Sunday, June 21, 2009

Top systems and leadership

Michael Barber, a partner at McKinsey & Company, spoke on Friday at the Prichard Committee's spring meeting, giving a wonderful presentation that included the three central points of the McKinsey work I've been blogging over the last week:
  • “The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers”
  • “The only way to improve outcomes is to improve instruction.”
  • “High performance requires every child to succeed.”
He then added an additional lesson from top-performing school systems:
  • "Great leadership at school level is a key enabling factor."
That makes perfect sense to me. Any major step up in student performance at a school has to reflect its current teachers becoming more skilled, and an excellent principal contributes mightily to that sort of change.

Indeed, Michael Barber's presentation focused intensively on how educators can work steadily on becoming more skilled and noted that it's basically impossible for any professional to sustain that sort of continuous improvement in isolation. Principals can play a pivotal role in making sure that teaching changes from a solitary to a collaborative effort and and that professional growth changes from a sporadic effort to a consistent feature of each week's work.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Updates and data on Kentucky education!