READER’S EDITORIAL: 21st CENTURY EDUCATION—THE NEED FOR INNOVATION

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By Bill Weaver                             

September 12, 2011 (Alpine)--I would like to thank our Alpine Union School District for its pursuit of 21st century education reforms it seeks in serving our East County's local youngest students.  On the AUSD website (www.alpineschooldistrict.net) they describe this in detail.


What the  AUSD calls its "revisioning", is a process for managing its innovation. Experts state that fewer than 2% of all organizations actually have systems in place to successfully manage innovation processes. This buzzword is found in many strategic plans, however the 2% factor highlights the large percentage of these organizations that will fail at innovation leadership, because they lack a proper management plan.
 The Grossmont Union HS Districts’ recent decision to delay building the Alpine and Blossom Valley area new high school (HS12) is a prime example.
On July 14th, the GUHSD Boundary Committee (BC) presented its Governing Board with positive demographic predictions of student population increases, as evidence supporting the innovative HS12 project as being fiscally responsible. Still, the GUHSD directors ignored this evidence as they proceeded to vote, delaying this project, citing only short-term budget reasons. ASTONISHINGLY, the delay resolution had been drafted prior to the Board having ever been formally presented with the BC provided evidence at an open meeting. The vote to delay was within minutes of the positive evidence having been explained to them by the professional 3rd party contracted demographer. One wonders... Why?

Innovations in education carry costs that aren't easily understood at face value. The direct fiscal payback of the HS12 projects' ongoing annual operational costs was clearly answered within the BC report. Additionally, the gained educational value to building this innovative 12th High School is without any doubt. It is only logical (and defendable) that building a 12th GUHSD high school now while construction costs are at historic lows, and the bond money is in hand, with credible predictions of the operational costs being covered completely with new students' and new CA ADA gains, that this makes very good sense. this action would be an example of a "well managed and fiscally conservative innovation". 

Bill Weaver has served as a member of the Grossmont Union High School District’s 12th
 High School Committee and is Co-Chair of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Business Education Committee.  The opinions expressed in this editorial reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.