Sunday, February 17, 2008
Dreaming is the Beginning
In our ten journey as a learning community thousands have visited. Most offer compliments, but for one reason or another, some feel that what is built here cannot be replicated in their own schools. When I hear this undertone, I swiftly intercede. I remind them of our data story. We started a decade ago with only 21% of our students achieving the standard in mathematics, and 54% in reading. We left nearly every student behind in math and half of all students behind in reading. This certainly is the same place that some others may have to start if they want to replicate some of the best practices. But, it is worth it, and it can be done.
What we’ve built hasn’t been easy. Where did we start? We started dreaming, dreaming of a school where success was for every student, where learning leaders would never underestimate what students could do. We took charge, allowed our mind to envision possibilities rather than getting hung up on the obstacles. At first, our dreams did seem improbable even impossible, but as we worked hard and set wildly high expectations, our dreams became a reality. So, when asked, “Where did you start?” I reply, “We dreamed.”