At a time of overheated rhetoric about education reform, here’s a reminder from Mark GiaQuinta, president of the Fort Wayne Community Schools board, that the important stuff is what happens in the schoolhouse, not the Statehouse.
GiaQuinta sent this message last week to Fort Wayne public education supporters, responding to efforts in the Indiana legislature to expand charter schools and implement a new voucher program. It seems relevant to the discussions taking place in the Monroe County Community School Corp. over how to allocate revenue from the recently approved property-tax referendum.
The Journal-Gazette newspaper reprinted it in the Learning Curve blog. With GiaQuinta’s permission, School Matters is sharing it here as well:
“The current debate over charters and vouchers fails to address the single most important issue in the reform of education, which is the commitment to a strategy that individualizes instruction to enable the appropriate intervention to change the outcome for the student. That commitment has to be “owned” by the School Board, the Administration, the Building Leaders (Principals and Assistants) and, most importantly, the teaching professionals.
“Each of the aforementioned has to demonstrate that commitment in different ways. For example, the Board has to commit to leave the implementation of the strategy to the Administration and the educators and limit its role to goal setting and the approval of policy that supports those goals. The Board has to approve budgets that reflect the district’s goals and not allow itself to be diverted by demands that will not lead to high achievement for all students. Continue reading