Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Things are starting to get real

Well, things are starting to get real. At work, people are asking if I'm really going to leave my perceived cushy job. "Damn straight," I say.

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?
I'm running out of energy, but not ideas.

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.

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