We have an obsession with results. There isn’t anything wrong with a focus on results, but we cannot separate it from the importance of quality processes and culture. Frameworks and processes must be nimble and not beaurocratic, but they are nonetheless necessary. I’ll admit that my strength is not building these processes, but as a leader I would be remiss if I did not value them. We need both. Simply put, a focus on results only will yield chaos and neglecting results leads to beaurocracy. Furthermore, a negative school culture will undermine both.
The American education system has put the cart before the horse for more than a decade. There is nothing wrong with a focus on results, but we must understand that they don’t come overnight. Lasting change requires processes and doesn’t satisfy our need for instantaneous outcomes. We need to begin training teachers and administrators in proven processes that focus on kids instead of numbers. For instance, we need frameworks that teach students how to think deeply and collaborate. Students who understand how to solve real problems will perform better on state exams and more importantly in life.
We must never forget that the purpose of school is not to prepare students for more school. Businesses need thinkers, problem solvers, communicators, and collaborators. They aren’t looking for great test takers. We must focus on the pursuit of frameworks and processes aligned to these outcomes. After all, the ultimate measure of a man or woman will never be his/her test scores.