Not Bad and Not Great are the Same Thing

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It was a busy day yesterday.  I was working with a Principal and a Superintendent confounded with the same problem – average student performance.

Here are the facts.  After observing 27 teachers (all of the teachers on the campus), only one teacher was observed doing things wrong. That represents 4% of the teaching staff.  Which means that 96% of the teaching staff was doing nothing wrong. Most people would consider this to be good news. 96% of the teachers were not engaged in bad instructional practices.

However, only 3 of the teachers were observed doing things significantly right.  This means that only 11% of the teachers were using identified best instructional practices in their classroom.

The reality on this campus was that 4% of the staff were delivering poor instruction, 85% of the staff were delivering average instruction, and 11% of the staff were delivering superior instruction. And the quality of instruction was not driven by content or student ability. This simply was the quality of observed adult practice.

What this means is that on the observed campus a primary driver of average student performance was overwhelmingly average adult practice.

Not bad and not great are the same thing… average.

What I reminded the Principal and the Superintendent is that as a school leader, your staff is comfortable if you accept, “Not bad.”  Your students are short changed if you accept, “Not great.

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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