District leaders could think about how to create the conditions to encourage a complete re-imagining of what is possible with schooling. Attract high-caliber professionals into teaching by moving beyond questions of pay and tenure and improving the character of the job. School could be reinvented, via technology—providing students with iPads, say, and then pairing them with mentors. Something closer to Google’s offices than lecture halls. This type of re-imagination would require a cultural change in the teachers, district staff, and administrators alike. While teachers are commonly seen as the impediment to change, they could in fact become the agents…the ‘users’ in user-driven innovation.
This is Education Innovating’s smart response to last week’s message in the Washington Post called “How to fix our schools: A manifesto by Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee and other education leaders.” Specifically, to the following paragraph in the manifesto: “We must equip educators with the best technology available to make instruction more effective and efficient. By better using technology to collect data on student learning and shape individualized instruction, we can help transform our classrooms and lessen the burden on teachers’ time.”