some shape, form or fashion. Which is part of the problem. If I just keep my students safe and treat them with dignity, I have done something positive that day. But the Foundation Trinity provides a mechanism to maintain organization focus on doing the things that make a positive impact on student academic performance. It keeps us from being distracted from our primary mission, educating all students at high levels. The Fundamental Five focuses on the instructional delivery practices that the teacher controls that maximize teacher effectiveness. Again, providing the entire organization with a filter to separate the practices that are generally not detrimental from the practices that are specifically advantageous. Simply put, the Foundation Trinity makes sure that the entire organization is playing the same defined game and the Fundamental Five makes sure that the individual actors within the organization are effective and efficient in the execution of their craft. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on! Follow Sean Cain and LYS on