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Balanced and Aligned Focus on Tasks and People

Schools and school systems are scrambling to integrate social and emotional learning (“SEL”) into their curriculum, this is in addition to core academics — for many good reasons.

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Sustained peak public school performance requires a constructively balanced and aligned focus on tasks and people.

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You know public school performance continues to be assessed both qualitatively and quantitatively along numerous dimensions from many perspectives.

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You know that performance standards are in a continual state of flux — as are school resources.

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Consideration of “public school effectiveness,” amidst continuously changing teacher and student state performance standards, includes evaluation of basic business operations.

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Sustained strong educational system performance, with increasing consensus, requires constructively tailored and agile responses to particular student populations with and by available school resources.

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The school’s primary stakeholders are the most vulnerable.

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Our children are themselves each in their own unique and vulnerable process of individual formative personal development.

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The rapidly-changing world our children face today is in some significant ways very different than the world you or I faced when we were children.

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It is our children who are the very future of our world.

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K–12 education is labor intensive.

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Not uncommon, eighty+ percent (80+%) of all expenditures might be devoted to personnel salaries and benefits, with perhaps 40 percent of all expenditures devoted to teacher salaries and benefits.

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How is public school performance enhanced?

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Schools and school systems have taken a variety of approaches to performance improvement.

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A local (while also government-influenced and supported) public education culture influences public school stakeholders (children, parents, other community members) who are participating within (if not sometimes in contrast to) that local culture.

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Each public education culture is itself often in a progressive state of flux across generations of participants and amidst changing demographics.

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Finance reform, class size change, voucher programs, charter schools, new technologies, new standards, new assessment systems, and much more have been adopted or rejected in a variety of ways by various communities over the years.

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Stories of the struggles and successes of students, schools, and school systems are occurring amidst the background of many “macro” fluctuations and changes in our American society.

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Stories of struggle and success range from stellar and inspiring to disheartening.

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Some stories of success focus on the spirit, dedication and competence of individual school personnel who may be, each in their own way, “beating the odds” in the sense of out-performing (that is, their students outperforming) the status quo.

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Unfortunately, schools and school systems tend to focus on only two of the three legs underneath student performance.

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Schools focus on curriculum and teacher training, yes, but miss the culture piece.

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New educational programs, in some cases, represent mere “band-aides.”

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We can read headline after headline of school systems implementing this or that “new program” on behalf of their students, often on behalf of a particular subset of their most “problematic” students.

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Many of these programs report positive and encouraging results.

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Many programs do not meet or sustain initial expectations.

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“Band-aides” can be helpful for promoting re-in-stasis.

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Band-aides alone, however, cannot promote positive systems change — the constructive fine-tuning of school structures, systems, technologies, and personnel skills/qualities — to significantly improve individual, team, and organizational outcomes of interest to a given school system.

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The often missing piece: a constructive focus on aligning the school’s resources around the school’s own values-based performance culture on behalf of prioritized performance goals.

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This is about doing more, and doing better, with what you’ve already got — by enhancing and reinvigorating your school’s very scholastic foundation and operations.

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True performance growth, tailored to your circumstances, then becomes easier and more sustainable, and provides you greater agility.

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Constructively invigorate your public school’s “culture” around your school’s central performance values and prioritized goals.

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As you consider the above option,

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>> Feel free to  contact us directly for more information.

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~Norman Jentner

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