[cross-posted at LeaderTalk]

Last week I triple dog-dared readers to listen to an excerpt from a speech by Dr. Richard Elmore of Harvard University:

[Dr. Elmore's full speech and other excerpts are available on my Podcasts page]

One of the reasons Dr. Elmore's speech speaks to me so much is that it raises quite vociferously the issue of misalignment. In my work with schools and districts, I see numerous examples of misalignment, including:

  • classroom pedagogy that fails to regularly employ high-yield instructional strategies to achieve optimal results;
  • professional development plans that are based on teachers' preferences rather than students' needs;
  • staffing plans that fail to put the best teachers in front of the students who need them the most;
  • intra-organization funding decisions that fail to put resources where they are most needed;
  • a lot of wasted instructional time;
  • and so on (I'm guessing that you can add to this list!)...

We say that we want results. We say that we want high levels of achievement for all students. But we are not doing what it takes to achieve the results that we say we want.