Let this year be one in which more students find their place in a welcoming school and classroom. Plan for it to be the year when every student's path to success is achieved because we were able to keep that as the focus of our work...all year long.

Forty-two years later, we cannot make up for the mistakes of an unfortunate past, but we can at least acknowledge them and let those affected know that regret doesn't end when the old guard moves on.

If we continue to focus on student growth and improvement as learners, keep track of that progress, and watch its impact on standard test results, will we be able to know if what we are doing is helping students develop as learners and thinkers.

The move away from textbooks must be accompanied by a responsibility to create the time, space, and guidance in which teachers can research new resources and use them to transform the work being done in and outside of their classrooms.

The focus on knowledge, skills and measurements must not pull us away from the essential need for learning and growing the inner lives of those who lead.

The bias that raged in the 20th century proved to serve no purpose other than to cause damage. As we have moved away from the exaggerated bias, fear mongering, and exclusion of those considered different from the majority, inclusion offers some healing.

Holding the balance between the things that need to be done and the attitude with which they are accomplished is our work. Leaders are the models. And while we cannot control the things that come at us, we do have control over how we feel and react.

We live in such a competitive society and we replicate this competition in our schools. Is the purpose of education to create winners and losers?

Educating about what is "yours" and what is "mine" begins in Kindergarten and so should the education about copyright laws.

The heavy lift is in the hands of the districts and that, ironically is the good news. Each district, with its own community, its own culture, its own strengths and challenges, still has some local control. How RTTT is implemented locally depends upon local leadership.


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