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What Do Excellence, Equity and Well-being Look Like in Reimagined Schools?

In the last edition of School Leadership Insights, I shared my key insights from reading Michael Fullan and Mary Jean Gallagher’s latest book, The Devil is in the Details”. You can read the edition HERE.

How insightful were Fullan and Gallagher in pre-Covid-19 times to write,

The world is rapidly and increasingly becoming more troubled to the point that literacy, numeracy, high school graduation, and the like may be important foundational goals but are no longer nearly up to the challenges we face. Our students need these foundational goals; they also need much more….the majority of students are bored, alienated, stressed, or all three. Present-day schooling… is painfully unfit for the learning that is required for survival let alone “thrival”.

We need a very different school system and one that engages the world as part of a proactive solution.”    (Fullan and Gallagher, 2020)

The high level goals espoused by Fullan and Gallagher are excellenceequity and well-being, and their connection to becoming good at life.

In “A Letter to Parents”, Gabbie Stroud wrote, “We need to think about what we want our students to know and how we should teach them. We need to think about the role of schools and the work of teachers. We need to reimagine our educational paradigm.”

What do Excellence, Equity and Well-being look like in reimagined schools and what role do schools play in helping young people become good at life?

As previously suggested in my post on April 15, it is time to revisit some sacred cows.

Does the school day need to be 9 to 3?

  • Is 5 the right starting age?
  • Is the curriculum too crowded?
  • What is REALLY important?
  • Are some things ESSENTIAL and others ‘nice to have’?
  • How can we reinstate the status of teaching?

How are schools funded?  State vs Federal? Return on investment? Needs based funding? Primary vs secondary?