Let’s Get in a Group
The Post-Dispatch reports that the St. Louis Public Schools are seeking input from parents and that we shouldn’t consider this to be deja vu all over again.
Virtually everyone involved with the St. Louis Public Schools is well-intentioned. But the system doesn’t work. The only progress the district has achieved has come from charters and magnets, the schools whose entire purpose is to try new things. The district has received dollars and advice, but it can’t put new ideas into practice. It’s like a big semi-trailer truck on the highway. It’s been going in one direction at high speed for a long time, and it’s built up a lot of momentum. It can’t just stop and turn around.
People quoted in the article talk about creating a sense of urgency, but there’s been a sense of urgency for several years and we haven’t seen results. It’s like district officials think that if they get stressed out enough, something good will happen. What we really need is less urgency and more calm willingness to experiment and be flexible.
I’m not the only one with little faith in the process. This quote by Melanie Adams sums it up best:
"We have to convince them that this is not going to be like the other seven times they were asked to come into a room and brainstorm," she said.