Randy Newman – Burn On
Yesterday our Superintendent decided to get down to the nitty-gritty and actually do something about the dropouts facing LAUSD. So he, and mountains of other district bureaucrats traipsed through the neighborhoods, going door-to-door looking for drop-out and truant kids. While perhaps not the most efficient way to lower the truancy rate (I can just imagine a sleeping-in kid being awoken by the Superintendent of the nation’s second largest school district standing at your door), it certainly speaks volumes to the effect that we actually have a Supe who understands that without action, vision is useless.
So often, we have top-down people telling us what mandates we must accomplish, what goals we must have, and what aspirations we must…..uh…..aspire to. Yet, to paraphrase, the Father of Lies does actually reside in the logistics. It’s only when clear goals and clear steps to attain those goals come together that things can actually be accomplished.
Case in point, we constantly harp on our kids to “do your homework! Do your homework”, but so often, many don’t actually think about the details that it takes to get it done, namely, that they need a time to do their homework (right after school? before bed?), a space to do their homework (at a desk?, a table? a library booth?), and all the materials with them (pencils, papers, books, etc…). It seems so simple it’s crazy, but all of that must be in place for the “goal” of homework completion to occur!
Another case in point, I got word today that a principal at another LAUSD middle school has just mandated that their teacher’s do homeroom intervention (I take partial blame for this). While I certainly don’t have all the facts of this, rest assured that without the details of what this looks like, the endeavor will fail and teachers will be frustrated. You can’t mandate change from above without leaders on the front lines figuring out ways for the rubber to meet the road!