Hero Principals

CNN ran a great story this morning about Boston’s Orchard Gardens school.*

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First of all, this is a great story for the kids in this school. From everything I’ve heard, not only is student achievement up, but the culture improved rapidly. Important stuff!

The challenge here is that Andrew Bott seems like a hero principal. Which is great, we need many many more principals like him. But as I’ve said before, we can’t have a national turnaround strategy predicated solely on the work of hero principals who are able to succeed in spite of the system. We need to create new kinds of school systems – and external partner organizations – that can unleash the latent talent of above-average performers, while also making average performers perform above average. Try saying that three times fast …

*And it’s not just great because they interviewed me.

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