Are you invested in the state and future of public education? Do you wonder how the field of education in the USA has become what it is today? Well, understanding is the first step in advocating for systemic improvements. In her book The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, well-known historian and writer Diane Ravitch describes the movements and events that gave rise to the age of accountability that has so profoundly influenced our schools.
One of my favorite authors, Thomas Sergiovanni, wrote about the concept of 'followership'. He expressed the idea that without followers, there are no leaders. This begs the question, 'What is a follower?' From my perspective (and in the context of education), followers are professionals who think critically and choose to align themselves with a leader in order to fulfill a mutual cause or achieve a collective goal. Well, the age of accountability has been really hard on followers... the people who do the real work of educating our students.
Is the age of accountability in Education turning you into someone that you don't want to be? School systems have been under significant scrutiny for years, and the pressure has mounted over time. With politicians, the press, members of the public, and governing boards raising the bar and expecting better results with fewer resources and given greater challenges, all educational leaders are under great stress. Actually, I would go so far as to say that it is beyond stress. Many school leaders are actually under threat. Make changes, or else. Improve scores, or else.