ERIC Number: ED323606
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jan-22
Reference Count: N/A
Excellence in What? Focusing on What Schools Are Supposed To Do.
Spillane, Robert R.
Education in the United States is currently in the midst of a crisis of purpose. Without a mission, the schools can operate both comprehensively and efficiently, but they cannot be effective. Because the schools cannot clarify what it is they are supposed to do, they can be asked to do whatever anyone wants them to do. With a clear mission, the schools can sort through requests and accept only those consistent with their mission. The schools' ultimate mission is simply to provide all children with academic learning. This does not mean the schools should not feed and transport students, provide athletic opportunities and health instruction, and teach students how to drive. It does mean that schools should do these things in the context of their essential academic mission. Perhaps the most significant way of accomplishing this is to ensure that the curriculum developers and lead teachers have a combination of strong academic background and ability to make sense of academic disciplines for young people. In addition, educational leaders must be true leaders and not just managers; complex organizations seldom have the capacity to abandon functions, but educational leaders must get school systems to eliminate aspects of yesterday to make room for tomorrow. (KM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Address before the Midwinter Meeting of the New York State Council of School Superintendents (South Orangetown, NY, January 22, 1990).