Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Smartest Kids in the World

Amanda Ripley's book was introduced to me by David Peyton, a former Northstar who now teaches with E-Achieve. While I was hoping to gain some leadership insight on how I can help produce the smartest kids at Waukesha North, I instead finish the book with a sense of skepticism as to what matters most in America's schools?
We all know that teachers are the number one predictor of student success and that rigor in the classroom matters most. Why then, does Homecoming decorating and sports news glitter the pages of our newspapers and Twitter chatter? Are our expectations for high academic output lower in America compared to other nations?

Waukesha North High School...the name school implies that we exist to help students master complex academic material. Other things matter, but nothing should matter as much.
Have you, as a student, taken 2-3 Advanced Placement courses at North before you graduate? Why aren't you preparing now, for the ever-changing, demanding future that lies ahead? As a student, do you know what it feels like to grapple with complex ideas and think outside of your comfort zone, to persist and work hard? How is being just a compliant learner going to prepare you for the modern world?
All staff at Waukesha North are hired to create a serious intellectual culture for all of our students. We lead and teach as our motto states: excellence, equity, expectations.
Parents and students, how are you teaming with us to create a world-class education?

As North HS moves from good to great, I want to emphasize the importance of doing well in school. Actively engage in rigorous, challenging coursework and put forth your very best academic effort everyday. The staff are here to help you reach your academic goals and push you beyond what you thought was even possible. Together, we can create an educational system of equity and rigor that will allow all students at Waukesha North High School to be the smartest kids in the world, and they will be right in our own backyard.

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