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Thursday, December 19, 2013

School, Better

In the south plains of Texas a number of schools have decided to work in a collaborative way to accomplish several important goals:
  1. Share with each other the best practices that each is deploying in the interest of making for the best possible futures for their students.
  2. Coordinate to create the conditions that will best leverage external resources (e.g., business, non-profits, colleges and universities) in the interest of ensuring that our graduates leave high school both with marketable employability skills and college readiness skills.
  3. Collaborate to impact the decisions and direction of our communities and region to support the work of public schools, which we believe to be essential in the perpetuation of a free and vibrant society.
  4. Effectively communicate both locally and regionally the positive impact of public schools on the health and future of Texas.
  5. Work to improve the way public schools engage with their respective communities to provide the best possible future for each and every child we serve.
This work sprang from a collective desire to go beyond what is/was required by law.  It is the outgrowth of a belief that we can do far more than what policy or statute stipulate, and from a conviction that local communities know what is best for their own children, and can deliver it in ways that go far beyond a compliance model of education.  In effect, it is the fundamental notion that these are OUR children and we can make decisions and deliver exemplary education to those children far more effectively and in a much more meaningful way than what can be “demanded” through legislative action or political rhetoric.

The work of the South Plains Collaborative School Network is understood by all to be complex and messy, with outcomes that are idealistic and elusive.  As well, each school and professional educator involved have committed time/effort/resources in the interest of this work, despite the fact that they each have more work to do than can get done, without adding this additional “iron to the fire.”

The energy of the group, however, seems palpable.  When talented and committed people coalesce around worthy and important work, it is rather amazing to watch the kind of results that flow from that synergy.

It is understood that the future of the students of our respective communities, of our region, and of our state, depend upon us providing nothing less a world class education to each child.

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