Our plan for 2021 has one target and one objective only; to once and for all, fix our public schools. Presently, we are working with a network of 70 to 120 public school parent leaders from around LA County. After two years of working together at our children’s schools, we have a plan for fixing all public schools. We believe we have found a very good solution. We are very eager to share it with you and gain your support.
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What is our public schools’ biggest problem?
Thirty years of research literature already tells us what administrative and teaching practices make teachers effective and schools great. It also tells us what part of the recipe is lacking the most.
A school fails because insufficient quality instruction is happening in too many classrooms. The quality of instruction is the most influential and strongest predictor of a child’s academic success. By improving the quality of instruction in our public schools, ALL our students’ achievement levels would improve significantly.
Schools must have high quality instructional leaders to develop a faculty proficient in high quality instruction. Presently, we have very few leaders of this type in our public schools. They are ineffective, because they are over-occupied with tasks having nothing to do with quality of instruction.
The lack of effective instruction in our schools is the greatest barrier to high student achievement. The lack of effective instructional leadership is the greatest barrier to developing great teachers. The disregard district bureaucrats have for teacher and principal time is the greatest barrier to developing effective instructional leaders. The disregard they have for money that is not theirs is the greatest barrier to support for our public schools. Our goal is to eliminate these barriers by the end of 2021. Below is our plan for eliminating these barriers.
What is the solution and what role will we play?
To fix themselves, public schools must focus exclusively on the cultivation of high-quality instruction and instructional leaderships at our schools. Schools must protect teachers and administrators from anything that takes time away from focusing on instruction. Helping our public schools keep focus and protect faculty development time IS our plan for 2021. It is also what we see as the unifying theme for our growing team of public-school parent leaders.
Training stakeholders to fulfill their role as proponents of high-quality instruction is our objective for the next two years. That is how long we estimate it will take us to recruit, develop, and train the 200+ parent leaders that will keep our LA County school districts focused on quality instruction.
The biggest challenge to our plan for 2021
In a nutshell, this is our plan for fixing our public schools. It sounds simple, because delivering high quality instruction to ALL students in our public schools IS simple. Not easy, but simple.
Our mistake has been to complicate the problem by:
- Seeking easier solutions that what I have described here
- Trying to solve problems other than the lack of focus on quality instruction and/or instructional leadership.
Delivering high quality instruction every day is not easy. It is challenging work because getting better requires questioning personal beliefs and practices we believe are necessary. Sometimes it requires totaling abandoning practices we have spent years mastering. It requires ongoing reflection and self-critique. So we understand and expect certain challenges to come our way. The good news is that this time we’re ready for them.
This is the recipe for fixing our public schools
The bottom line about fixing public schools is this.
- Teachers who put in the time and effort to improve their pedagogy, WILL become better teachers
- Teachers with the courage to receive ongoing constructive criticism from peers and instructional leaders WILL master teaching.
- The primary:
- Thing instructional leaders can do to help teachers is take a genuine interest in their professional growth
- Skill instructional leaders must develop is the ability to give helpful feedback
- Practice instructional leaders must employ is follow-up and follow-through
- Most instructional leaders become effective by learning to say what the teacher needs to hear to demand more from themselves.
The recipe for developing great schools IS that simple. This is the only recipe that has ever worked and will work. Any expenditure aimed to do more than what I have described will be a waste of money and time. It would generate worse results, and produce more disillusion. This we know from suffering a string of self-inflicted failures caused by our own attempts to outdo ourselves. Hence, our plan for 2021 aims to do no more than what is necessary. That is why we are certain this project is going to succeed, quickly and easily.
We stand at a crossroad full of favorable conditions
I have worked on school improvement projects for 25 years. I feel this project has the best chance to effect permanent change of all projects I have worked on before. This is why.
- We finally have enough parents working with us, representative of the diverse LA County demographic
- The entire team is on board with our plan for fixing our public schools
- We are working together to strategize inside and outside of the schools, consistently
- We have learned to leverage our collective knowledge to successfully earn small, but growing victories
- The speed with which recently requested changes have been made and become observable, far exceeded our expectations
- The conditions are all favorable, presently, and are starting to make believers out of those on the fence.
Our planning for 2021 will succeed with your support
The only imminent barrier to our progress and impact is a loss in momentum. That could only happen if we were to lose a key team member. The one thing that could cause one of us to leave is the prospect of facing financial hardship. This is something many Americans are presently contending with.
This is the best opportunity, since I started working in the schools, for parents to fix our public schools. It would be a shame if we failed because of our inability to help a key partner avoid financial hardship. That is why I urgently ask you to support this project, TODAY, with a donation. Just click on the button below.
Visit our Donate page to learn about other ways you can support our mission.
Learn More About The Work We Do Behind the Scene
There’s much to discuss and much detail I wish to share with you. I am certain that the better you understand our work, the greater value you will see in it – for you. As someone asking for your support, making this value to you as obvious as possible is my #1 priority.
That is why I am sharing the Plan for 2021 Media Summary below. It provides a combined media mix of videos and a slideshow. Please check it out. My hope is that after viewing some of these items many of your questions will be answered. I am certain that if you do you will want to support us without ever being asked to again.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Hearing from you would be considered an honored blessing.
Carlos Lemus, President
Plan for 2021 Media Summary
Video 1: To The Adults On The Public School Payroll: Enough Is Enough – The purpose of this video is to bring some passion to the discussion of school improvement. The spirit of our youth, hence our future, sits in the balance. Our actions should reflect the urgency we should have regarding the failure of our public schools. Every stakeholder group should be concerned.
If you work for or are serviced by the public school system, you should be very very concerned. If you do not, you should be even more concerned. Hopefully, this video makes that clear for you.
Duration: 18 minutes
Video 2: How To Fix Our Public Schools For Free – This is a mixed compilation of clips from the much longer 1.5 hour video that lays out the whole plan. It’s purpose was to capture the most salient points of the longer video.
Duration: 28 minutes
This is the original video that, combined with the slide show, lays out the entire plan. You don’t need to view these to get the gist of what I am proposing. However, you do get 1.5 hrs of thoroughness, where I illustrate my plan, in detail.
Duration: 1hr 28min