Presentation on theme: "Professional Learning Communities at Work - DuFour Chapter I Overview Rebecca Rocho, Asst. Superintendent / General Services and Legislation 269.789.2475."— Presentation transcript:
Professional Learning Communities at Work - DuFour Chapter I Overview Rebecca Rocho, Asst. Superintendent / General Services and Legislation
Did you know... A significant body of circumstantial evidence points to a deep, systemic incapacity of US schools, and practioners who work in them, to develop, incorporate and extend new ideas about teaching and learning in anything but a small fraction of schools and classrooms. Richard Elmore (1996)
Public Education Criticisms Crisis in Education (Life, 1957) What Went Wrong with US Schools and We are Less Educated than 50 Years Ago (US News & World Report 1958) Educational Wastelands (Bestor 1953 – dumbing down the curriculum) Nation at Risk (1983) – impetus to begin the Excellence Movement
Excellence Movement 1988 Reagan – no real reform; 1990 US DoE confirms that opinion 1989 – Gov. Bush convened only the 3 rd NGA Summit (this on Education) This NGA Summit lead to Goals 2000 The Goals 2000 (supported by Governors, the President, the US DoE) lead towards a national exam system nd National Education Summit
Restructuring Movement Excellence Movement doomed as top down; responsibility handed down to states (Governors, SEAs and Legislatures) Embraced as site based reform The restructuring movement brought confidence that teachers and principals, with help from parents and students, can get their own schoolhouse in order (Barth, 1991)
Disappointment Restructuring largely about non- academic, administrative issues... Students virtually untouched by the reforms... not within their classrooms (DuFour, 1998) Fullan (1997) and Sarason (1996) wonder if we are facing a lost cause Levin suggests we shift from reforming educators and schools to improving the children we send there.
Hope ? If we are to change the students we send to school, society problems must be solved first: Poverty (40% of our children) Families (33% single head of household; 30% of those teen mother) Victims of violent crime (> 4000 children murdered each year Alcohol (by grade 8, 70% have consumed) Increase: minorities, ESL, broken homes, etc.
Educators Push Back Berlinger (1995) The Manufactured Crisis Schneider, Houston (1993 AASA) Exploding the Myths Braceys (1997) Setting the Record Straight Unfortunately, this is not a dialogue that create the conditions for improving schools (DuFour, 1998)
Can We Reform Education? If future efforts to improve schools are to be productive, they must address two questions (Bracey, 1997): Why have past efforts not achieved intended results? What course of action offers the best hope for those who seek to make their schools more effective?
Hard, but the Right Work Complexity of the Task (50 states, 15,000 districts, 80,000 board members, 200,000 administrators, 120,000 principals, 2.5 M teachers, for 84,000 school buildings serving 43 M children) Misplaced focus Lack of clarify on intended results Lack of perseverance Respect for, attention to, the Change Process
What is the Truth? If schools are to be significantly more effective, they must break from the current model and embrace a model that allows them to function as a learning organization; through action-oriented professional learning communities of interest;... community places greater emphasis on relationships, shared ideals, and a strong culture. (DuFour, 1998)