The following is a conversation between me and a LYS Principal:


In your most honest opinion, in terms of implementation of Fundamental 5 practices, how do we compare to other schools in our state and schools across the nation? I would like to discuss this at my next staff meeting.

SC Response You know that I always give you my honest opinion. We have discussed this topic informally, but here is something more concrete to work with.  

Don’t compare your high school to other schools in regards to implementing best practice.  By doing that you are committing to:

1. Just being better than average.
2. Allowing yourself to be satisfied with instruction that is not optimal for maximizing student opportunity.

You have almost 100 teachers, all good people.  But they are not your primary concern.  They are paid professionals.

You have 1,454 students.   They are your primary concern.  

Your high school is the last, best chance to improve their future.  The level of their adult success is a direct reflection of the success of your high school and your tenure as principal.  This awesome responsibility is what makes the principalship so worthwhile.  You are directly responsible for shaping lives on a massive scale.

Which means that to allow best practice to be ignored in the classroom (for any reason) has a daily detrimental impact on your 1,454 students.

Which is why you don’t compare your high school to other schools.  You compare your school to what it is capable of doing against what it is currently doing. And based on that comparison, your high school can get incrementally better, every day (as can every school).

This simple truth is what you should discuss in your next (and every) staff meeting.

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! 
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  • Upcoming Presentations: TASSP Summer Conference (Multiple Presentations); TEPSA Summer Conference (Multiple Presentations); NAESP National Conference; Illinois ASCD Fall Conference (Multiple Presentations) 
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