Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Systematic Decision-Making

Leaders should employ a decision making framework, a system for making decisions.  For a school board, improving student achievement is the priority.  As such, before making any decision, school board members should systematically address the question: How will this decision help to improve student achievement? 

Before acting (according to the article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/03/28/6-tips-for-making-better-decisions/#2e1996509f54), leaders should conduct a situation analysis; the decision should be subject to public scrutiny; there should be a cost-benefit analysis, a risk/reward assessment, an integrity analysis, and a timeliness assessment; and, perhaps most importantly, leaders should have a back-up plan. 

In a school district, when leaders fail to make systematic decisions that improve achievement, based on sound data and analyses, students suffer.  According to the many people I have spoken to on the streets of Tucson as I collect signatures to get my name on the November ballot, not all students in TUSD are suffering.  But many are.  And every student counts. 

My conclusion?  TUSD’s leaders need to employ a healthier decision-making framework.  They should start by establishing a decision-making system for themselves: collect data, analyze it, share the results, and use feedback to improve.  They could also follow the recommendations Texas consultants and others have provided to them at their behest.  Just sayin’ ;)      

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