When It's Broken, Fix It
Updated: Nov 23, 2019
Grace Hopper once said, "The most dangerous phrase in our language is 'We've always done it this way.'"
Think about that for a minute. Really.
If we were still doing things in this day and age because it was "the way we've always done it," there's a chance we'd all be living in caves and communicating with one another by drawing on the walls.
Over the years, the Lee's Summit School District (LSR7) has touted itself as an "exemplary" school district that prepares each student for success in life (LSR7, Destination 2021). A quick Google search of "Lee's Summit School District," will pull up results with that exact verbiage. EXEMPLARY.
Exemplary. Serving as a desirable model; representing the best of its kind. Perfect, ideal, model, faultless, without fault, copybook, flawless, impeccable, consummate.
When you hear these words to describe a company or an organization, what name comes to mind? Is it the name of an organization that is forward-thinking and innovative; an organization moving towards the future? Maybe it's a company known for its focused plans, creative problem-solving, and proactive responses to the community or consumer.
Here's another question to ponder. Would you consider a school district exemplary if an Academics System Review (2017) completed by an outside source documented multiple pages of inadequacies within the organization? If you were on the district's leadership team when CMSi presented the investigation results and recommendations for improvement, would you sit back complacently -- since the public hadn't complained or because "we've always done it this way?"
Board policies lack content and sufficient specificity to provide for adequate direction and quality control for the effective management of curriculum and other district functions (Finding 1.1).
Curriculum management planning in the Lee's Summit R-7 School District is inadequate to direct the design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and revision of curriculum (Finding 2.1).
Disparities, inequities, and inconsistencies exist among schools, programs, and services. Staff demographics do not reflect student enrollment (Finding 3.1).
Although this is just a minute sampling of numerous inadequacies identified, Curriculum Management Solutions, Inc. (CMSi) included a list of detailed recommendations for the improvement of the Lee's Summit School District in their summary report.
Which of these recommendations has the district embraced? Or, were they swept under the carpet because LSR7 is already "exemplary?" Take a look, and you can decide the answer to this question. You'll be surprised at what you find.