Not all schools need to ‘innovate’; it’s fine if some work only to ‘improve’


True ‘invention’ is rare. Much ‘innovation’ consists of replicating here what was tried earlier elsewhere. Even so, not all are ready, or inclined, even to replicate. Most important, perhaps, the majority of schools in the district sector will not have received from their boards and superintendents the authority needed for them to make meaningful change. ‘Improvement’ will be the reality, and improvement is useful.


For schools in this situation much change will be directed by management; perhaps imposed uniformly on all schools within a district or charter management organization. Some of this might prove counterproductive, but some of it might prove helpful. Perhaps there will be some scope, as well, for individual schools to make small changes, improvements on their own initiative—acting on the theory that it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission or hoping that no one in the central office will notice.

What Will Result?

This ‘split screen’ strategy solves the dilemma at the heart of education policy—between the need for changing some things and the impossibility of changing everything.