Had a preliminary phone interview with a headmaster of a school out in the western part of the Commonwealth. It went okay -- we've agreed to a visit to the campus later this month -- but I thought I sounded a bit like a duffus. You can learn a great deal by looking at a school's website and reading the school's literature; what are those things that stuff doesn't tell you. I didn't have any questions at the ready. I could have asked things such as these gems:
- What sets your school apart from competitors?
- Tell me about the school's culture and your purpose, vision, mission, and values.
- How to you inculcate your purpose, vision, mission, and values into what happens daily on campus?
- How does technology impact teaching and learning at the school?
- Tell me about your "prize" facility or building? Where is the school lacking in terms of facilities?
- What systems and processes are in place to create an environment for organizational and faculty/staff learning?
- Tell me about the fiscal state of the school.
- What is your strategic planning process? Who are the key participants in the strategic planning process? What are your key strategic objectives, associated goals, and timetable for accomplishing them?
- How do you ensure all key stakeholders are lined up and working toward your strategic objectives?
- How do you identify the student and market segments your educational programs will address?
- How do you determine key requirements, needs, and expectations for students and key stakeholders?
- What are the school's key performance measures concerning student learning, daily operations, and overall organizational performance, including progress on strategic objectives and action plans?
- How do you review organizational performance?
- How do you support faculty and staff?
- Tell me about your compensation, recognition, and reward & incentive practices; how do these support and reinforce high-performance work and a focus on students & stakeholders?
For those of you who know me, yes, I've been looking at the Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence. Hey, what can I say? The system works, baby. The system works.