As superintendent of a school district, what do you think is the single greatest action you can take to have a positive influence on the instructional process and its impact on children?
This question is worded in an interesting way, notice they ask what is the single greatest action. That phrase changed my answer. On first reading I thought, courage. This is a leadership position that absolutely requires courage in a million different ways and decisions. But courage isn’t an action.
The single greatest action to have a positive influence on the instructional process? Hire the right people. That means hiring teachers who are outstanding, who have high expectations for students and higher expectations for themselves. It means assembling the right administrative team, administrators who share in our goals of the absolute best instructional program for every student, with high achievement and learning for all. It means helping those employees who don’t have high expectations for themselves realize this isn’t the place for them. All of it takes courage, yes, and hiring and retention decisions are the key actions.