“What is the purpose of school?” my mentor asked of me when I was moved up into administration. I wrote high minded paragraphs citing everyone from Socrates to Neal Postman, that he tossed in the garbage. “Rich”, he said, “You have about 10 seconds or eyes will glaze over or you’ll sound like you’re shoveling S$*t.”
No quick answer came for a day or two until on a run on an old rail trail formed into an A-Ha moment. The next day, I tossed an index card on his desk. “That works”. “Now be it and use it”. I had written, The Purpose of School is to Provide Success Opportunities for Kids”. And I believed it then and now – throughout my education career as a district curriculum director, high school principal, consultant to state education departments, author, and speaker. Even when I moved to the corporate world marketing and designing learning, I held this belief in my heart. And yes, I’m a parent and now grandparent. I have a vested interest.