According to some second hand news here in the overly-large school district, Ken Robinson will be the keynote speaker next August for our annual Leadership Conference.
At first I was excited about the prospect but, after thinking about it today, I’m a little depressed.
It’s not that I don’t think Sir Ken will do a great job, or that I won’t be able to attend his talk (I may even sit in the auditorium this year instead of watching on video in the overflow room).
Actually, I’m quite sure he will give an interesting, inspirational presentation, talking aboutÂ the need to transform our current education system and help our students develop their individual talents.
And most of the principals, district administrators, and other central office folks in the audience will nod in agreement and applaud in all the right places, maybe even giving Robinson a standing ovation.
Then those same principals will return to their buildings to plot new ways to get a few more kids in one of their school subgroups to pass the state standardized tests, the better to avoid falling into the NCLB failure category, while largely boring most of their students.
Their bosses, the people who booked Robinson to speak in the first place, will spend the school year pushing everyone in the district for just a few more points on the headline-grabbing numbers.
Ok, so maybe I’m just suffering from too many discussions about data and a distinct lack of anticipation as we head into testing season in which all creative teaching above 2nd grade will grind to a halt.
I’m also not naive enough to believe that one inspirational keynote (and we’ve had many over the years of this conference) will change anything by itself.
But I wonder why our district bothers to bring in speakers like Robinson, not to mention paying their not-inconsequential fees, if everyone is just going to ignore the ideas they offer.