The Innovative Educator asks: Who would you like to have speak to your colleagues about transforming education?

Based on recommendations of readers, she has assembled a good, annotated list of big thinkers on the subject, many of whom I’ve been very fortunate to have heard and even met.

A few, including Alan November, Daniel Pink and Tony Wagner, have even spoken to my colleagues, the assembled mass of school-based and district administrators at our annual Leadership Conference, about transforming education.

They were inspiring, thoughtful, forward-thinking, and presented a challenging, but realistic vision of where we should be taking public education.

And nothing changed as a result.

The superintendent and other top administrators booked the speakers, heard their message, and did nothing to lead the system in the direction they pointed.

The principals heard the message, and many agreed with the changes being proposed, but they still went back to their buildings to promote the same old instructional focus.

Many of my colleagues in central office were also in agreement with their messages, but still continued to support the same old instructional focus.

As much as I enjoy a good, inspirational keynote presentation, what good is it if few are willing to act on the message and begin the change process they say they agree with?

We have multiple long discussions about “reforming” (or even transforming) education, nationally as well as in our overly-large school district.

However, we are willing to change very little of our familiar, comfortable, traditional processes to make it happen.

It’s all talk.