Posts Tagged ‘ Success ’

Good Hiring Advice

Educational organizations are in the middle of the hiring season. Anthony Tjan offers some good advice about what to look for in a candidate. Not your typical HR questions, but you may not be looking for the typical HR results!

http://blogs.hbr.org/tjan/2013/06/becoming-a-better-judge-of-peo.html

Missing

Why can’t K – 12 organizations be as good as post-secondary institutions at connections with student and staff alumni? While not equal in terms of a source of revenue with post-secondary alumni, they nonetheless provide a strong base of experience and support. As charter schools increase their footprint, I expect they will no doubt use their connections to student alumni to their advantage, similar to what the private schools do already. But even the private K -12 institutions tend to ignore staff alumni.

My post-secondary alma mater basks regularly in the borrowed light of former students Hugh Hardy and Michael Graves. Bill Belichick used to come annually to Annapolis High School to visit with the Deputy Superintendent (his former coach) and the student athletes on the football team. Although it probably doesn’t raise test scores by a single point, opportunities to connect caring and successful adults with students open windows into worlds that are both exciting and aspirational. This opportunity exists for each and every educational institution. There are success stories out there that need to be told and successful student and staff alumni to be used as resources. If our stated goal in education is to give each and every student the tools to be successful, then inspiration provided by successful former students and staff cannot be ignored.

My former employer has at least seven current K – 12 school superintendents among their staff alumni and countless senior staff in other districts. Aren’t they a resource worth consulting on a regular and somewhat formal basis? Although some are consulted on an ad hoc basis from time to time, at the moment they appear to be an under-utilized and therefore missed opportunity.

The Measurement of (Future) Success

I have just finished reading Moneyball. It is the story of how Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s, developed a winning team within the constraints of a minimal operating budget. He did it by re-thinking the institutionalized measurements of a player’s value and potential that had been used by major league baseball since the game was invented and a Brit named Henry Chadwick developed the record-keeping format. I believe this has implications for 21st century education.

While developing the 2014 strategic plan for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, I was amazed to find that our sole measure of the success of our schools was the scores of the state tests – basically three at elementary school and five in secondary school. Parents, educators, and elected officials used this statistic to determine which schools were “the best”.

  1. How do we know that these specific measurements lead to success for students?
  2. These measures only cover a third of the subjects. What does that imply about the other two-thirds?
  3. How is the ability to memorize facts and formulas a 21st century skill? (Common core may cure some of this one.)

If we are to measure what matters for students to be successful in the future, what is it that we need to measure and how do we make sure students receive it as part of their education?

I would be interested to hear about what in your formal and informal education has made it possible for you to be successful.