Friday, May 20, 2016

Schools are Built for Adults - Case 2

“Schools are built for adults.” 

As an extension to the 5/18/2016 post, “Schools are Built for Adults – Case 1,” the above truth does not predispose that educators are bad people.  They (we) are not. In fact, compared to the population at large, educators are more decent, empathetic and self-sacrificing than the typical adult.  But we are still people. Which means that effective school leaders must be students of human nature.

My second proof point that “schools are built for adults” is this... In the Long Run, Adult Comfort Trumps Student Performance.

The overwhelming majority of schools do not operate to maximize student performance. Instead they operate at the intersection of an acceptable level of student performance and acceptable level of adult discomfort.

As long as that intersection resides above state accountability standards, the campus is considered successful and there is no pressure to maximize student performance.

If the intersection resides below state accountability standards, there is significant internal and external pressure to raise the level of student performance.  And the staff on the targeted campus will bear down and endure significant hardship toensure that more of their students meet the external accountability standards.

Not only is this admirable but it also demonstrates that we are capable of doing more than what we typically do.

But then the campus gets performance over the minimum standard bar and the crisis is ended.  Sooner rather than later, the all-important measure of adult comfort again takes over and there is significant pressure on campus leadership to “slow down,” and focus on morale.  The fact that there is objective proof that increased student performance is not only possible, but probable, is immaterial.

And for those of you skeptical, this pattern has been observed 100’s of times.  It is the primary reason why the State of Texas monitors campuses for up to 3 years after the campus finally meets minimum standards.   

No one really pays attention this truth. Now that you know it, what will you do with this information?

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on! 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: Illinois ASCD Fall Conference (Multiple Presentations), Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association Fall AP Conference, The Fundamental 5 National Summit (Multiple Presentations) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

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