SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Time to Really Think Outside the Box

By Mike Simpson

It is time for each of us in leadership roles to look in the mirror.

While the current state of the education crisis is directly related to the recession, there are structural reasons why this crisis is so desperate. The leadership of our education establishment suffers from inbreeding and groupthink. When Einstein described insanity, he had the educational establishment in mind. BIG districts and BIG unions have not served the best interests of our children. While we continue to do amazing things for many, the fact is that there are too many of our children being left behind.

The leadership change that we need is in place now. It does not reside in the district office or the union office. It is time to listen and work with the community and parents. School site councils and neighborhood associations contain the ideas that are impossible for the “Bigs” of the educational establishment. The community leaders found closest to our children can move education forward but they are shut out of the process, structurally. The “Bigs” continue to work with the legislature to find the solutions that fit the nice little box of the educational establishment. Unfortunately the results are more of the same.

I believe that only bottom-up and grassroots solutions will change the mess that we have in education. We must empower our school site councils through site-level budgets where the education dollars follow the child.

Current leaders need to get their heads around the idea that leadership is not exclusively their realm. It is time that we listen to teachers, parents and communities at the site level and see if we do not find answers that serve all our children.


Written by scusdobserver

April 18, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Commentary

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