I. Introduction—Description of the problem situation
“No Child Left Behind," “Colorado Reads,” and “Race to the Top” are just a few of many school initiatives that have been implemented over the years. As schools across the state take another look at the previous year’s data, they know that yet another year’s initiative lies on the horizon. This is the same ritual experienced by many schools across the nation every year.
Wellspring Middle School is no different than any other middle school when it comes to initiatives. The principal is very supportive and uses a blend of authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire leadership styles. These different styles tend to be situational and used only under certain circumstances. In the case of initiatives, the leadership style tends to take an authoritarian stance. Yet, with a school that offers so much, initiatives are an inescapable reality that Wellspring must adopt yearly. Some of these initiatives blossom and yield fruit, yet most blooms shrivel on the vine. The fact is, after years of repeated educational reform initiatives that Wellspring has done there is little increase in terms of moving the bar any higher than it has always been set. Wellspring greatly benefits from having outstanding teachers, supportive administrators, and a diverse population that allows students to grow and experience academics and life in a way that is not seen in any other school districts. Due to this fact, the solution strategies chosen to tackle initiatives were selected for a specific reason. They are all a present part of Wellspring’s culture, but are either underutilized or not successfully harnessed.
This paper looks to explore the reason behind how school initiatives could be successful at Wellspring Middle School through the use of Bolman and Deal’s four frames.
Solution strategy #1
There will always be a new cycle of initiatives to support, with some doomed before even landing in schools. To give these action plans a fair chance to impact students' lives, the first step in creating a solution would be creating an alliance of educators to captain this cause. By putting together a group of educators with enough enthusiasm, they can influence teachers to work as partners for change. This group of minds needs to be volunteers. If teachers were told to join the committee, this could cause issues, as some teachers may not feel the need to commit or cooperate due to their opposition of the agenda.
If formed correctly, structurally this functions well because it allows both educators and administrators to come to the table in terms of helping students achieve. This coalition would be responsible for organizing clear goals and procedures for implementing the initiative, while, at the same time, allowing both administrators and teachers to debate and make decisions as a cohesive group that not only looks at the needs of individual teachers and students but also the importance of a shared outcome.