At an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) panel discussion held Tuesday in Washington, titled “Cage-Busting Leadership in K-12 Education,” moderator Frederick M. Hess compared the state of school leadership in the United States to the fate of Sisyphus -- the mythical Greek king sentenced to an eternity of fruitless toiling.
“We continually stumble upon innovation that seems promising,” the AEI director of education policy studies said. “And then, it all rolls back down.”
The author of a new book, “Cage-Busting Leadership,” Hess framed the evening’s discussion by stating how he believed certain rules and policies make it more difficult for schools to prove successful. Without great leaders, he said, even terrific policy agendas are oftentimes rendered ineffective and inefficient. He cited several “urban myths” he believes lead to a prevalent “culture of can’t” in U.S. schools, and was quick to pinpoint the importance of principals, superintendents and chancellors in reshaping policies.
Panelist Christopher Barbic, founding superintendent of the Achievement School District in Tennessee, said schools required the “autonomy to build their own teams” in order to produce improved educational outcomes. “I think there’s often a disconnect between what happens on the ground and what happens in the policy world,” he said. “We have to connect those two pieces.”
Click headline to read more--