Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Strategic Planning

Yesterday was a long day! Productive but long. I was able to get all my ironing done in the morning and I downloaded final documents for my Alignment meeting scheduled from 2-8. The Alignment meeting was one of the final steps prescribed by the firm that has been facilitating our school departments strategic planning process. I have been part of this group, representing Stand for Children for the past year. It has been an interesting process that has pushed me in directions that have been uncomfortable and out of my comfort zone at times. I guess that is a good thing. Yesterday we worked collaboratively in a variety of groups to look closely at 11 different subsets of information. We brainstormed independently, posted ideas, silent sorted ideas, labeled our subsets and then graded our performance in the various subsets we created. Mid way through my head was spinning! It was good to work with different people, however. Unfortunately, I had to leave a little more than an hour early as I had a Stand meeting from 7-8:30. That meeting proved interesting as well. Our organization is moving in a new and exciting direction with a focus on providing more support to the most needy cities and towns. Typically this would urban centers. Interestingly enough there has been a bit of push back from some members who feel they will not get the support they are accustomed to having. This move makes complete sense to me. We need membership to be strong, to gain members in a community typically there needs to be some sort of crisis happening in the community to push people to join and the communities in crisis are the under performing school districts in urban centers. Does this make sense to you? Makes perfect sense to me. Talking to K from Stand last night about Boston Schools I learned that kids in these schools only have a 50% graduation rate and of those who graduate only 9% go on to graduate from a 4 year college. Staggering statistics. These are the needs that must be addressed in order to bridge the achievement gap and create some sort of semblance of equality in the education of our children.

OK I'll step off of my soap box now. :)


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