Our district is in the middle of many change initiatives that are focused on developing a different accountability system for student learning. The drive is coming from the School Board and is fueled by everything they have been reading in "The World is Flat", "Disrupting Class", and more.

Although small task force groups have attempted to grapple with what needs to change with our current graduation requirements and grading system, the groups fall short of being able to make meaningful creative change recommendations. It is so hard for people to recommend a system change. It takes strength to stand up to collegues and say "I was part of this recommendation!"

So the forward thinking School Board makes the decisions for them and then are chastised as being "Top Down". A new position paper has recently been delivered for feedback from the teachers, parents, and students. It identifies desired changes in our current system and will have an impact on how teachers grade as well as what it will take for our students to graduate. We, of course, know that for a new system to actually happen, there needs to be teacher support but how can we find that middle ground without it taking years to implement?

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Comment by Jeffrey Fuller on February 26, 2010 at 9:00am
In addition, any ideas that you do have about change, must be sold to the teaching staff. Don't be afraid to share the fact that your recommendations were accepted. Sell them to your colleagues.
Comment by Jeffrey Fuller on February 26, 2010 at 8:57am
First, you must include teachers in the process. Teachers will refuse any efforts that are dictated to them from the top. Because teachers have first hand day-to-day experience working with the kids in the classroom, they "ARE," in fact, the experts. They must be included in the decision making process, and they must know that their input is valuable, and see proof that it is being used. If cursory attempts are made to include teachers, they will know, and any efforts made from the top down will be futile.

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