Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Meaningful Results are Worth Our Time and Energy

Our school is in the midst of a transition. We're moving to more structured, rigid PLCs (professional learning communities). It's causing some tension and stress.

After lots of discussion with others and some serious reflection of my own I've identified my biggest concern. Everything about the way a traditional PLC is designed, in many ways, is focused on test results. The wording is about results in a vague way but those results boil down to standardized tests of some sort.

I tweeted my frustration about this yesterday and have continued to think a lot about it. Interestingly enough I just skyped in with a school in Florida to share my thinking about what matters. Andrea invited me to give the Encienda I gave at Educon last year to the staff at her school. They are planning to use this format for future staff meetings.

If you're a fan of Chris Lehmann you'll find the main gist here really familiar. This recording happened before I really got my brain wrapped around my personal frustrations with PLCs and the focus of educational reform in general and as it very specifically pertains to me. Looking at the video now I am pleased with my beliefs.

I care about results. But that doesn't translate to standardized test scores. Results in the lives of children are so much bigger than that.

Jump to 1:50 to watch the actual Encienda talk. The first bit is me chatting with Andrea and others at her school.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

How many PLCs do you have a week, and how long do they last?

:) Jen

Jim Randolph said...

Great as always!