So, those of you who know me, know that I love baseball. And you probably also are aware of the way we talk about the tradition of baseball, it's long history. Well, it can be hard to change those traditions. Last night, I finally had a chance to see Moneyball. The movie is about Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics and what he did to create a winning team in a game where the playing field may be level, but the system of acquiring players is not. A game where big money teams like the Yankees have an advantage when it comes to putting a team together. To quote Harry Carey, "HOLY COW!" I could not stop thinking about the connection to public education.
The story is not about baseball. The story is about leadership and change. It's about having a vision and the commitment to stick with that vision. It's about what it takes to stand in the face of resistance to what you are doing and doing it anyway. It's about complex problems and the way they act; sometimes making things worse in the short run, and showing how if you stick with it, learning as you go and making adjustments, you can win big.
Imagine what we could do in public education if we could do that! I am sure we'd hit a grand slam, and old Harry would stand up and say "Kids win! Kids win! Kids win!(see note below)
(For those of you who are wondering who is Harry Carey: (Baseball announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs. When the Cubs would win, he was always say, "Cubs win! Cubs win! Cubs win!)