Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Five Year Non-Negotiable Goals for Achievement and Instruction

The Ridgway Area School Board met in January to create non-negotiable goals for achievement and instruction. These goals will cover a five year period. The Board met with a consultant, Dr. Pat Crawford, for over three hours working together with the administration to create these goals. The goals will help guide the decision making process for the school board for the next five years. I believe it was very good decision by the Board to decide to create these goals, especially in light of the pending financial difficulties that lie ahead for all school districts in Pennsylvania (more on that subject in a later blog).

As you review these goals, please pay attention to the positive nature of the goals. First and foremost the school board is very dedicated to the idea that literacy instruction and creative problem solving will help students thrive in the 21st century. To try to create a curriculum that will benefit a student ten years from now is folly. Rather, the school district must help students acquire skills that will translate to a variety of different scenarios and tasks.  This is the true meaning of education in the 21st Century. The school district does not want to prepare students for careers that are “dead ends” (please follow this link for jobs that will be available over the next few years). Our students must be prepared to couple creativity and technology to position themselves for the careers that will allow them to live well in the future. Like it or not, future careers will involve people becoming “independent contractors” of their own work. They will not be able to go to work for a factory for 40 years.

Finally, one of the hallmarks of the future is transparency in operations for public and private organizations. The best way to accomplish this transparency is through effective, open communication. Therefore, one of the goals of the school board is to create more spaces where parents and the public can interact with the school district. I look forward to fulfilling this goal for the school board. It is exciting to think of what all of us can learn from each other once effective communication is started.
I am away from the office for the next few days. What this means is that I am going to try to “mobile blog” but I cannot guarantee the results. Since communication and technology are so important for the future of our students, I am trying to play “catch up” by using technology more. Please bear with me as I attempt to mobile blog!!

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