Engagement and Turnaround

Politics K-12 has a good scoop on Duncan adding a mandatory community engagement element to school improvement plans.  I would put this in the overcrowded category of, “Things That Should Be Self-Evident, Yet We Have To End Up Mandating.”  Schools are deeply rooted in their communities, and any successful turnaround plan requires authentic engagement, for a litany of reasons.  And engagement shouldn’t be episodic, but rather continuous and predicated on building trust.

The challenge is defining the roles of stakeholders in the process.  Someone – ultimately the LEA – has to make hard decisions, and it is rare that everyone will agree with those decisions.  Community engagement plans run afoul when folks fail to set expectations about the roles for the various stakeholders.  A wise mentor of mine said that community engagement is a spectrum, with “fiat” on one end and “unanimous consensus” on the other end.  Neither is a viable way of managing a school system, and finding the right place on that spectrum – and ultimately communicating the balance – is one of the difficult jobs that falls to whomever manages that system.

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One Response to Engagement and Turnaround

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Engagement and Turnaround « Meeting the Turnaround Challenge -- Topsy.com

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