More on UOP prof’s ‘conversation’

Today’s paper includes this overview of UOP Prof. Linda Skrla’s “conversation” with about 75 SUSD leaders this week. SUSD Superintendent Steve Lowder and Benerd School of Education Dean Lynn Beck said Skrla’s discussion was another step in building an alliance between the university and the school district.

Skrla’s PowerPoint is here.

Here are some odds and ends from Wednesday that didn’t make the story:

  • Lowder: “It’s about a belief system. It really is about teacher expectations and adult expectations. Kids will rise to your expectations. We want to talk about the culture of our organization. Is the culture what we want it to be?”
  • Skrla said struggling schools often feel “clinically depressed” with a “cloud of defeatism” hanging over them. At thriving schools, you can walk on the campus and “you know something good is going on here.”
  • Skrla, a 55-year-old Texas native living outside her home state for the first time, said, “I’m here by choice. After all those years in a cow pasture in Texas I was ready for a change.”
  • Skrla on Stockton: “I think the whole community has an inferiority complex.”
  • A quote in Skrla’s PowerPoint from Shirley Neeley, the former superintendent of a Texas district similar to SUSD: “All kids can learn, but not at the same time, not the same rate. With some kids it’s going to take just a little bit longer, but we are going to get them there, given a common focus and no excuses. You know the public doesn’t want excuses; they want results. We had a little push-back from some naysayers, but very, very quickly the decision was made by me, my cabinet, and the board. Everybody has to be committed 100 percent. Either get on board or find another job.”
  • Beck on the relationship between the university and SUSD: “We want this to be the beginning of a conversation, the beginning of working together.”

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