To save the souls of our schools, administrators must truly “minister” or in other words, assist all in the building. As instructional leaders of our schools, they cannot function in isolation nor allow teachers to do so as well. When a principal cares about the success of teachers and students, his/her presence does not evoke fear.
Many people don’t see how dropouts in large cities have anything to do with their own lives. They feel protected against the problems with schools in other areas and don’t believe that failing schools can have any impact on their own well being or safety. It reminds me of the ostrich with his head in the sand. If nothing else, you’d think people would understand that increased crime rates increase the tax money spent to jail criminals.
So, if you want to evaluate the process of education at Lewis-Palmer Elementary, follow this most foundational principle – look at the quality of doing in that school. See how much time kids are engaged doing something they have a genuine interest in doing. Do not be fooled with contrived activity. If you see kids obediently (or not) listening to lectures – that is truly bad doing. What kid has a genuine interest in a lecture? If you see kids, with blank expressions, filling out workbooks – that is unlikely good doing. If you see kids laboring through repetitious math problems – that is not good doing.
I choose to start a truly progressive school in Durango. One where children are first, and learning is from the inside out, instead of being based on a preset body of knowledge that everyone must learn regardless of interest, and regardless of the fact that it is now well-recognized that the jobs our kids will be doing haven’t even been invented yet. So how can we know what they will need to know?
QueenVictoria(1819 – 1901) was queen ofUnited KingdomandIrelandfrom 1837 until her death. In 1840 she married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg andGotha(1819 – 1861).Prince Albertwas QueenVictoria’s first cousin. They had 9 children and 42 grandchildren.Prince Albertadvocated education reform the abolition of slavery.Prince Albertdied at age 42. QueenVictoriaandPrince Alberthad a beautiful relationship and long term love affair. QueenVictoriamourned the death of her dearPrince Albertfor the rest of her life.
We in Kansas City know all about misspent money. Our city was awarded billions in a desegregation ruling. We got a bunch of pretty new schools, tons of administrators, gaggles of bad teachers, a laughable school board and the same miserable educational system, just as segregated, disconnected and irrelevant as it been since the length of my memory. Ours is not an isolated cases but a shining model of all that is wrong. The one room school houses of the 19th century are better education models than anything we have today.
How do these kids fare in school? How many of them have book or terrariums at home? Or music lessons? Or trips to zoos and museums? What will their parents teach them about the nature of public school, or the integrity of their teachers? What will they, in turn, teach their own kids years from now?