Decision making on programming to keep and cut

Submitted by More Better on Tue, 11/08/2005 - 10:41.

Post thoughts and comments on quality of decision making in cutting and retaining educational programs

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Should it Stay or Should it Go?

Some quick comments regarding the decision-making involved with keeping or cutting programs. The critical decision-makers involved in program addition, retention, or deletion would likely be school boards, top school administration (Superintendent, Principal) and of course, the School Board CEO- RealNEO is currently helping the Cleveland Municipal School District with its CEO search.   It would certainly be prudent to establish and leverage  partnerships and connections  with these respective school boards and their directors,.  It would also be prudent to determine a mechanism to use a tool like Appreciative Inquiry to help bring diverse stakeholders into the system under a frame of equity to offer specific thoughts include current and former students and faculty of the programs in question.  Another important set of indicators would include both quantitative  measures like test scores,  and qualitative measures like effects on student motivation and inspiration.  Some key stakeholders hold too much of a grade-or-test score bias: some long-term benefits, such as cultivating greater artistic appreciation or talent, are not so easy to pinpoint quantitatively.

Educating and informing the key decision makers comprehensively and fairly is critically important.  And perhaps we can also surmise that having a risk-averse bent wouldn't hurt either - great innovation can sometimes involve pioneering programs and giving them the chance to gain traction. Though our young people are precious - they also deserve to benefit from innovative breakthroughs if there is an opportunity to provide them.  Such risks can transform communities.