Small changes can have big effect in education
On Wednesday, I will have the distinct honor and privilege of presenting the "State of the District" report to the Victoria Chamber of Commerce. As we prepare our report, we are constantly reminded of the story 212 Degrees - The Extra Degree of Effort. You see, at 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. With boiling water comes steam and steam can power a locomotive. Raising the temperature of water by one extra degree means the difference between something that is simply very hot and something that generates enough force to power a machine.
This example reminds us all that seemingly small things can make a tremendous difference. Henry Ford once stated; "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress, and working together is success."
In VISD, I am proud to state we are working together and experiencing success. Regarding our curriculum and examining the best research-based practices for success, Robert Marzano (2003) concludes that a guaranteed and viable curriculum is the most powerful school-level factor in determining overall student achievement. In the VISD, our commitment is to ensure that the intended curriculum (the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) is implemented effectively, accurately and consistently by all teachers and that what students actually learn is aligned with the intended and implemented curriculum.
The opportunity for all students to learn and achieve excellence can only occur when a commitment from all stakeholders ensure the written, taught and learned curriculum is aligned and organized. Our teachers, campus staff, administration, support staff, and our Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability division have done an amazing job of working together and spiraling the major competencies that our students are expected to master while, at the same time, providing proficiency and understanding.
As educators, our job is to look into the future and see the organization not as it is, but as it should be. Robert Townsend stated that true leadership must be for the benefit of the followers and not for the enrichment of the leaders. In VISD, we realize that we are not in the education business serving people. We are in the people business serving education.
It is clearly evident, even in these challenging times of public education, that we are holding on to our vision of "Achieving Excellence for ALL," and that we are surrounded by "change agents" and "difference makers" who truly serve as "champions for our children." On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire VISD, we truly appreciate the support from our community, your commitment to excellence and your willingness to achieve more.
Robert Jaklich is the superintendent for the Victoria Independent School District. Contact him at 361-788-9202 or through the VISD website visd.com.