What one factor stands above all others as the determinant of the perception of effectiveness of a school? Perhaps surprisingly, not test scores, not school “ratings”, and not the success of highly toted (and funded) athletic teams.
Todd Whitaker, in his book What Great Teachers Do DIFFERENTLY, argues that:
“All the way from kindergarten through college, the quality of the teachers determines our perceptions of the quality of the school.”
What a simple truth!
Even more so, I believe that the quality of teachers determines the actual quality of the school, not just the community’s perception of such.
This is an exciting reality! If we want to change how our school is perceived and (more importantly) improve the effectiveness of our school, the most productive avenue is also the most accessible. We need only to improve ourselves — improve the quality of our teaching — to have a profound effect on the community we serve.
What a blessing, because our quality is 100% in our control.