For those of you unable to attend Monday’s presentation by Kati Haycock, let me tell you – you missed something incredible. It was inspirational, maddening, informative – and I hope, viral.
Did you know that students who have two ineffective teachers in a row never recover?
Or that we can’t catch kids up by slowing them down?
Would you have known the answer? Now that you do, you also know that the time for bold solutions is now.
Of all the lessons that Kati Haycock imparted this past week, for me, the takeaway was her six characteristics of successful schools. They seemed to me as straightforward as they are honest.
- They focus on what they CAN do, rather than what they can’t.
- They don’t leave anything about teaching and learning to chance.
- They set their goals high.
- Higher performing secondary schools put ALL kids – not just some – in a demanding high school core curriculum.
- Students who enter behind get extra instruction.
- Good schools know how much teachers matter and they act on that knowledge.
While she was here, Kati met with some folks at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Today’s editorial page reflects part of that conversation. As she said Monday night, Kati was shocked to learn that the state only funds a five period day. If we want to achieve the goal of getting all kids college and career ready, we’ve set ourselves up for failure, especially kids who need extra instruction.
The last thing Kati said Monday may have been the truest. Basically, it comes down to us to make the current system change. Without strong advocacy for a system that serves all kids, we likely won’t see one. For every one of us who was in the Library Monday night, there are dozens, maybe hundreds more that each of us know SHOULD have been there.
Help build momentum today by telling your friends about your takeaway lesson from Kati. If everyone connected just five more people, we’d have a network of 1,000 educated citizens ready to change the world by changing our schools.
Aside from pestering your friends, there’s more you can do on your own. Monday night, State Board Member and event host, Eric Liu asked, “Did you know that the State Board of Education is getting ready to change the high school graduation requirements” – removing the barriers and the guesswork from preparing for post-secondary education. Please call or email the State Board of Education and let them know what you know about higher standards, preparing all children for college and careers, and making our high school diploma meaningful. The SBE can be reached at 360-725-6025 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your steadfast commitment to all our kids’ success. We are inextricably linked whether all of us act like it or not; they are our future, and we are theirs.