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What does mission driven mean for us?

July 12, 2015

I have been reading about the need for organizations to be “mission driven” in the 21st century.  In these fast-paced, technology-driven times, employees and educational leaders must be focused on the organizational mission. Adopting a system-wide, results-based philosophy with a clear vision is essential.  The mission of Saline Area Schools is:

We, the Saline Area Schools, will equip all students with the knowledge, technological proficiency, and personal skills necessary to succeed in an increasingly complex society.

We expect that our students, staff, and the Saline community will share in these responsibilities.

Our ultimate goal is to instill in our students a desire for lifelong learning.

If this is the result that we want achieve – to instill a desire for lifelong learning – how is that measured?  Are the mandated state assessment (M-Step, ACT, NWEA) scores relevant data points? If so, how can we use that data to measure success?  Are data points like attendance, college acceptance, and college completion rates better indicators of lifelong learning?  What about students that pursue skilled trades and the training that entails? What about non-traditional learners that continue to focus on learning?  How is that information on that success captured, and if it is – how is it actionable for us when the students leave the  Saline Area Schools?

The idea I have been thinking about is looking at student engagement as a measure of instilling a desire to learn.  Measuring student engagement would drive us to look for ways to more deeply involve students in their learning. Once students understand why education is important and become excited and committed to learning, the drive to excel and continue learning becomes an innate part of the student’s psyche.  Measuring student engagement is no small task. It would push to assess what engagement looks like at various grade levels. Will deeper engagement lead to higher scores on our current assessments while leading to a deepening desire to learn?
I still have more questions than answers, but the need to define what is actionable about our mission is clear.

One Comment leave one →
  1. melojohns permalink
    August 31, 2015 8:22 pm

    I think these two links provide information germane to this topic.

    http://studentvoicepractitioners.com/blog/

    http://www.edutopia.org/practice/student-led-conferences-empowerment-and-ownership

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