© 2011-2014 Kathleen Wright

Reflections of an Urban Educator…teacher, nurse, and business woman seeking broad access to excellence in education for the children and effective support systems for sustainable continuous quality improvement for the adults.

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Or check out highlights from SchoolsRetooled below:

Seven Keys to Education Reform
This pocket book explores key levers of change to eliminate the data limitations, institutional myopia, bureaucratization, and mismatch between mission and incentives that interfere with sustainable reform of elementary and secondary education in the US.  DownloadSeven Keys to Education Reform

No-Fault Education Policy
So why did I list the seven keys to education reform without a single entry about the best teachers? The short answer is that plenty of people are addressing the issue already. The slightly longer version turns on the difference between building a better educator and building a better education system. read more

Hot Topics

School District Turnaround
Renewal through external oversight offers an opportunity to get reform ideas out of the incubator and into practice. State takeover of the Lawrence Public Schools sounds like a big-budget, centralized administrative challenge modeled, perhaps, after the takeover of the Chelsea schools by academics a couple of decades ago. On the other hand, why not go for a decentralized model with the big bucks going straight to the schools and a high-powered leadership team? read more…

Accountabilities – Securing the Floor to Raise the Ceiling
When you bump your head on the ceiling, it’s the designer’s fault. When you bump your head on the floor, you may need to look in the mirror. It’s that way with student test scores, too. No one ever said that accountability testing was designed to limit how high achievement could get; rather, it was to ensure that no child was left behind because he or she was unprepared for the next level on the climb to the top. read more…

My Philosophy of Education
Education provides the leadership, guidance, scaffolding, and material resources for successful transformation from childhood to early adulthood. The child forms his or her intellect with the knowledge, academic skills, and critical thinking needed to address opportunities and dilemmas in real life as well as to continue the pursuit of understanding as a lifelong learner. The academic village serves as a microcosm for society in which to develop physically and emotionally and to explore citizenship in a democratic world. Education must have meaning and relevance, but the student should be transformed by education into a broader minded individual open to further expansion of horizons and prepared academically for access and competitiveness.   read more…

 From Instructional Leader to General Manager 
As reform-oriented superintendents experiment with new budget formulas, a dramatic shift toward decentralization of school funding and decision-making is emerging. The model makes good sense for management of 21st century schools. However, one may wonder if traditional training in instructional leadership will be adequate preparation for school leaders. read more…

Education leadership is being given an injection of general management training as traditional schools of education are realizing synergies with business school partners at leading institutions. Instructional leadership will not take a back seat, but there should be real gains in resource allocation and staff development. Philanthropy may be more effective as well when sophisticated turnaround experts refocus funding on the primary mission. read more…

The Case for Career Mobility
 The revolving door for newcomers, the pension trap, and the toxic culture of a flat pyramid contribute to the breakdown in public education. Today, students may pursue their diplomas through traditional classrooms, online courses, and dual enrollment in college. Just as the doors are opening and the walls are coming down for students, teachers and administrators would benefit from access to career detours outside of their districts. read more…

A Unique Program for High School Re-engagement
 Our Mission: To create a learning environment that enables students who are overage and under-credited to re-engage in education, design a personalized plan for accelerated progress toward graduation, and chart a path for success after high school.   read more…

On College Readiness
Critical success factors for a student in college include read more…

Many well-meaning observers challenge the goal of college readiness for all high school graduates. While it is valid that alternate paths deserve consideration, critical thinking is required for success in all walks of life. read more…


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