I had the good fortune to be one of over 2,000 faces in the room at the Phoenix Convention Center this week for the Professional Learning Communities Summit. How was it? Invigorating. Energizing. Engaging. Affirming. But, also frustrating. Disappointing. Aggravating.
To continue my long tradition of name dropping, I listened to Marzano, Mohammed, Eaker, Reeves, and DuFour – both Mr. and Mrs. Over the course of three days, a portion of my district’s Title IIa funds became well-reflected in the 66 pages of notes I took on my iPad.
All of that said, my mind kept racing back to a key concept: We know what works and we know what doesn’t. However, as a profession, we have been unable to implement any system-wide changes. Although the talking-heads would tell you it’s a union problem, it isn’t. And, this is coming from a school principal who works with NEA, daily. PLC’s, coupled with common formative assessments, and reformed grading practices change children’s lives and create energetic working environments where teachers enjoy collaborating around specific and shared goals. Yet, it rarely happens.
2,500 people in the audience would likely agree, or, I would bet they wouldn’t have been there, either.
Rather than describe exactly what I have concluded (although it isn’t exactly rocket science), I have simply uploaded a rough sketch I did while listening to Dr. Reeves.
Do you see the disconnect(s) that I see? Is the question really whether or not policy effectively meets practice?