101: Redesigning Schools
the Good with the Bad
Tip: Stay In For The Long Haul
Have to Be a Little Different
Site Council Learns About Growth, Power and Communication
Education reform has entered the national spotlight. Hierarchy. Letting go. Transferring power and decision making closer to the customer. Money equals power. Those without financial control struggle to wrest power from those who have it.
Communicating with customers is always a challenge. And identifying who those customers are is often equally as hard. These issues - predominant in today's business community - are the same issues confronting the Sequoia Union High School District in their effort to more effectively educate children.
Karen Canty is the mother of two children from the Sequoia Union High School District - one a recent graduate of Menlo-Atherton High School, the other entering as a freshman. Canty serves on the local elementary school board and has been actively involved in the development of site-based management in the district. Regarding the council at Menlo-Atherton, she believes "They are in the throes of growth. The team is definitely headed in the right direction. They have made some mistakes, but that is part of the learning process." She also thinks it premature to evaluate just how effectively or to what extent the council can make a difference. She contends, "They really can't do much until they get their hands on a chunk of the budget." The 24 members on the Menlo-Atherton council are currently dealing with issues surrounding scheduling and attendance. So far, the response from the community has been positive. Canty believes the hardest part has been communicating with parents because there are so many of them and their knowledge of what goes on is so varied. Getting people involved in change can be very trying, but as their program develops, Sequoia Union is proving that it's worth the effort.