Who is Most Responsible for School Failure?

At one time, in the early days (early 2000’s) of sanction driven school accountability, I was the nexus of school improvement plan approval in my state.  A couple of times each month I would field a call from some high ranking central office administrator would would want tacit approval of their revolutionary school improvement plan. Essentially, the call would go something like this…


“Sean, we’re thinking that what we need to do is have all the teachers and administrators at our low performing school re-apply and interview for their job.  We’ll weed out the poor performers and hire replacements that are more compliant and have better attitudes. What do you think?”


“Interesting. Are you going to have the Assistant Superintendents and Superintendent re-apply and interview for their jobs?”


“… Why would we do that?”


“Well, schools fail because systems fail. Teachers don’t control and manage the campus and district systems.  Campus administrators have limited control of district macro-systems.  It is the Assistant Superintendents and Superintendents who most directly control the system.  The system’s failure happened under their watch.  Should they be held at least as accountable as the campus staff?”


“… We’ll get back with you.”


They never did.


Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…

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