1. TKA

    I thought this was an interesting article as you move forward into uncharted territory that many have not bridged yet. I have walked a neighbor through the OSS process of another district and their admin are so back in the dark ages from the Supt. to the principal, to the asst. principal it made me livid. It was all about the policy/consequence and what our handbook had to say so we are fair to both. They were/are so culturally insensitive! Their due diligence was so superficial and filled with bias it made me livid. The young lady transferred to a different HS in the district and the environment was 180 degree difference. So you have such an opportunity to touch kids and parent’s lives because of who you are:)

  2. I wonder if part of the problem is that as a staff we think of our work in terms of compliance instead of empowerment. With many school districts having very formal approaches to teacher performance evaluations, are we discouraging the growth of our own staff? And if they don’t think about their own work in this way, are they able to transmit that philosophy to their students?

    • I think you are right! We do think in terms of COMPLIANCE – Have I done what has been asked? or Have I impacted student learning?
      Your question is a challenging one, and how does it impact student achievement?
      Thanks! Lois Letchford.

  3. John Watkins

    I’ve read the Dan Pink book and I agree that it would be great for students to want to learn rather than just worry about a grade but the process of moving on has to be changed from the top down. Not only colleges have to be changed but the job market has to change. Until that does we will still have students asking what do I have to do to get an “A” rather than wow look at what I can learn.

  4. Hey Pal,

    First, here’s to hoping that you and that beautiful family of yours are well and happy! Been a while.

    And second, I REALLY want to see you write about the implications of our “compliance first” teacher evaluation and school leadership cultures have on the willingness/ability of teachers to incorporate those same behaviors in their instruction.

    The sad truth is that the supervision of teachers is largely compliance based. Did teachers fill out the right form at the right time in the right way? Has the teacher posted their objective on the board for their daily lesson? Does the teacher report to work on time and respond to email in a timely way?

    Pair that with the fact that most teachers grew up in compliance based classrooms and we shouldn’t be surprised when teachers struggle to create anything but compliance based learning experiences for their kids.

    My argument would be that until we focus on reducing compliance first teacher supervision and evaluation models, none of those same changes will spread across classrooms. Teachers create the learning experiences that they know — and right now, there’s little empowering about the spaces where most of our teachers live and work.

    Rock on,

  5. Compliance will get you a relatively even spread of “same” and “good”. If you want more for your students and staff and district, you need to build commitment and autonomy. I like the saying “Get a C in compliance but get an A in learning and leading.”
    When the focus is genuinely on learning, it’s easier to be honest about and receptive to performance assessment of students, staff, leaders and district. This is one of those things that must be modelled from the classroom to the boardroom.

  6. […] “A performance goal would be similar to having students wanting to receive an “A” in french where a learning goal would be a student wanting to become fluent in the language.  Many students are smart enough that they know how to meet the objectives of a rubric and still not grow much in their learning.  A master teacher sets the goals based on learning not on receiving a grade.  This type of assessment is not about understanding what a student knows and reporting on it, but it is a tool used for learning.” – George Couros in Questions for Compliance or Empowerment […]

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