Monday, November 8, 2010

Too Busy to Blog

During the past few months I've had the privilege of being busy with work on the Gates Foundation funded Teacher-Student Data Link Project, New Hampshire's State Longitudinal Data System, Common Data Standards Initiative Adoption and Implementation Task Force, strategic consulting for Minneapolis Public Schools, and promoting cross-state sharing of SLDS resources. With head-down focus on this work, and having released the latest edition of Approaching 100 Percent in September I've had little time to sleep, never mind having time to post to this blog.

My schedule doesn't seem to be letting up any time soon, but I'm resolved to post something at-least monthly to capture what I've learned as I continue in this work that I hope is making a positive impact on student learning in the U.S.

In the past couple of months I've also read a few books including The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande and Who - The A Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart and Randy Street. (I recommend both of these books.) One common theme worth calling out from these books is that "getting things right" doesn't happen by accident or even by skill. Getting things right consistently requires a well defined but simplified process, not a simplistic process, but a process that focuses effort and attention on what is most essential. And in each case a key to successful implementation of a quality improvement process is measurement. Using a scorecard, a checklist, or some other instrument of measurement, is critical to knowing whether or not the process is being implemented with fidelity.

This theme carries over into the work that I've had the privilege to contribute, equipping education agencies with the tools, processes, and information to "get things right". ...Now if only I can define a process and measurement system to ensure that I consistently post to this blog.

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