Sunday, October 16, 2011

What do well-funded schools look like?

Below are a few things we could do to create well-funded, dynamic and engaging schools.  What would you add, take away or modify?

  • Create smaller class size; I don't care what the research says, I just know I can be more effective when I can know fewer students more deeply.  Right now, I have 125-145 students, depending on the day.  When I taught at an independent school, I had about 60-80 students/day. 
  • Build and maintain beautiful school facilities with a fully funded library, computer centers (or 1:1 laptops as needed), resplendent arts studios and athletic programs, well-funded class trips, and access to green space.  These sorts of things already happens in some schools, but it sometimes means we create privilege rather than cultivate democracy.
  • Have healthy, sustainable and tasty lunch programs - free to all, including faculty and staff.
  • Foster flexible teacher leadership so that individuals can have one foot firmly in the classroom (with benefits) and another foot in research-world (for policy, curriculum studies, or professional development).  Each school would formally have at least 1 such teacher leadership position for every 10 teachers, and the capacity for other positions to be created.


  1. Go Gamal! These are simple, attainable steps. There is one problem - they require revenue. The word "tax" is a four letter word since Grover Norquist co-opted our government during the Reagan administration. Now even purported Democrats talk like Norquist. Drowning government in a bathtub....yuck.

  2. Steve -- It's amazing how fearful of "taxes" people in power purport to be. Yet when we get increase tax revenue, we've also got to be vigilant about how that we spend money [well]. Thanks for your post.