The Principal's Principles

A Middle School Principal, striving to make the world a better place, one day at a time.

Quality is Key

I don’t like big box stores.

I know the notion of “everything under one roof” is convienient, quick, and in many cases, inexpensive. Traveling from one specialty store to another takes time, and often, money. However, what’s lost in the quest for efficiency and low prices is often quality.

As schools continue to transition to the Information Age, more and more is being done to create more, do more, and expand. New programs are everywhere, and are advertised widely to recruit students to places that are “everything to everyone.” In this rush, quality suffers.

I’m a strong proponent of offering options and opportunities. However, the underpinning of each and every new idea must be a commitment to quality.

As schools, we have to be exceptional at building relationships, providing strong instruction, developing strong assessment tasks, and giving feedback. This four components are central to our work, and must be at the forefront of the conversation when we talk about quality.

Show me a school that is housed in an older building and offers fewer electives, but provides strong relationships, instruction, assessment and grading practicess, and you will have a successful school where learners are achieving.

Show me a school that is new, large and offering a variety of programs, but is skimping on quality, and you’ll see a place with low achievement, or one that simply coasts on the merits of a talented group of students who happen to report there each day.

Quality is key. A strong focus on relationships, instruction, assessment and feedback may not be the most exciting piece of education news published, but it will yield the best results.


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