Places where leadership and the roles of leadership are working well at both...at all levels -- at the state level, at the district, and the school-site level -- is where everybody is singing out of the same hymnal and they’re on the same page.
The key motivator in all we do in education should be kids. It should be all about kids and everything we do are making sure that kids at the lowest and the highest level are achieving at the best of their ability given the circumstances that they have.
It’s not about your turf or my turf, it’s really about kids. And so when we put the kids in the middle of the table and say, "Okay, what do we do to make sure that every single kid, every student by name is achieving at the level that they should", that’s when we know it’s working well.
IN PLACES WHERE RTI IS WORKING, WHAT DOES THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE LOOK LIKE?
You really have to have the top and the bottom working together. Everybody knows what it is, why it is, and why we’re doing it. And it’s not an approach about inspection. It’s more of an approach about reflection, about how we’re doing good work together. It’s a place where teachers get to collaborate. it's a place where...it’s not an expert model that one person comes in and says, "Okay, here’s how you’re gonna do it." It really is a respectful approach which really takes into consideration the current things that are going on and the current efforts that are going on in both the district and the school sites and very carefully blends it and weaves it together so it’s not seen as one more initiative.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH
In my practice and my work with folks around the country it really is looking at a systemic approach to making sure that all kids get what they need, which includes kids with disabilities all the way up to our highly gifted kids that have not been pushed to higher levels, so Response to Intervention is an initiative and an innovation that when used with really good leadership can really reach all of our kids in our schools.
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