• Gene Tavernetti, Ed.D.

The boy who cried wolf, learned his lesson, then became a school administrator

Once upon a time, it was decided that schools were supposed to look at data, to determine which students were not performing well. The schools would also use the data to determine in which subjects the students were not performing well. The schools would provide interventions and additional support for the identified students in the identified subject areas. And then at a later time, the schools would look at new data to determine if the interventions and additional support was working.

The new leader of one these schools was the boy who cried wolf. He was no dummy. He knew that his continual lying about imminent danger cost the lives of his flock. Now that he was the leader of a school, he would be much more forth coming with what he saw as the truth.

“The data say our students are not doing well in math. I know about a program that will help our struggling students improve greatly. We used this program at my prior school.”

The administrator truly believed he was telling his teachers the truth about how good the program was. After all, the materials had been used by many of the teachers in his previous school. The publisher of the materials had lots of “data and research” to support their claims.

The teachers had heard all this before. The publishers of their current materials had provided lots of “data and research” to support their claims about how good that program was. It was not known how many of the teachers were using the current program. What was known? The students were not performing well compared to other students.

The school district purchased the new program. The publishers provided hours and hours of training. The administrator just knew this program would work.

The teachers were not as convinced. This was not the first time the teachers had been told, “This is just the program that our students need.”

Many teachers used the program. Many teachers did not. Some teachers used the program diligently. Many did not. The administrator never did investigate how well the new program was being implemented.

After a time more data was collected. The leader of the schools said, “The data says our students are not improving. Maybe this program is not as good as I remembered. We need to find a new program.”

The school district purchased another new program. The publishers provided hours and hours of training. The administrator just knew this program would work.

The teachers were not as convinced. This was not the first time the teachers had been told, “This is just the program that our students need.”

It seemed like fewer teachers used the program. It seemed like fewer teachers used the program diligently. No one knew for sure, because no administrator investigated how well the program was being implemented.

The moral of story:

The boy who cried wolf may have learned his lesson,

but the teachers never forget.

#dataandresearch #newcurriculum #publishers #programimplementation

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