'Equitable' Means 'All'


As a fledgling educator in Dallas Independent School District, where the majority of my students were English Language Learners, I quickly realized a few things: much like my family’s . . . Read more

Walking the Walk (Even When You Stumble)


“I swear we just said goodbye to our students in June just last week!” “It’s probably because the polar vortex added extra days to the end of last year, but this summer . . . Read more

'Better' Doesn't Happen All By Itself

My granddaddy used to say, “Tighten up every little chance you get. ‘Better’ doesn’t happen all by itself.” And my granddaddy was always right. (With the exception . . . Read more

Understanding the 'What'


While I was a school principal, our teams went into the PLC process with the aim of meeting each and every student where they were. Our mission was to collectively support all learners in moving . . . Read more

The PLC Journey Starts With Community

“What is labeled as ‘fluff’ is more often the stuff of leadership and culture.” —Terrence Deal, Kent Peterson, Shaping School Culture While the word . . . Read more

Redesigning Our Schools: How Can We Do That?


I recently had the opportunity to attend the RTI at Work Institute™ in Edmonton, Canada. One of the great things about attending a Solution Tree Institute is the opportunity to learn alongside educators from all over North America. The opportunity to hear different perspectives and ways of thinking around the school improvement process is an invaluable learning experience. Read more

Why This, Why Now, Why Bother


One question I am often asked by classroom teachers is, “Why should we care about PLCs, Bill?” We are almost always skeptical when our bosses bring something new back to our building and try to convince us that it is worth investing in. But when they are done right, PLCs answer my three why questions better than anything I’ve seen in over 25 years of full-time teaching. Read more

Maybe It’s Time to Press the Reset Button


There are many schools throughout the country that are committed to doing the “right work” and are demonstrating evidence of tremendous growth in both adult and student learning. There are many more schools, also with dedicated and hard-working educators, that have not been enjoying increased gains in student achievement and yet claim to be “doing PLCs.” Read more

Leading With WHY


When working with districts and schools, I’m often asked a question from site leaders something similar to this: “How do you get people to buy in to Professional Learning Communities? . . . Read more

Doing the Right Things Right: Building Capacity, Quality Control, Fidelity, and Accountability


“What drives your school improvement efforts—evidence of best practice or the pursuit of universal buy-in?” This question is posed by Dr. Richard DuFour in his article, . . . Read more

An Open Letter to My First-Grade Teacher


I am a failure. Many define failure as lack of success and omission of required action. I would say that in my past, I qualified as a failure on both counts. Today, as a principal in a school, . . . Read more

One Teacher Leader's PLC Journey


Note: This blog post has been adapted from an email that Joshua Curnett sent to the staff at his PLC. It's February, the time of year when I cannot remember my name. It's (picture me . . . Read more

Finding Meaning in Texts


While reading over fall break, I kept finding ideas about collaboration and success when I wasn’t really looking for them. I dog-eared a few pages in a few books to save the places because . . . Read more

Peers Helping Peers: An Update


In my previous post, I described a new program that I and others are working on to improve the performance of students who struggled last year as freshmen, and I said I would report back when we . . . Read more

Peers Helping Peers


Five summers ago, my professional life was permanently changed when I attended my first PLC conference. I frankly went with an attitude of “here we go again . . . ,” having been . . . Read more