The fundamental purpose of a professional learning community is to ensure all students learn at high levels. The very reason why educators collaborate is to achieve this outcome. This is why the first step—the first pillar—of the PLC at Work® process is building staff consensus around this shared mission (DuFour et al., 2016). Read more
Mike Mattos is an internationally recognized author, presenter, and practitioner who specializes in uniting teachers, administrators, and support staff to transform schools by implementing response to intervention and professional learning communities.
Note: This blog is the first in a series on In Praise of American Educators (And How They Can Get Even Better).
American educators are under siege on every front. Due to an increasingly competitive global economy, business leaders are calling upon our nation’s schools to ensure every student leaves the K-12 system with the skills needed to be college and career ready. Politicians have addressed this need to leave no child behind by passing legislation that has become increasingly focused on high-stakes testing, mandated programs, punitive sanctions for failure, financial rewards for success, and competitive pressure through student vouchers and charter schools.
A few years ago, we wrote an article that appeared in Educational Leadership called “The Why Behind RTI.” In this article, we asserted that many schools were struggling with RTI because they had asked the wrong questions to guide and shape their thinking. Questions like “How do we raise our test scores?” which all too often leads to a singular focus on the “bubble kids”; “How do we implement RTI?” which reduces this life-saving process to a checklist of actions to accomplish; and “How do we stay legal?” which often leads to byzantine paperwork and mere compliance.