5. Transformation Underway
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Public education does not need any more managerial leaders. It does not need another round of technocrats or placeholders. Public education needs transformative leaders, leaders who are willing to ask and answer difficult questions. Children need educational leaders who are willing to create deep and meaningful change that will benefit all students. In considering their needs, I remind myself that we, as educators, choose to participate in the current system. We decide to walk through the front doors of our schools each day. We must remember, however, that our children do not make those same choices. We compel them to attend school. Their choices are directly limited by their zip codes. Indirectly, these choices are a result of their socioeconomic status.
I have been a school administrator for nearly 20 years now … I have been working to examine the underlying beliefs and tacit assumptions … I have been critically interrogating my own belief systems and the ← 141 | 142 → resulting actions … To be successful, school principals need to encourage and develop others to become transformative leaders as well. … The reality of continuous and sustainable school improvement is that, in spite of external pressure and increased political scrutiny, educators—not politicians—remain solely responsible for creating learning environments that are conducive to academic achievement.
To engage in truly transformative leadership is exhausting. It is complex. As a school principal I understand that I am a product of the very system I seek to change.
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