Some of the best school innovations are happening outside the classroom, and over the next few years we expect to see major changes in the financial strategies of schools.
Too much emphasis is placed on transformations in instructional practice and evaluation, but that's not where some of the best results are being achieved. We're putting too much pressure on the teachers! We know what excellent teachers and effective teaching looks like--no mysteries there. The challenge lies in the ability of the school and/or district leadership to fund those best people and practices, and provide a culture in which they can thrive.
The business office can deliver some of the best innovations for school improvement.
Changes to education funding are inevitable because most of the current methods in public and private education are unsustainable. Consider the proposal for weighted student-based funding, where, "Funds follow students, thereby creating incentives for schools to attract students, keep full enrollment, and demonstrate excellent student performance. As families move their students to higher performing schools, the system begins to align to a continuous improvement cycle that drives ongoing performance gains at all schools." (Marguerite Roza, "The case for weighted student funding")
This type of competitive education marketplace strikes fear in the heart of many educators and politicos because of the pressures it brings to continuously improve. But, your commitment to providing the best opportunities for students can overcome these trepidations.
First return to your Value Proposition and how your target market of families perceives it. Focus on your strengths and unique genius by answering these questions for your school overall and for you personally.
* What are you not good at doing?
* What are you good at doing?
* What are you very good at doing?
* What is part of your unique value proposition?
Eliminating the activities you are doing in response to the first two questions is critical in your path to being the best. Find a way to radically strengthen your value proposition, perfecting the key activities, resources, and relationships that will make you world-class at delivering on your mission, and tap into the innovative abilities of your business office to find new ways to achieve the greatness you desire.