Is a branch like a classroom?

In the UFT column this morning, Randi Weingarten talked about different philosophies for changing schools:

  • Change to how it looks — ala NYC chancellor Joel Klein, centralization of control
  • Change to how it works — ala NY Gov. Elliot Spitzer, emhpasis on smaller class sizes, more resources

In another note this morning (sorry, I’ve lost the reference, but will post if I find it), there was a reminder that it’s fruitless to “tell” people to change. Leading change means providing motivation — a reason for change.

It got me thinking about how we’re pushing AAUW change. Are we looking at a centralized model — “telling” the branches that they need to change. We’ve been watching (what? 20?) years of declining membership that “should” be motivation enough. But why hasn’t change happened before?

What are we giving the branches that is a clear “we are changing so that you can reach _____” message? What’s the goal that they are changing towards. It must be more than mere survival.

If the change that’s in progress is perceived as “change at the top” then that’s where it’ll stay. Enough of our members spent their careers in the classroom — and how many “changes at the top” have they learned to ignore?

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