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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Trustee Reflection 18-02-13

 A common thread in education lingo these day. “In Learning it is not what question you answered today but what question did you ask.” 

The most important thing we as Trustees do, our Strategic Plan. AMDSB’s:

We will
Create Positive, Inclusive Learning Environments
Maximize Outcomes for Students
Engaging our students, staff, families, communities and our world 
Inspiring with evidence-informed teaching and learning
Innovating through the creative potential of emerging technologies
Guided by Principles of
Equity, Character & Stewardship

The strategic plan sets the direction. On the surface and on the ground what does that look like for/to us as trustees? 

Do we as trustees reflect upon the plan to see where every decision we make fits into it? “We are doing for the students” is not enough. The alignment of the BIPSAW to the Plan allows us to see the many areas that an administrative decision can impact. Do we reflect back, Review, follow up to see how those decisions are materializing? Are they having the goals/results we anticipated? Then there is the SIPSAW. The grassroots on the ground version of the plan.  And then we can’t forget the Ministry’s plans (documents) Growing Success and Achieving Excellence. Within all these plans are various priorities, themes, visions, initiatives, strategies, goals, indicators, etc, etc.

Here is an excerpt from the book Fighting for Change in Your School by Harvey Alvy. (P. 2)

Tyack and Cuban (1995) define reforms as ‘planned efforts to change schools in order to correct perceived social and educational problems’ (p.4) At the same time, they insist that change ‘is not synonymous with progress. Sometimes preserving good practices in face of challenges is a major achievement, and sometimes teachers have been wise to resist reforms that violated their professional judgement.’ (p.5) Sirotnik (1999) maintains that most reforms are ‘about whatever is politically fashionable, pendulum-like in popularity , and usually underfunded, lacking professional development, and short lived’ (p.607-608) , noting that too many reformers focus on ‘mandates and accountability schemes’ while overlooking context, commitment, and the resources necessary to implement change. Sirotnik contrasts reform with renewal, stressing that reforms have a beginning and an end (e.g. teaching leads to students’ scores) whereas ‘renewal is not about a point in time; it is about all, points in time-it is about continuous, critical inquiry into current practices and principled innovation that might improve education ‘ (p.608)”

I ask these questions. Can any of these plans exist without the others? What would alignment, integration and implementation look like if one or if two or if even three plans were removed? Which plan has the most impact on student learning? What is the relevancy of these plans? Where does accountability lie and by whom to whom?

Engage Inspire Innovate .... Always Learning. Are they more than just words? 

I have asked my questions now I need to answer them.

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