It’s a system that puts the needs of adults first

This story on the front page of today’s Strib caught my attention:

Scholarship foundation drops Edison: A funding and control dispute leads a scholarship donor to Minneapolis schools to pull money from Edison High.

school_sketch.jpgThe systemic factor not mentioned in the story: the adults in the system — teachers, administrators, and school board members — are now all uncomfortable and having to work harder. The Edison principal already was showing his displeasure with the ‘disruption’ of external money. Now it’s reverberating throughout the district.

It’s another example of what those Carleton College grads, Joe Nathan (Director, Center for School Change at the Humphrey Institute) and Ted Kolderie (Senior Associate, Center for Policy Studies) refer to when critiqueing the traditional public school system:

“It’s a system that puts the needs of adults first.”

This isn’t a critique of the individual teachers or administrators or school board members. They all want to put the needs of the kids first and often succeed at it. But in the long run, the system is usually stronger and defeats the best intentions.

I wonder to what extent the people, both inside and outside the system, who are working to improve the schools owned and operated by the Northfield School District see this and factor it into their strategic plan?

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