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Leadership’s Future: One Person

by Miki Saxon

American education is trying everything in an effort to improve, but just how big a difference can one person make? Especially in Baltimore, which has the dubious distinction of having the worst school system and the highest murder rate in the country.

Humongous, if that person is smart enough to gather support to change the culture, not just try and “fix” schools or improve test grades.

“Andres Alonso took over the Baltimore city schools in 2007 and has brought deep changes in just three academic years. … Next he took on the culture of the schools, which relied heavily on suspensions for discipline, a practice Dr. [Andre] Alonso strongly opposed. “Kids come as is,” he likes to say, “and it’s our job to engage them.””

On the other side of the continent a group of ‘one persons’ in Compton are using a radical new California law to force the takeover of a failing school by a charter school operator.

“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Marion Orr, a professor of public policy at Brown University. “It really pushed to the edges of a strong democracy and could create real challenges for public officials who believe they know best how to run school districts.”

Sadly, most public officials seem more interested in keeping their jobs and pushing their ideology/agenda than they are in educating kids.

Just think what would happen if every ‘one person’ did just one thing to improve education (not support ideology).

I often get asked why, “at my age and with no kids of my own” I care so much about education; or why I’m so focused on urban problems when they aren’t likely to affect the small town in which I live.

The answer is simple.

I (and you, in case you haven’t realized it) are going to live in a world run by today’s children and populated by “those” kids.

We are each one person, alone and together we can each do a lot to encourage/force change.

Stock.xchng image credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1287589

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