How do you start reform where it's needed?
I am the proud principal of a small middle school in NW Ohio. How small? 240 students in three grades. It's a terrific size - I know our families and students well.
I will start my eighth year at this school in August and really feel that if reform is going to start ANYWHERE, this is the place. I have a terrific staff, parents who are rather supportive, and kids who will do what is asked.
Now you're asking why we haven't accomplished GREAT reform. It's because we have a terrific staff, parents who are rather supportive, and kids who will do what is asked (I love cut and paste!). There is no great need!!! 80-95% of our students score "proficient" or higher on our state tests, many of our students go to college and do rather well - our board of education, parents, and community feel that our schools are great.
Here's where I am so very conflicted... our school IS great. However, I know that we could engage our students at higher levels and go beyond test prep and set higher local standards than our state standards. I'm not certain my colleagues at the elementary and high schools would agree with me.
How do I do this? Where do I start? Help!!!