[00:00:09] Dr. Russell Quaglia: So before we begin, let
me – I want to share a little bit about what just happened a couple of days ago when
I was in England, and then jump into the Student Voice and Aspirations piece. In England, I
go there, I don’t know, maybe once every six weeks or so. We have a number of schools
there, 14 actually, called Aspirations Academies. And this past week we had our board meeting,
not to tell you about our board meeting, but what was really interesting this past trip
was that we had the inspection. You know how they have the New England Association of Schools
and Colleges, the Mideast – you know how we all have these accrediting things. Well,
they have this thing over there called Ofsted. Ofsted is like this Nazi group – no, seriously,
it’s unbelievable how this works. You know how you have like a year, year and a half,
two years to get ready for your accreditation process? They call you on Tuesday, they come
on Thursday. Absolute truth. And I was actually going to leave early but we had a call on
Tuesday for one of our schools and the accreditation process happened on Thursday. And I am proud
to say that we received “outstanding,” which is the highest ranking that you could
possibly get in the country of England. And I share that with you because it has a lot
to do with what I’m going to talk about this evening around data and practice. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Our scores went up over
the past three years in this school by 14 percent. We took over a place that was not,
oh, it was challenging. I guess that’s the best word for it. It had difficulty. It’s
in West London right outside Heathrow Airport, and we saw amazing gains. Why? Not because
we raised our standards. Not because we had more test scores. It’s because we focused
on the whole child. We made a difference. And the connection I want to make back tonight,
which when flying over here I was like, “Wow, this is like perfect timing.” Because what
happened is this. Again, not monkeying around with standards and the curriculum and those
kinds of things. We added some data. We started paying attention to a different piece of data
that we’ve never paid attention to before around student aspirations and student voice.
And I’m going to share some of that data with you today, not from England, but from
the U.S. about what made that difference. What turned that school around? What turns
a lot of schools around? What are we doing in our schools that are making a real difference?
I mean a sustained difference. [00:02:41] Dr. Russell Quaglia: There’s lots of good
stories out there about decent schools, where they are building internal capacity. What
are we doing to take a good school and move it away from being a little “fifta,” which
we’ve got lots in this country, to a place that we can model, a place we can learn from?
And then how do we connect that with the data? Dr. Russell Quaglia: I was interviewed by
BBC, and all sorts of people who wanted an interview about the new test scores and what’s
been going on and so on. And one of the questions that I was asked over and over again was,
“What makes our schools special?” From my opinion, what do you think makes education
what it is today? Or how do you define the good schools from the bad schools? So I started
going into my Professor of Education mode, and I was talking about things like, “Oh,
well, they all have good communication systems, they promote technology, they do everyday
learning everywhere.” What education happens outside the classroom, we talked about technology,
we talked about the importance of collaboration, we talked about the importance of data. And
I am into this thing for like, oh, I don’t know, 10 minutes and I was like boring myself.
I’m like, “Holy crap. What am I saying? I’m saying what everyone else does, blah,
blah, blah.” And then, I stopped and I said, “No, you know what? Here’s the deal.”
Now this is live so you know how the Brits can be. Where is…? [unclear name], I love
you though. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I’m sorry, but you
know how they can be. So I stopped and I said, “No, you know what? It’s not about that.
It’s about being normal.” Yeah. Think about it for just a minute. What if we just
were all a little more normal. Because here’s a newsflash. Open communication, collaboration,
listen to student voice, having kids meaningfully engaged in learning, making sure they have
self-worth, give them a sense of purpose to grow. Using data to inform practice. Using
practice to inform researchers. What a novel concept in education. No, that’s not novel.
That’s common sense. It’s about being normal. [00:04:45] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I said, “Do you want
education policy to make a difference?” Have an education policy that says I think
we’re going to be normal this year. Yeah. It’s not going to happen. Why? Because our
educational system, our educational system of common sense is being trumped by common
practice, and that’s an issue. That’s an issue. We do things in education that make
absolutely no sense to anyone. Yet we continually do them. Audience: [applause] Dr. Russell Quaglia: No, don’t clap because
I’m only going to get worse. I’m telling you right now. But I do promise you we will
be out by 8 o’clock, because seriously, it is like a speaker’s dream when you can
speak at a dinner on Sunday evening after a bunch of educators have been drinking and,
oh, the NCAA is on. So this is like perfect. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Seriously, if American
Idol was on tonight, that would just be the home run right there. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: So, the other thing I
want to just tell you about me before I get into this, I want to present data tonight
that ties together with practice. Another novel thought. It’s a very radical thing.
I get perceived as being this radical all the time, probably because maybe my hair’s
too long. But the real issue is this. I talk about researchers and practitioners like they
should work together, because we know they should. I work with teachers that don’t
see the usefulness of data, and I work with data people that wouldn’t know the difference
between a student and a squirrel. Now I know it’s different here in Pennsylvania, but
here’s why we need to talk to each other. Because good practice – I used to be a principal
too, and I would tell my teachers, I’d say, “You know what? Good practice without data
is an event. That’s all it is. It’s an event. If we can’t document why it works,
what’s working, and what those measures are, it’s an event.” However, good data
without then practicing, without impacting practice, good data without impacting practice.
You know what that is? That’s just a research article. And that doesn’t mean anything
to anybody either. [00:07:06] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Now some of that’s
been a trained researcher, and some of that’s been in the field practicing for a really
long time. Now I spend three-quarters of my life working directly with kids. We’ve got
to marry those things together. We’ve got to marry those things together and we don’t
do it very well yet, but we can. And I’m going to show you how we’ve done it. FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS Dr. Russell Quaglia: So, fundamental beliefs.
Students are not the problem, but they are the potential. I always hear people, “Can
you come in and work with us so you can fix up the kids?” Seriously? They’re not really
broken. They’re not really broken. We’ve got things we can do, but students, to me,
they are the potential and not the problem. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I believe students have
something to teach us. That drives me every single day I get up in the morning. I believe
students have something to teach us. Dr. Russell Quaglia: And the third thing is
working together is the only way forward. And when I talk about working together, I’m
not talking about us working together. I’m talking about working together with the students.
What do we do to connect our work with students? I mean, real students. Not just collecting
stuff in numbers, but having a conversation. Having a conversation with students and teachers. Dr. Russell Quaglia: So, with those three
basic premises, let’s jump into some of these things around the work. ASPIRATIONS Dr. Russell Quaglia: Aspirations. I’ve made
a life out of this. It’s a cool word. We use it all the time. You know, we want our
kids to have aspirations. It might be in some of your school mission statements. But what
does it mean? For me, it’s not just about dreaming. “Oh, aspirations, let me tell
you what I want to be, blah, blah, blah.” No, it’s not about that. That’s a piece
of it, but the other piece around aspirations is being able to think about the future, being
able to set goals for yourself, but at the same time be inspired in the present to get
there. Because dreamers are a dime a dozen. It’s easy to dream and tell you what you
think I should do or what you want me to do. But what are you doing as an educator to inspire
kids in the present to reach their dreams? [00:09:17] DREAMING AND DOING Dr. Russell Quaglia: Dreaming and doing. The
two concepts that have been driving my life, and what I have come to realize as an educator
for now over 30 years is that you really can’t be a real educator until you have a quadrant. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Yes. That’s why the
book is actually selling so well is because it has a big quadrant right smack in the middle
of it. The two dimensions are dreaming and doing. Let’s talk a little bit about those. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Dreaming. We usually
talk to people and kids about what they want to be when they grow up. I will tell you later
why I think that’s an inane thing to ask kids, but we all do it. And when we talk to
kids, this is what they will tell us. “I want to be a doctor. I want to be a lawyer.
Or I want to be a teacher. I want to serve in the military. I want to be a police officer.
I want to be a professional athlete.” I hear them all. I hear them all. But here’s
the rest of the story. The kid that wants to be a doctor doesn’t particularly like
science. The kid that wants to be a [unclear] doesn’t like going to math class. The kid
that wants to be a teacher doesn’t like to read. The kid that wants to serve in the
armed services doesn’t like to be told what to do. The kid that wants to be a police officer
doesn’t like telling people what to do. My favorite, my all-time favorite is a junior
in high school. I am interviewing this kid myself about the future. He wants to be a
professional athlete. I have four kids, I wish one of them were a professional athlete.
A junior in high school who wants to be a professional athlete. I’m not saying, no,
that’s a bad thing, I’m saying, “Good, good for you, man, that’s awesome.” What’s
the question you would ask this kid? Audience members: What sport do you play? Dr. Russell Quaglia: Exactly. What sport do
you play? A fair question. “Oh, that’s awesome. Good for you, man. What sport do
you play?” His response to me was, “I don’t play one.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I’m cool with that
because he’s hurt. I’m like, “Oh, you must be hurt. What sport did you play?”
And he’s looking at me and he says, “I don’t play any yet.” Now I am like – I
turned toward dad, which is not a good thing as a resource. It’s like, “What? You want
to be a professional athlete, you’re a junior in high school, and you don’t play a sport?”
And now he’s looking at me like I’m the one with the issue. And this is what he says,
“Yeah, man. I want to be a professional athlete but I don’t like to sweat.” [00:11:38] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Well, unless he’s going
to play for the Steelers, I suggest he get… Audience: [laughter/boos and cheers] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Whoa. I’m sorry. I
thought I was in Cincinnati. You might have picked up the Boston accent. Audience: [laughter] HIBERNATION Dr. Russell Quaglia: The disconnect between
what kids are telling us and what they’re doing in the present to get there is bizarre.
So think about this. Think about the kid that’s in the bottom left quadrant there. “I don’t
dream and I don’t do.” They are in hibernation state. It’s like they’ve got a bag over
their head. They’ll go to the classroom but they are just there. And we know who these
kids are. And you know what? We let them stay there. Do you know why? Because they don’t
bother us. They’re not causing trouble. They’re just, they are there. There’s
people on our staff that are in a state of hibernation. They are just there. It’s like,
“What do you do?” “I don’t know.” “What are you going to do?” “Not sure.”
And we leave them alone because they don’t bother us. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I can’t even tell you
how many times people come up to me after a talk, and so I’m asking you not to do
it tonight, and I’m not being sexist but this is usually what happens. A woman will
come up to me and say, “Excuse me, Dr. Quaglia. I think my husband is in a state of hibernation.
What should I do?” And seriously, like she’s asking me this kind of advice. And, of course,
I give her advice I say, “Leave him.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Seriously, what do I
care? But this notion of hibernation, low dreaming and low doing. We’ve got lots of
kids there. If you go to inner-city schools and dead rural schools, I see a bunch of kids,
I would say almost half the kids there – and I’m going to show you data to prove that’s
where they are. Again, not evil. They are just there. And because they don’t cause
us problems, we let them stay there. [00:13:38] IMAGINATION Dr. Russell Quaglia: Ah, high dreaming, low
doing. We love these kids. Why? Because they say everything we want to hear. Yes. Think
of somebody, maybe in your family, somebody you work with. High dreamers. “Yes, we can
do that. Yes, I’m going to do that.” These are the kids that are going to Harvard but
have yet to apply. Yeah. They are in this imagination state. Dr. Russell Quaglia: My son. My son has the
most unbelievable job. $300,000 a year. He’s 26, $300,000 a year. Has got more benefits
than half the people in this room combined. Six weeks of vacation. A house in the mountains.
Yeah. And, oh, he doesn’t have to go to work all the time because he’s that special.
You ask yourself, “Where is this job?” It’s in his flipping head. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Yes, it’s in his head.
I love him to death, and I’m hoping this isn’t being taped to be broadcast, but he’s
in this imagination state. And I had conversations with him, it’s not like I’m a riff-raff
dad. I go, “Case, what are you thinking?” He goes, “Dad, that’s what I deserve.”
I say, “You don’t deserve shit. You haven’t done anything.” Or, “I think a I need
a break.” “From what?” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Help me understand. What
do we do with kids in this category? We let them stay there because they are nice to be
with, but it’s not healthy. How do we move kids in the imagination state into high dreaming
and high doing? [00:15:28] PERSPIRATION Dr. Russell Quaglia: And, let’s not forget
this group. If I had to categorize this around socioeconomic status, SES stuff, which most
of you in this room are very familiar with, there’s my blue class, my blue collar working
class group. The hardest working kids on the planet. Always come to school, always work
hard, always get their stuff done, and don’t know what they are doing next week, never
mind in the future. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Alternative ed schools,
I don’t know how many people in here work in alternative ed schools. When I go into
alternative ed schools, that’s where my kids are, that’s where they are. They hate
Fridays because they don’t want to go home. The biggest issue is trying to get these kids
to go home or somewhere after school is over. They are just there, and they work like dogs.
They work, they work, they work, they work. But they have no future thoughts. So when
we go into alternative ed schools, we spent three-quarters of our time not having these
kids build up their work ethic, because that’s not the issue. The issue is have them think
about the future. Have them realize that there’s something bigger out there than them right
now. ASPIRATIONS Dr. Russell Quaglia: So where do we want our
kids? Obviously, up in the upper right-hand quadrant. The kids are high dreamers, high
doers. What’s the problem with being up there too long? Burnout. Burnout. I see a
lot of kids up there that are just ready to break, and I’m always telling them, “Chill
out. Calm down.” Because if you are up there too long, it’s this constant pressure, you
are on this incredible treadmill. “I always have to dream. I always have to do. I always
have to dream. I always have to do.” I’m like, “Chill out.” Dr. Russell Quaglia: The other important thing
about these quadrants is that people move in and out of them all the time. This isn’t
a Myers-Briggs test. You don’t get typecast and that’s where you are for life. You can
see yourselves in these different quadrants in different situations. Some kids, they might
be in Perspiration during math class, they might be in Aspirations during social studies,
maybe Hibernation during algebra class. I don’t know. But kids move in and out of
these things all the time. What I try to tell them when we work with teachers, when we work
with teachers at the Institute we let them know that in your classroom, all four of these
groups exist. All four of these groups exist. [00:17:35] Dr. Russell Quaglia: So let’s start making
some of these connections. Like, “How do I get kids over there?” Because it would
just be ridiculous if I gave you a quadrant without any information. Dr. Russell Quaglia: So we’ve identified
four conditions that need to be in place to move your kids from any of those three quadrants
up into the upper right. Self-worth, engagement, purpose, that’s driven by student voice.
I’m going to share with you data that we have collected from over a million kids over
the past six years, and I’m going to show you what our kids are telling us around these
guiding principles, as we call them. STUDENT VOICE Dr. Russell Quaglia: The first one I want
to talk about is student voice. Student voice. It’s so mind-boggling to me why this is
an issue. It’s even more mind-boggling to me why I travel literally around the world
talking about the coolness of student voice when that’s just being normal. There are
way more of them than us. Yet we seem to always be doing something to them rather than something
with them. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Remember the first thing
I talked about? I believe students have something to teach us. When we go into the most horrific
situations of schools, the very first thing we do is talk to the students. What’s up
with them? What are they thinking? What are they doing? What do they believe? What do
they believe about themselves, the school, the community? And student voice isn’t about
listening to their voice and then doing something with it necessarily. But it’s making sure
we listen. Making sure we listen enough to understand what they’re saying, and then
us figure out why they’re saying it, and then working with them. So often we assume
that student voice is, “Well, you know, the kids will tell us what to do, and if I
don’t do it, that means I’m not listening.” No. Student voice means you are willing to
listen to them and willing to learn from them. [00:19:22] Dr. Russell Quaglia: But what do kids tell
us around student voice in their schools? Forty-seven percent say students have a voice
in decision-making. That’s not so good when we’re trying to create leaders, is it? Teachers
are willing to learn from students, 52 percent. Fifty percent know the goals that their school
is working on. That’s not really good, is it? Dr. Russell Quaglia: Half the kids in our
country don’t think they have a voice. And interestingly enough, the half that don’t
think they have a voice is the same half that don’t think teachers are willing to learn
from them. Interestingly enough, it’s the same half that have no idea what the school’s
goals are. Those are real numbers and real kids, and half of them don’t think their
voice matters. Dr. Russell Quaglia: We’re teaching them
all the 21st century skill la-de-da-de-da stuff. In England, they call it personal [unclear]
and thinking skills, or something. You know, collaboration, communication, problem solving,
global think, ba-ba-ba-ba. Those things mean nothing if people don’t have a voice. They
mean nothing. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Why does it matter? Because
when kids believe they have a voice, when they know people are listening to them, when
they know that teachers are willing to learn from them, they are seven times, seven times
more likely to be academically motivated. That’s pretty unbelievable. And yet, it
is very believable because we did the research. SELF-WORTH Dr. Russell Quaglia: Self-worth. Self-worth.
If there’s one of these things that I get hammered on, it’s self-worth. Because there
are always people saying, “You know what, you are so soft on kids. You just want everybody
to feel good.” Like that’s a bad thing? And I make it very clear to these critics,
and there are a fair number of them out there, I say, “It’s not just about kids feeling
good. I don’t want kids in the hall singing Kumbaya and being idiots. I don’t want to
graduate happy, dumb kids.” Albeit if we didn’t where would the politicians come
from? But the issue becomes… [00:21:30] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: No. I’m talking about
where I’m from, which I’m not sure where now. But the issue becomes it’s not about
just kids in the hallway singing Kumbaya at all. It’s about them learning. It’s about
having them believe in themselves. Dr. Russell Quaglia: When we go into districts
and schools, the bottom that bottom can be, these kids have no expectations of themselves.
When people ask me, and I get asked this all the time when I travel all over, they go,
“What do I think the biggest issue is in American education?” They want me to talk
about the budget. They want me to talk about Arne Duncan. They want me to talk about all
sorts of crazy things. No. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Here’s the biggest
issue in our education system is we have an expectation gap. Our expectations of our kids
are lower than their expectations are of themselves. That is criminal. It is criminal when the
teacher expectations of kids are lower than the kids’ expectations are of themselves.
When we go in to turn around things, that’s the very first thing we do. Dr. Russell Quaglia: But this notion of self-worth
and this expectation gap, moving away from, “Oh, we have an achievement gap.” Seriously,
what is an achievement gap? I asked people and this is what they tell me. “Oh, it’s
the difference between high achievers and low achievers.” I’m like, “Seriously,
that’s amazing. Is that what it is?” “Well, yeah, but it’s usually the disadvantaged
kids that don’t do really well, but the other kids that have better homes, they do
better up here, so it creates this gap.” Seriously, that’s what that is? Maybe there’s
an expectation gap. Maybe there’s a participation gap. Maybe there’s a relationship gap. Because
I can tell you this. When there is not an expectation gap, when there is not a participation
gap, and when there is not a relationship gap, shockingly, the achievement gap goes
away. I don’t believe there is an achievement gap. I believe there are these other gaps
that make this gap. But trying to fix an achievement gap, like that’s the gap we should be working
on, I think is naïve at best. [00:23:30] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I fly in an airplane
all the time, and I’m always shocked of the people that bring things onto the plane
and themselves. I’m in this seat. I have a relatively large man that sits next to me.
He starts complaining to the flight attendant about the seats. “These seats are too damn
small, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And I’m just letting him go because, I really do,
when I go on a plane I turn into this mute. I’m like, just let him go. And this poor
flight attendant, and he is just railing on this woman, like, “I can’t believe how
these seats, they are so small.” And now the woman is getting a little upset, and I’m
feeling quite bad for her. And for me to feel bad for a flight attendant is pushing the
limit. The guy goes off again the third time, like seriously, stop. I turned to him and
I said to him, I go, “Listen, here’s the deal. The seats are okay. You’ve got a big
ass.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: “Lay off the peanuts
and the Coke and you’re going to be fine.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: It is kind of like that
sense to me with the achievement gap. We are blaming the achievement gap, but it’s not
the achievement gap, it’s all these other things. It’s like a butt gap. It’s something.
All I know is I’m challenging you, when you are collecting your data, collect data
around the things you need to collect data about. Not things to perpetuate some other
kind of thinking. Dr. Russell Quaglia: So what do we learn about
the achievement gap around self-worth? I’m a valued member of my school community, 46
percent. Teachers care if I’m absent from school, 51 percent. I’m proud of my school,
60 percent. Here is the unbelievable data point I just want to talk about for a minute,
the second one, 51 percent of the kids in this country think teachers care if they are
there. [00:25:28] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I was in front of the
U.S. Senate not that long ago, testifying and sharing some of this data. And I said
to them in my eloquent way, I said, “Before you senators get your pants in a bunch about
meeting AYP, maybe we should think about half the kids in this country do not think we care
if they show up.” How do we expect kids to be successful if beforehand we don’t
think it matters if they are there? Dr. Russell Quaglia: So when I talked earlier
about those transformations we made in these England schools and these other places, we
did it through data. We did it through data that made sense to the teachers. In 15 minutes,
we collected data around these kinds of items. Items that made common sense to people. And
then we connected it to their academic achievement scores. Dr. Russell Quaglia: And why is self-worth
important? Because when kids have self-worth, they are five times more likely to be academically
motivated to be successful. That alone is pretty unbelievable. Granted, student voice
is a little higher. But either one of those, you’re making a difference. ENGAGEMENT Dr. Russell Quaglia: Engagement. Engagement
to me is this delicate balance between the teacher, the student, and the content. It’s
that balance. Now, I know there are about nine zillion books written around engagement,
and about a bazillion articles of data points around it. But I look at it as this. If you
can envision like three circles there, a little Venn diagram, I’ve got the teacher, student,
and the content. The teacher and the student, when that overlaps, what do I have? I have
a relationship there. That’s good. I want a relationship. But if I have a relationship
and the teacher doesn’t know the content, that overlap is expertise, now I have a friend
with an older person. That doesn’t mean anything. But let’s say I’m a teacher
that is an expert and I am a teacher that has a relationship with the kid, but the connectedness
between the student and the content, that needs to be engagement, that needs to be interest.
Right? When I have interest in the subject matter, when I have a relationship with the
teacher, and the teacher knows the content area, that’s when I’m meaningfully engaged
in learning. [00:27:40] Dr. Russell Quaglia: When I do various site
visits, one of the things I look for when I go into the classroom is to see if I can
tell the difference between the teachers and the students. And the very best classrooms
I go to, I can’t see the difference. I don’t know who the learner is or who the teacher
is because they are so engaged in what’s going on. They are so engaged, they lose track
of time and space. They are so engaged that they are having fun and excitement. And by
fun and excitement, I am not talking about laughing and giggling and goofing, but literally
saying, “Where did that time go?” Dr. Russell Quaglia: I’m talking about when
kids are curious and creative. Curious kids will ask why. Creative kids will ask why not.
I’m talking about an environment that has a spirit of adventure. Kids are not afraid
to fail, and most importantly, kids are not afraid to succeed. So many of the students
that we work with are more fearful of success than they are of failure. They’re not afraid
to fail because we have a zillion different safety nets for them, and we should be proud
of that. We have not made it cool to be successful in school yet. We just haven’t. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Think, I just said some
blah, blah, blah. I’m inspired I’m going to work really hard. I go from a D student
and now I’m an A student. What happens when I’m an A student? The kids in this A group
say, “You don’t belong here. You belong over here.” My friends say, “You don’t…What’s
wrong with you, man?” We have not made it cool to be successful in school yet, but interestingly
enough, that’s the stuff we measure constantly. Dr. Russell Quaglia: We haven’t made it
safe for staff members to be successful yet. Have you ever been to the Teacher of the Year
thing? We might have some in this room. But I’ve gone to a fair amount, and it kills
me. Every time you do Teacher of the Year, here’s what happens. They introduce the
Teacher of the Year. The Teacher of the Year comes up and says, “Oh, this isn’t about
me. This is about the students. It’s about the colleagues. I don’t deserve this.”
And as soon as they say, “I don’t deserve this,” I want to take it from them. I live
for the day when someone introduces Teacher of the Year and they go up there and the first
thing they say is, “Damn it, should have got it last year.” [00:29:51] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Yes! Yes, I want that
drive, I want that passion, and I need that passion when it comes to professional development.
Professional development is another thing. I’m talking about us as adults. Professional
development, what’s that about? I started off as a social studies teacher many moons
ago. And it was my first professional development day and I went to my principal, Mr. Ray, and
I said to him, “Mr. Ray, you know what, when I die I want it to be during professional
development day.” And he’s looking at me like, “What?” I go, “When I die I
want it to be during professional development day because that transition from life to death
will be so subtle, who would know?” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Seriously, I know things
are different here. But the issue for us is how do we get our kids engaged? How do we
let them know that we are excited about what we do? Dr. Russell Quaglia: Forty-three percent of
the kids in this country say school is boring. And you know what happens when I share this
data with people you know what they say? “Oh, that’s not bad.” Seriously. I swear to
God, I had a senator that said that to me and I said to him,, “No, no, this isn’t
an election, 43 percent, that is bad. That is bad.” It’s like a rite of passage.
If you’re not bored, what the heck? Dr. Russell Quaglia: How about this one? Forty-four
percent say my classes help me understand what’s happening in my everyday life. Forty-four
percent. That’s abysmal. Oh, but wait, let me tell you what’s more abysmal, where in
the sixth grade that’s 80 percent, where in the 12th grade it’s 17 percent. The longer
kids are in school, the less they really understand why. And we wonder why we have dropout rates.
We wonder why kids aren’t going to post-secondary education. [00:31:42] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Sixty-six percent feel
comfortable asking questions in class. How can we create a curious and creative school
environment when a lot of kids are afraid to ask questions in class? Here’s the other
interesting thing. These are the same kids that are proud of their school. The same kids
that tell them the teacher cares about me. The same kids that tell me they care if I’m
absent from school. If you care about me as a student, if you connect quality-of-life
to me, I’m going to care more about learning. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Engagement, 17 times
more likely to be academically motivated when they are engaged. When that delicate balance
between the teacher, the student, and the content is on, it makes a difference PURPOSE Dr. Russell Quaglia: Last but not least, purpose.
Purpose is about moving beyond the self. It’s not just all about me as a student. And I
hear schools all the time talking about citizenship programs and all these things they are trying
to do. Do we really do those things or just talk about it? I have measurement gurus in
front of me. Do you measure citizenship? Do you measure these kinds of things to help
us inform the practitioners? Because this is the stuff that they can take the academic
stuff and make sense around. Citizenship, it’s so important, isn’t it? But we don’t
measure it very well, and we don’t do anything when it’s not even happening. Dr. Russell Quaglia: For all my principals
out there or superintendents, have you ever graduated someone that couldn’t read and
write? Probably not. Have you ever graduated somebody that was just not a very nice person?
Of course you have. I have, too. I never graduated and shook somebody’s hand that I didn’t
think could read or write, but I can tell you this, I shook hands with a lot of kids
saying, “Thank God you are out of here.” [00:33:43] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Yeah. What if we kept
kids back because they weren’t good citizens? What if we kept kids back because they didn’t
have a sense of purpose? I can tell you that’s what we’re doing in England. We are not
graduating kids unless they have this purpose project where they are showing us that they
are going to make a difference in the community. It’s having these kids believe they can
be successful. Will there be lawsuits? Absolutely. And we’re not going to budge on this thing.
It’s part of our mission. I’m going to create lifelong learners to be contributing
members of society. That’s my mission. That’s what we stand for. And if you can’t live
that, then you shouldn’t graduate from here. Dr. Russell Quaglia: How serious are we around
this? And how do you measure it? I know you go to a zillion workshops because I went through
them all when I got here. I challenge you to start bringing these things up. How do
we measure citizenship? How do we recognize it? I know we do grades, but how do we do
[unclear] perseverance that make sense? How do we ask these kinds of questions? Dr. Russell Quaglia: So we asked kids, 93
percent of the kids we surveyed believe they’re going to be successful. It’s pretty amazing,
isn’t it? One of the people I get to work with, with this new Institute around the teachers,
which is not what I am talking about today, but is Andreas Schleicher. Some of you might
know Andreas is the guy that is in charge of the PISA study. And what’s interesting
about this data, which we were doing the study together, actually, looking at the international
data stuff around the student voice data. And what’s interesting about it is this.
United States, we are number one, number one believing we are unbelievable. We are number
17 on everything else. We’re pretty much flat lined in the middle. Finland, Sweden,
some of these countries that are number one are number 29 when it comes to these things.
We are good but we don’t think we’re good. We’re not so good but we think we are amazing. [00:35:40] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I do this all the time
in England, it’s actually pretty funny. I also had the opportunity, I did a lot of
work with London 2012, and we did a whole thing about the whole psyche of sport, and
our country compared to other countries. And if you remember, not the last World Cup, but
the World Cup before when we played England and the score was 1-1. And at the time I was
doing work with the FA, the Football Association over there, and I’m thinking here’s the
difference between your country’s mentality and mine. At the last World Cup, you are ahead
1 to nothing at the half, and your announcers are saying how bad you’re playing and how
you are going to lose. We are playing the game after, we are down 3 to 0 with four minutes
left in the game and we’re still talking about, “We can still come back.” Two World
Cups ago, the U.S. ties England 1 to 1. The head of The New York Times says, “1 to 1.
U.S. wins.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: It is a mindset we have.
It is a great mindset to have, but we need to operationalize it. So if people say, “Oh,
kids don’t care.” No, no, they care, and they want to be successful, and you know what,
they think they can be successful. It’s all his other stuff we’ve got to work around. Dr. Russell Quaglia: But here’s that expectation
gap. Ninety-three percent believe they can be successful, yet only 76 percent say teachers
believe in me and expect me to be successful. Seventy-one percent say I believe I can make
a difference in the world, which I find so amazing because so many kids want to be teachers.
I say, “Man, if you can make a difference, then be a teacher. They make a difference
every day in the world.” Who do you know that you’re going to teach and that’s
going to turn out to somebody – to be somebody that’s going to influence others? [00:37:25] Dr. Russell Quaglia: But here is the end all,
be all. If you take one thing away from anything I’ve said this evening, it’s this. Thirty-four
percent of the kids that we surveyed say teachers know my hopes and dreams. Teachers know my
hopes and dreams, 34 percent. Just knowing who these kids are. Another question we asked
but I don’t have it on paper, there’s 60 some odd items. One of them is, “Does
the teacher know your name?” The majority of kids in high school do not think teachers
know their name. And the teachers are, “Of course I know their name.” And I say, “How
many times have you ever used their name?” “Well, I don’t know.” “Well, how do
they know you know their name?” “Well, I grade their papers.” I go, “Well, that
doesn’t mean…” Who knows how their brains work? But I’ll tell you this. Unless you
call someone by their name, chances are they might not think you know it. Dr. Russell Quaglia: But the teacher knowing
their hopes and dreams. What could be more natural than that? How can I expect a teacher,
if I don’t know anything about you, how can I inspire you to be a learner in my classroom
if I don’t know what your hopes and dreams are? And it’s not just about what you want
to be, it’s who you want to be as a person. Dr. Russell Quaglia: We interview people at
the Aspirations Academies, and when I’m over there I’ll sit on the interview process.
And one of the things I always ask teachers that are coming in and they’re applying
is, “Who are you? Who are you as an educator?” And I can tell you some funny stories. I had
one woman come in and she’s a math teacher and I said, you know, “Who are you as an
educator?” And she goes, “Oh, I teach mathematics.” I’m like, “No, no. I get
that. I’ve got your resume right here. I’ve got that.” But being very nice. And I go,
“But who are you?” She says, “Oh, I teach algebra.” I’m like, “No, no. I
know you’ve got algebra, and you’ve got calculus down here. But I don’t know who
you are.” And then she’s talking to me like I’m the one with the issue. She goes,
“I can also teach pre-algebra.” [00:39:25] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: And I’m like, “No,
I want to know what gets you up in the morning. What inspires you to teach Period 7 like you
do Period 1? What keeps you in school in February when you just want to leave? What inspires
you as an educator? What is your purpose? Who are you?” Do we know that about our
colleagues? Do we know it about the kids? Dr. Russell Quaglia: Why is it I’m pushing
this thing on the kids? Because when one item, when we know kids’ hopes and dreams, they
are 18 times more likely to be academically motivated to learn. That’s the holy grail.
I would be up here talking about other things if they were that impactful. That alone. How
do we measure kids’ hopes and dreams? Some teachers say, “I don’t have time.” I
tell teachers, “You don’t have time not to. You don’t have time not to understand
these kids’ hopes and dreams.” Could you imagine talking to your own kids about their
futures without having any understanding what their hopes and dreams are? How do you inspire
them to go to school every day if you don’t know those things? Well, how do we expect
teachers to teach kids if they don’t know those things? IMPACT ON ACADEMIC MOTIVATION Dr. Russell Quaglia: So let’s look at these
things. Student voice, self-worth, engagement, and purpose. Their impact on academic motivation.
It’s pretty profound. The other piece that’s pretty profound is this. Teacher support.
Teacher supporting me as a learner. Teacher understanding the school as I understand the
school. Teachers having a voice. When they do, it impacts these kids many times. So let’s
share some data there, and then I will let you go and have more dessert and watch the
game. DELUSIONAL DISCREPANCIES Dr. Russell Quaglia: We surveyed over 50,000
teachers. The report just got released yesterday called “Teacher Voice.” It was last year.
We had I think 8,000 maybe in it. And here’s some delusional discrepancies between teacher
data and student data that I think you’ll find interesting. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Students enjoy working
with teachers. That’s nice, 86 percent, that’s what the teachers said. Teachers
enjoy working with us, not so much. [00:41:30] Dr. Russell Quaglia: We asked teachers, “Do
students have fun in school?” Seventy-nine percent of the teachers said, yes, kids have
fun in school. Yet, when we asked kids, the school is boring, 43 percent. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Students make school
an exciting place to work, 89 percent. That’s pretty awesome. Teachers make school an exciting
place to learn, 44 percent, not so much. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I have fun in school,
83 percent of the teachers we surveyed said they have fun at school. We asked kids if
teachers have fun in school, again, not so much. Kind of makes me wonder what happens
in the faculty room. But we are obviously not having fun in front of our students. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Ah, I love this one.
Students care if I’m absent, 86 percent. Teachers care if I’m absent, again, not
so much. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I enjoy working here,
85 percent of the teachers around this country say I enjoy working here in school. I enjoy
being at school, 53 percent of the kids. Dr. Russell Quaglia: The other person I’ve
done work with recently is Michael Fullan. You know Michael, the kind of Change Systems
guru? I give him a hard time all the time. I go, “Michael, you know for the past 40
years you’ve been trying to figure out why change is so difficult. I figured it out.
Make schools as miserable for teachers as it is for students, and my guess is they’ll
change quicker.” I think that might happen. Dr. Russell Quaglia: There are delusional
discrepancies going on from the teacher perspective and from the student perspective. That is
data that is useful for the practitioner, not because this answers it, but because it
creates a better conversation. I used to teach research at Columbia. One of the things I
used to tell my students all the time around data. “It’s a conversation starter. It’s
not the end all, be all. It’s a conversation starter. It’s like looking in the mirror
that you are afraid to look at, and I’m going to hold this mirror up in front of you
and you’re going to see data that you already know.” When I share this data with teachers,
nothing surprises them. Nothing. It’s the reality slap. You know this data. I just put
a number on it so now you can’t hide from it anymore. [00:43:40] SAD SIMILARITIES Dr. Russell Quaglia: There are also some sad
similarities. Some sad similarities. I’m excited to tell my colleagues when I do something
well. Remember I talked about this notion of it’s not cool to be successful yet? The
same is true for teachers as it is for kids. When we do something great in our classroom
or in our work, we’re not excited to tell our colleagues, just like kids aren’t excited
to tell her friends. Dr. Russell Quaglia: The other one which we
are doing some analysis on now, which I find fascinating. I feel comfortable asking questions
in staff meetings, and I feel comfortable asking questions in class. Those numbers are
pretty close. Why? What’s happened to our curiosity and creativity? We talk about it
all the time but our own teachers don’t practice it very well. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I know I dumped a ton
of stuff on you this evening after a big meal, which is always not the smartest thing to
do. So I just want to leave you with a couple of challenges for the next couple of days.
I challenge you. I challenge you to take time to reflect, to really understand and appreciate
why you do get up every day and do what you do. I challenge you to never stop listening
and learning from students because they do have something to teach us. I challenge you
to embrace every possibility. I challenge you to live on the edge a bit. I want you
to live on the edge. Do something once a week that just scares the living hell out of you.
Grab a pair of scissors, run in the hallway. I don’t really care. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: But I want educators
to do something that scares them a bit. I challenge you to spend more time with kids
about where they are going and less time about where they’re from. Spend more time with
kids about where they are going and way less time about where they’re from. I challenge
you to be students as much as you are superintendents, school administrators, tech gurus, and everybody
else out there. Be a student. I challenge you to eat a big Hershey bar and feel good
about it. I challenge you to dream big and do everything in your power to get there.
I challenge you to be normal. And I challenge you to neve[00:00:09] Dr. Russell Quaglia: So before we begin, let
me – I want to share a little bit about what just happened a couple of days ago when
I was in England, and then jump into the Student Voice and Aspirations piece. In England, I
go there, I don’t know, maybe once every six weeks or so. We have a number of schools
there, 14 actually, called Aspirations Academies. And this past week we had our board meeting,
not to tell you about our board meeting, but what was really interesting this past trip
was that we had the inspection. You know how they have the New England Association of Schools
and Colleges, the Mideast – you know how we all have these accrediting things. Well,
they have this thing over there called Ofsted. Ofsted is like this Nazi group – no, seriously,
it’s unbelievable how this works. You know how you have like a year, year and a half,
two years to get ready for your accreditation process? They call you on Tuesday, they come
on Thursday. Absolute truth. And I was actually going to leave early but we had a call on
Tuesday for one of our schools and the accreditation process happened on Thursday. And I am proud
to say that we received “outstanding,” which is the highest ranking that you could
possibly get in the country of England. And I share that with you because it has a lot
to do with what I’m going to talk about this evening around data and practice. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Our scores went up over
the past three years in this school by 14 percent. We took over a place that was not,
oh, it was challenging. I guess that’s the best word for it. It had difficulty. It’s
in West London right outside Heathrow Airport, and we saw amazing gains. Why? Not because
we raised our standards. Not because we had more test scores. It’s because we focused
on the whole child. We made a difference. And the connection I want to make back tonight,
which when flying over here I was like, “Wow, this is like perfect timing.” Because what
happened is this. Again, not monkeying around with standards and the curriculum and those
kinds of things. We added some data. We started paying attention to a different piece of data
that we’ve never paid attention to before around student aspirations and student voice.
And I’m going to share some of that data with you today, not from England, but from
the U.S. about what made that difference. What turned that school around? What turns
a lot of schools around? What are we doing in our schools that are making a real difference?
I mean a sustained difference. [00:02:41] Dr. Russell Quaglia: There’s lots of good
stories out there about decent schools, where they are building internal capacity. What
are we doing to take a good school and move it away from being a little “fifta,” which
we’ve got lots in this country, to a place that we can model, a place we can learn from?
And then how do we connect that with the data? Dr. Russell Quaglia: I was interviewed by
BBC, and all sorts of people who wanted an interview about the new test scores and what’s
been going on and so on. And one of the questions that I was asked over and over again was,
“What makes our schools special?” From my opinion, what do you think makes education
what it is today? Or how do you define the good schools from the bad schools? So I started
going into my Professor of Education mode, and I was talking about things like, “Oh,
well, they all have good communication systems, they promote technology, they do everyday
learning everywhere.” What education happens outside the classroom, we talked about technology,
we talked about the importance of collaboration, we talked about the importance of data. And
I am into this thing for like, oh, I don’t know, 10 minutes and I was like boring myself.
I’m like, “Holy crap. What am I saying? I’m saying what everyone else does, blah,
blah, blah.” And then, I stopped and I said, “No, you know what? Here’s the deal.”
Now this is live so you know how the Brits can be. Where is…? [unclear name], I love
you though. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I’m sorry, but you
know how they can be. So I stopped and I said, “No, you know what? It’s not about that.
It’s about being normal.” Yeah. Think about it for just a minute. What if we just
were all a little more normal. Because here’s a newsflash. Open communication, collaboration,
listen to student voice, having kids meaningfully engaged in learning, making sure they have
self-worth, give them a sense of purpose to grow. Using data to inform practice. Using
practice to inform researchers. What a novel concept in education. No, that’s not novel.
That’s common sense. It’s about being normal. [00:04:45] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I said, “Do you want
education policy to make a difference?” Have an education policy that says I think
we’re going to be normal this year. Yeah. It’s not going to happen. Why? Because our
educational system, our educational system of common sense is being trumped by common
practice, and that’s an issue. That’s an issue. We do things in education that make
absolutely no sense to anyone. Yet we continually do them. Audience: [applause] Dr. Russell Quaglia: No, don’t clap because
I’m only going to get worse. I’m telling you right now. But I do promise you we will
be out by 8 o’clock, because seriously, it is like a speaker’s dream when you can
speak at a dinner on Sunday evening after a bunch of educators have been drinking and,
oh, the NCAA is on. So this is like perfect. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Seriously, if American
Idol was on tonight, that would just be the home run right there. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: So, the other thing I
want to just tell you about me before I get into this, I want to present data tonight
that ties together with practice. Another novel thought. It’s a very radical thing.
I get perceived as being this radical all the time, probably because maybe my hair’s
too long. But the real issue is this. I talk about researchers and practitioners like they
should work together, because we know they should. I work with teachers that don’t
see the usefulness of data, and I work with data people that wouldn’t know the difference
between a student and a squirrel. Now I know it’s different here in Pennsylvania, but
here’s why we need to talk to each other. Because good practice – I used to be a principal
too, and I would tell my teachers, I’d say, “You know what? Good practice without data
is an event. That’s all it is. It’s an event. If we can’t document why it works,
what’s working, and what those measures are, it’s an event.” However, good data
without then practicing, without impacting practice, good data without impacting practice.
You know what that is? That’s just a research article. And that doesn’t mean anything
to anybody either. [00:07:06] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Now some of that’s
been a trained researcher, and some of that’s been in the field practicing for a really
long time. Now I spend three-quarters of my life working directly with kids. We’ve got
to marry those things together. We’ve got to marry those things together and we don’t
do it very well yet, but we can. And I’m going to show you how we’ve done it. FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS Dr. Russell Quaglia: So, fundamental beliefs.
Students are not the problem, but they are the potential. I always hear people, “Can
you come in and work with us so you can fix up the kids?” Seriously? They’re not really
broken. They’re not really broken. We’ve got things we can do, but students, to me,
they are the potential and not the problem. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I believe students have
something to teach us. That drives me every single day I get up in the morning. I believe
students have something to teach us. Dr. Russell Quaglia: And the third thing is
working together is the only way forward. And when I talk about working together, I’m
not talking about us working together. I’m talking about working together with the students.
What do we do to connect our work with students? I mean, real students. Not just collecting
stuff in numbers, but having a conversation. Having a conversation with students and teachers. Dr. Russell Quaglia: So, with those three
basic premises, let’s jump into some of these things around the work. ASPIRATIONS Dr. Russell Quaglia: Aspirations. I’ve made
a life out of this. It’s a cool word. We use it all the time. You know, we want our
kids to have aspirations. It might be in some of your school mission statements. But what
does it mean? For me, it’s not just about dreaming. “Oh, aspirations, let me tell
you what I want to be, blah, blah, blah.” No, it’s not about that. That’s a piece
of it, but the other piece around aspirations is being able to think about the future, being
able to set goals for yourself, but at the same time be inspired in the present to get
there. Because dreamers are a dime a dozen. It’s easy to dream and tell you what you
think I should do or what you want me to do. But what are you doing as an educator to inspire
kids in the present to reach their dreams? [00:09:17] DREAMING AND DOING Dr. Russell Quaglia: Dreaming and doing. The
two concepts that have been driving my life, and what I have come to realize as an educator
for now over 30 years is that you really can’t be a real educator until you have a quadrant. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Yes. That’s why the
book is actually selling so well is because it has a big quadrant right smack in the middle
of it. The two dimensions are dreaming and doing. Let’s talk a little bit about those. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Dreaming. We usually
talk to people and kids about what they want to be when they grow up. I will tell you later
why I think that’s an inane thing to ask kids, but we all do it. And when we talk to
kids, this is what they will tell us. “I want to be a doctor. I want to be a lawyer.
Or I want to be a teacher. I want to serve in the military. I want to be a police officer.
I want to be a professional athlete.” I hear them all. I hear them all. But here’s
the rest of the story. The kid that wants to be a doctor doesn’t particularly like
science. The kid that wants to be a [unclear] doesn’t like going to math class. The kid
that wants to be a teacher doesn’t like to read. The kid that wants to serve in the
armed services doesn’t like to be told what to do. The kid that wants to be a police officer
doesn’t like telling people what to do. My favorite, my all-time favorite is a junior
in high school. I am interviewing this kid myself about the future. He wants to be a
professional athlete. I have four kids, I wish one of them were a professional athlete.
A junior in high school who wants to be a professional athlete. I’m not saying, no,
that’s a bad thing, I’m saying, “Good, good for you, man, that’s awesome.” What’s
the question you would ask this kid? Audience members: What sport do you play? Dr. Russell Quaglia: Exactly. What sport do
you play? A fair question. “Oh, that’s awesome. Good for you, man. What sport do
you play?” His response to me was, “I don’t play one.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I’m cool with that
because he’s hurt. I’m like, “Oh, you must be hurt. What sport did you play?”
And he’s looking at me and he says, “I don’t play any yet.” Now I am like – I
turned toward dad, which is not a good thing as a resource. It’s like, “What? You want
to be a professional athlete, you’re a junior in high school, and you don’t play a sport?”
And now he’s looking at me like I’m the one with the issue. And this is what he says,
“Yeah, man. I want to be a professional athlete but I don’t like to sweat.” [00:11:38] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Well, unless he’s going
to play for the Steelers, I suggest he get… Audience: [laughter/boos and cheers] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Whoa. I’m sorry. I
thought I was in Cincinnati. You might have picked up the Boston accent. Audience: [laughter] HIBERNATION Dr. Russell Quaglia: The disconnect between
what kids are telling us and what they’re doing in the present to get there is bizarre.
So think about this. Think about the kid that’s in the bottom left quadrant there. “I don’t
dream and I don’t do.” They are in hibernation state. It’s like they’ve got a bag over
their head. They’ll go to the classroom but they are just there. And we know who these
kids are. And you know what? We let them stay there. Do you know why? Because they don’t
bother us. They’re not causing trouble. They’re just, they are there. There’s
people on our staff that are in a state of hibernation. They are just there. It’s like,
“What do you do?” “I don’t know.” “What are you going to do?” “Not sure.”
And we leave them alone because they don’t bother us. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I can’t even tell you
how many times people come up to me after a talk, and so I’m asking you not to do
it tonight, and I’m not being sexist but this is usually what happens. A woman will
come up to me and say, “Excuse me, Dr. Quaglia. I think my husband is in a state of hibernation.
What should I do?” And seriously, like she’s asking me this kind of advice. And, of course,
I give her advice I say, “Leave him.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Seriously, what do I
care? But this notion of hibernation, low dreaming and low doing. We’ve got lots of
kids there. If you go to inner-city schools and dead rural schools, I see a bunch of kids,
I would say almost half the kids there – and I’m going to show you data to prove that’s
where they are. Again, not evil. They are just there. And because they don’t cause
us problems, we let them stay there. [00:13:38] IMAGINATION Dr. Russell Quaglia: Ah, high dreaming, low
doing. We love these kids. Why? Because they say everything we want to hear. Yes. Think
of somebody, maybe in your family, somebody you work with. High dreamers. “Yes, we can
do that. Yes, I’m going to do that.” These are the kids that are going to Harvard but
have yet to apply. Yeah. They are in this imagination state. Dr. Russell Quaglia: My son. My son has the
most unbelievable job. $300,000 a year. He’s 26, $300,000 a year. Has got more benefits
than half the people in this room combined. Six weeks of vacation. A house in the mountains.
Yeah. And, oh, he doesn’t have to go to work all the time because he’s that special.
You ask yourself, “Where is this job?” It’s in his flipping head. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Yes, it’s in his head.
I love him to death, and I’m hoping this isn’t being taped to be broadcast, but he’s
in this imagination state. And I had conversations with him, it’s not like I’m a riff-raff
dad. I go, “Case, what are you thinking?” He goes, “Dad, that’s what I deserve.”
I say, “You don’t deserve shit. You haven’t done anything.” Or, “I think a I need
a break.” “From what?” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Help me understand. What
do we do with kids in this category? We let them stay there because they are nice to be
with, but it’s not healthy. How do we move kids in the imagination state into high dreaming
and high doing? [00:15:28] PERSPIRATION Dr. Russell Quaglia: And, let’s not forget
this group. If I had to categorize this around socioeconomic status, SES stuff, which most
of you in this room are very familiar with, there’s my blue class, my blue collar working
class group. The hardest working kids on the planet. Always come to school, always work
hard, always get their stuff done, and don’t know what they are doing next week, never
mind in the future. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Alternative ed schools,
I don’t know how many people in here work in alternative ed schools. When I go into
alternative ed schools, that’s where my kids are, that’s where they are. They hate
Fridays because they don’t want to go home. The biggest issue is trying to get these kids
to go home or somewhere after school is over. They are just there, and they work like dogs.
They work, they work, they work, they work. But they have no future thoughts. So when
we go into alternative ed schools, we spent three-quarters of our time not having these
kids build up their work ethic, because that’s not the issue. The issue is have them think
about the future. Have them realize that there’s something bigger out there than them right
now. ASPIRATIONS Dr. Russell Quaglia: So where do we want our
kids? Obviously, up in the upper right-hand quadrant. The kids are high dreamers, high
doers. What’s the problem with being up there too long? Burnout. Burnout. I see a
lot of kids up there that are just ready to break, and I’m always telling them, “Chill
out. Calm down.” Because if you are up there too long, it’s this constant pressure, you
are on this incredible treadmill. “I always have to dream. I always have to do. I always
have to dream. I always have to do.” I’m like, “Chill out.” Dr. Russell Quaglia: The other important thing
about these quadrants is that people move in and out of them all the time. This isn’t
a Myers-Briggs test. You don’t get typecast and that’s where you are for life. You can
see yourselves in these different quadrants in different situations. Some kids, they might
be in Perspiration during math class, they might be in Aspirations during social studies,
maybe Hibernation during algebra class. I don’t know. But kids move in and out of
these things all the time. What I try to tell them when we work with teachers, when we work
with teachers at the Institute we let them know that in your classroom, all four of these
groups exist. All four of these groups exist. [00:17:35] Dr. Russell Quaglia: So let’s start making
some of these connections. Like, “How do I get kids over there?” Because it would
just be ridiculous if I gave you a quadrant without any information. Dr. Russell Quaglia: So we’ve identified
four conditions that need to be in place to move your kids from any of those three quadrants
up into the upper right. Self-worth, engagement, purpose, that’s driven by student voice.
I’m going to share with you data that we have collected from over a million kids over
the past six years, and I’m going to show you what our kids are telling us around these
guiding principles, as we call them. STUDENT VOICE Dr. Russell Quaglia: The first one I want
to talk about is student voice. Student voice. It’s so mind-boggling to me why this is
an issue. It’s even more mind-boggling to me why I travel literally around the world
talking about the coolness of student voice when that’s just being normal. There are
way more of them than us. Yet we seem to always be doing something to them rather than something
with them. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Remember the first thing
I talked about? I believe students have something to teach us. When we go into the most horrific
situations of schools, the very first thing we do is talk to the students. What’s up
with them? What are they thinking? What are they doing? What do they believe? What do
they believe about themselves, the school, the community? And student voice isn’t about
listening to their voice and then doing something with it necessarily. But it’s making sure
we listen. Making sure we listen enough to understand what they’re saying, and then
us figure out why they’re saying it, and then working with them. So often we assume
that student voice is, “Well, you know, the kids will tell us what to do, and if I
don’t do it, that means I’m not listening.” No. Student voice means you are willing to
listen to them and willing to learn from them. [00:19:22] Dr. Russell Quaglia: But what do kids tell
us around student voice in their schools? Forty-seven percent say students have a voice
in decision-making. That’s not so good when we’re trying to create leaders, is it? Teachers
are willing to learn from students, 52 percent. Fifty percent know the goals that their school
is working on. That’s not really good, is it? Dr. Russell Quaglia: Half the kids in our
country don’t think they have a voice. And interestingly enough, the half that don’t
think they have a voice is the same half that don’t think teachers are willing to learn
from them. Interestingly enough, it’s the same half that have no idea what the school’s
goals are. Those are real numbers and real kids, and half of them don’t think their
voice matters. Dr. Russell Quaglia: We’re teaching them
all the 21st century skill la-de-da-de-da stuff. In England, they call it personal [unclear]
and thinking skills, or something. You know, collaboration, communication, problem solving,
global think, ba-ba-ba-ba. Those things mean nothing if people don’t have a voice. They
mean nothing. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Why does it matter? Because
when kids believe they have a voice, when they know people are listening to them, when
they know that teachers are willing to learn from them, they are seven times, seven times
more likely to be academically motivated. That’s pretty unbelievable. And yet, it
is very believable because we did the research. SELF-WORTH Dr. Russell Quaglia: Self-worth. Self-worth.
If there’s one of these things that I get hammered on, it’s self-worth. Because there
are always people saying, “You know what, you are so soft on kids. You just want everybody
to feel good.” Like that’s a bad thing? And I make it very clear to these critics,
and there are a fair number of them out there, I say, “It’s not just about kids feeling
good. I don’t want kids in the hall singing Kumbaya and being idiots. I don’t want to
graduate happy, dumb kids.” Albeit if we didn’t where would the politicians come
from? But the issue becomes… [00:21:30] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: No. I’m talking about
where I’m from, which I’m not sure where now. But the issue becomes it’s not about
just kids in the hallway singing Kumbaya at all. It’s about them learning. It’s about
having them believe in themselves. Dr. Russell Quaglia: When we go into districts
and schools, the bottom that bottom can be, these kids have no expectations of themselves.
When people ask me, and I get asked this all the time when I travel all over, they go,
“What do I think the biggest issue is in American education?” They want me to talk
about the budget. They want me to talk about Arne Duncan. They want me to talk about all
sorts of crazy things. No. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Here’s the biggest
issue in our education system is we have an expectation gap. Our expectations of our kids
are lower than their expectations are of themselves. That is criminal. It is criminal when the
teacher expectations of kids are lower than the kids’ expectations are of themselves.
When we go in to turn around things, that’s the very first thing we do. Dr. Russell Quaglia: But this notion of self-worth
and this expectation gap, moving away from, “Oh, we have an achievement gap.” Seriously,
what is an achievement gap? I asked people and this is what they tell me. “Oh, it’s
the difference between high achievers and low achievers.” I’m like, “Seriously,
that’s amazing. Is that what it is?” “Well, yeah, but it’s usually the disadvantaged
kids that don’t do really well, but the other kids that have better homes, they do
better up here, so it creates this gap.” Seriously, that’s what that is? Maybe there’s
an expectation gap. Maybe there’s a participation gap. Maybe there’s a relationship gap. Because
I can tell you this. When there is not an expectation gap, when there is not a participation
gap, and when there is not a relationship gap, shockingly, the achievement gap goes
away. I don’t believe there is an achievement gap. I believe there are these other gaps
that make this gap. But trying to fix an achievement gap, like that’s the gap we should be working
on, I think is naïve at best. [00:23:30] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I fly in an airplane
all the time, and I’m always shocked of the people that bring things onto the plane
and themselves. I’m in this seat. I have a relatively large man that sits next to me.
He starts complaining to the flight attendant about the seats. “These seats are too damn
small, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And I’m just letting him go because, I really do,
when I go on a plane I turn into this mute. I’m like, just let him go. And this poor
flight attendant, and he is just railing on this woman, like, “I can’t believe how
these seats, they are so small.” And now the woman is getting a little upset, and I’m
feeling quite bad for her. And for me to feel bad for a flight attendant is pushing the
limit. The guy goes off again the third time, like seriously, stop. I turned to him and
I said to him, I go, “Listen, here’s the deal. The seats are okay. You’ve got a big
ass.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: “Lay off the peanuts
and the Coke and you’re going to be fine.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: It is kind of like that
sense to me with the achievement gap. We are blaming the achievement gap, but it’s not
the achievement gap, it’s all these other things. It’s like a butt gap. It’s something.
All I know is I’m challenging you, when you are collecting your data, collect data
around the things you need to collect data about. Not things to perpetuate some other
kind of thinking. Dr. Russell Quaglia: So what do we learn about
the achievement gap around self-worth? I’m a valued member of my school community, 46
percent. Teachers care if I’m absent from school, 51 percent. I’m proud of my school,
60 percent. Here is the unbelievable data point I just want to talk about for a minute,
the second one, 51 percent of the kids in this country think teachers care if they are
there. [00:25:28] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I was in front of the
U.S. Senate not that long ago, testifying and sharing some of this data. And I said
to them in my eloquent way, I said, “Before you senators get your pants in a bunch about
meeting AYP, maybe we should think about half the kids in this country do not think we care
if they show up.” How do we expect kids to be successful if beforehand we don’t
think it matters if they are there? Dr. Russell Quaglia: So when I talked earlier
about those transformations we made in these England schools and these other places, we
did it through data. We did it through data that made sense to the teachers. In 15 minutes,
we collected data around these kinds of items. Items that made common sense to people. And
then we connected it to their academic achievement scores. Dr. Russell Quaglia: And why is self-worth
important? Because when kids have self-worth, they are five times more likely to be academically
motivated to be successful. That alone is pretty unbelievable. Granted, student voice
is a little higher. But either one of those, you’re making a difference. ENGAGEMENT Dr. Russell Quaglia: Engagement. Engagement
to me is this delicate balance between the teacher, the student, and the content. It’s
that balance. Now, I know there are about nine zillion books written around engagement,
and about a bazillion articles of data points around it. But I look at it as this. If you
can envision like three circles there, a little Venn diagram, I’ve got the teacher, student,
and the content. The teacher and the student, when that overlaps, what do I have? I have
a relationship there. That’s good. I want a relationship. But if I have a relationship
and the teacher doesn’t know the content, that overlap is expertise, now I have a friend
with an older person. That doesn’t mean anything. But let’s say I’m a teacher
that is an expert and I am a teacher that has a relationship with the kid, but the connectedness
between the student and the content, that needs to be engagement, that needs to be interest.
Right? When I have interest in the subject matter, when I have a relationship with the
teacher, and the teacher knows the content area, that’s when I’m meaningfully engaged
in learning. [00:27:40] Dr. Russell Quaglia: When I do various site
visits, one of the things I look for when I go into the classroom is to see if I can
tell the difference between the teachers and the students. And the very best classrooms
I go to, I can’t see the difference. I don’t know who the learner is or who the teacher
is because they are so engaged in what’s going on. They are so engaged, they lose track
of time and space. They are so engaged that they are having fun and excitement. And by
fun and excitement, I am not talking about laughing and giggling and goofing, but literally
saying, “Where did that time go?” Dr. Russell Quaglia: I’m talking about when
kids are curious and creative. Curious kids will ask why. Creative kids will ask why not.
I’m talking about an environment that has a spirit of adventure. Kids are not afraid
to fail, and most importantly, kids are not afraid to succeed. So many of the students
that we work with are more fearful of success than they are of failure. They’re not afraid
to fail because we have a zillion different safety nets for them, and we should be proud
of that. We have not made it cool to be successful in school yet. We just haven’t. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Think, I just said some
blah, blah, blah. I’m inspired I’m going to work really hard. I go from a D student
and now I’m an A student. What happens when I’m an A student? The kids in this A group
say, “You don’t belong here. You belong over here.” My friends say, “You don’t…What’s
wrong with you, man?” We have not made it cool to be successful in school yet, but interestingly
enough, that’s the stuff we measure constantly. Dr. Russell Quaglia: We haven’t made it
safe for staff members to be successful yet. Have you ever been to the Teacher of the Year
thing? We might have some in this room. But I’ve gone to a fair amount, and it kills
me. Every time you do Teacher of the Year, here’s what happens. They introduce the
Teacher of the Year. The Teacher of the Year comes up and says, “Oh, this isn’t about
me. This is about the students. It’s about the colleagues. I don’t deserve this.”
And as soon as they say, “I don’t deserve this,” I want to take it from them. I live
for the day when someone introduces Teacher of the Year and they go up there and the first
thing they say is, “Damn it, should have got it last year.” [00:29:51] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Yes! Yes, I want that
drive, I want that passion, and I need that passion when it comes to professional development.
Professional development is another thing. I’m talking about us as adults. Professional
development, what’s that about? I started off as a social studies teacher many moons
ago. And it was my first professional development day and I went to my principal, Mr. Ray, and
I said to him, “Mr. Ray, you know what, when I die I want it to be during professional
development day.” And he’s looking at me like, “What?” I go, “When I die I
want it to be during professional development day because that transition from life to death
will be so subtle, who would know?” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Seriously, I know things
are different here. But the issue for us is how do we get our kids engaged? How do we
let them know that we are excited about what we do? Dr. Russell Quaglia: Forty-three percent of
the kids in this country say school is boring. And you know what happens when I share this
data with people you know what they say? “Oh, that’s not bad.” Seriously. I swear to
God, I had a senator that said that to me and I said to him,, “No, no, this isn’t
an election, 43 percent, that is bad. That is bad.” It’s like a rite of passage.
If you’re not bored, what the heck? Dr. Russell Quaglia: How about this one? Forty-four
percent say my classes help me understand what’s happening in my everyday life. Forty-four
percent. That’s abysmal. Oh, but wait, let me tell you what’s more abysmal, where in
the sixth grade that’s 80 percent, where in the 12th grade it’s 17 percent. The longer
kids are in school, the less they really understand why. And we wonder why we have dropout rates.
We wonder why kids aren’t going to post-secondary education. [00:31:42] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Sixty-six percent feel
comfortable asking questions in class. How can we create a curious and creative school
environment when a lot of kids are afraid to ask questions in class? Here’s the other
interesting thing. These are the same kids that are proud of their school. The same kids
that tell them the teacher cares about me. The same kids that tell me they care if I’m
absent from school. If you care about me as a student, if you connect quality-of-life
to me, I’m going to care more about learning. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Engagement, 17 times
more likely to be academically motivated when they are engaged. When that delicate balance
between the teacher, the student, and the content is on, it makes a difference PURPOSE Dr. Russell Quaglia: Last but not least, purpose.
Purpose is about moving beyond the self. It’s not just all about me as a student. And I
hear schools all the time talking about citizenship programs and all these things they are trying
to do. Do we really do those things or just talk about it? I have measurement gurus in
front of me. Do you measure citizenship? Do you measure these kinds of things to help
us inform the practitioners? Because this is the stuff that they can take the academic
stuff and make sense around. Citizenship, it’s so important, isn’t it? But we don’t
measure it very well, and we don’t do anything when it’s not even happening. Dr. Russell Quaglia: For all my principals
out there or superintendents, have you ever graduated someone that couldn’t read and
write? Probably not. Have you ever graduated somebody that was just not a very nice person?
Of course you have. I have, too. I never graduated and shook somebody’s hand that I didn’t
think could read or write, but I can tell you this, I shook hands with a lot of kids
saying, “Thank God you are out of here.” [00:33:43] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Yeah. What if we kept
kids back because they weren’t good citizens? What if we kept kids back because they didn’t
have a sense of purpose? I can tell you that’s what we’re doing in England. We are not
graduating kids unless they have this purpose project where they are showing us that they
are going to make a difference in the community. It’s having these kids believe they can
be successful. Will there be lawsuits? Absolutely. And we’re not going to budge on this thing.
It’s part of our mission. I’m going to create lifelong learners to be contributing
members of society. That’s my mission. That’s what we stand for. And if you can’t live
that, then you shouldn’t graduate from here. Dr. Russell Quaglia: How serious are we around
this? And how do you measure it? I know you go to a zillion workshops because I went through
them all when I got here. I challenge you to start bringing these things up. How do
we measure citizenship? How do we recognize it? I know we do grades, but how do we do
[unclear] perseverance that make sense? How do we ask these kinds of questions? Dr. Russell Quaglia: So we asked kids, 93
percent of the kids we surveyed believe they’re going to be successful. It’s pretty amazing,
isn’t it? One of the people I get to work with, with this new Institute around the teachers,
which is not what I am talking about today, but is Andreas Schleicher. Some of you might
know Andreas is the guy that is in charge of the PISA study. And what’s interesting
about this data, which we were doing the study together, actually, looking at the international
data stuff around the student voice data. And what’s interesting about it is this.
United States, we are number one, number one believing we are unbelievable. We are number
17 on everything else. We’re pretty much flat lined in the middle. Finland, Sweden,
some of these countries that are number one are number 29 when it comes to these things.
We are good but we don’t think we’re good. We’re not so good but we think we are amazing. [00:35:40] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I do this all the time
in England, it’s actually pretty funny. I also had the opportunity, I did a lot of
work with London 2012, and we did a whole thing about the whole psyche of sport, and
our country compared to other countries. And if you remember, not the last World Cup, but
the World Cup before when we played England and the score was 1-1. And at the time I was
doing work with the FA, the Football Association over there, and I’m thinking here’s the
difference between your country’s mentality and mine. At the last World Cup, you are ahead
1 to nothing at the half, and your announcers are saying how bad you’re playing and how
you are going to lose. We are playing the game after, we are down 3 to 0 with four minutes
left in the game and we’re still talking about, “We can still come back.” Two World
Cups ago, the U.S. ties England 1 to 1. The head of The New York Times says, “1 to 1.
U.S. wins.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: It is a mindset we have.
It is a great mindset to have, but we need to operationalize it. So if people say, “Oh,
kids don’t care.” No, no, they care, and they want to be successful, and you know what,
they think they can be successful. It’s all his other stuff we’ve got to work around. Dr. Russell Quaglia: But here’s that expectation
gap. Ninety-three percent believe they can be successful, yet only 76 percent say teachers
believe in me and expect me to be successful. Seventy-one percent say I believe I can make
a difference in the world, which I find so amazing because so many kids want to be teachers.
I say, “Man, if you can make a difference, then be a teacher. They make a difference
every day in the world.” Who do you know that you’re going to teach and that’s
going to turn out to somebody – to be somebody that’s going to influence others? [00:37:25] Dr. Russell Quaglia: But here is the end all,
be all. If you take one thing away from anything I’ve said this evening, it’s this. Thirty-four
percent of the kids that we surveyed say teachers know my hopes and dreams. Teachers know my
hopes and dreams, 34 percent. Just knowing who these kids are. Another question we asked
but I don’t have it on paper, there’s 60 some odd items. One of them is, “Does
the teacher know your name?” The majority of kids in high school do not think teachers
know their name. And the teachers are, “Of course I know their name.” And I say, “How
many times have you ever used their name?” “Well, I don’t know.” “Well, how do
they know you know their name?” “Well, I grade their papers.” I go, “Well, that
doesn’t mean…” Who knows how their brains work? But I’ll tell you this. Unless you
call someone by their name, chances are they might not think you know it. Dr. Russell Quaglia: But the teacher knowing
their hopes and dreams. What could be more natural than that? How can I expect a teacher,
if I don’t know anything about you, how can I inspire you to be a learner in my classroom
if I don’t know what your hopes and dreams are? And it’s not just about what you want
to be, it’s who you want to be as a person. Dr. Russell Quaglia: We interview people at
the Aspirations Academies, and when I’m over there I’ll sit on the interview process.
And one of the things I always ask teachers that are coming in and they’re applying
is, “Who are you? Who are you as an educator?” And I can tell you some funny stories. I had
one woman come in and she’s a math teacher and I said, you know, “Who are you as an
educator?” And she goes, “Oh, I teach mathematics.” I’m like, “No, no. I get
that. I’ve got your resume right here. I’ve got that.” But being very nice. And I go,
“But who are you?” She says, “Oh, I teach algebra.” I’m like, “No, no. I
know you’ve got algebra, and you’ve got calculus down here. But I don’t know who
you are.” And then she’s talking to me like I’m the one with the issue. She goes,
“I can also teach pre-algebra.” [00:39:25] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: And I’m like, “No,
I want to know what gets you up in the morning. What inspires you to teach Period 7 like you
do Period 1? What keeps you in school in February when you just want to leave? What inspires
you as an educator? What is your purpose? Who are you?” Do we know that about our
colleagues? Do we know it about the kids? Dr. Russell Quaglia: Why is it I’m pushing
this thing on the kids? Because when one item, when we know kids’ hopes and dreams, they
are 18 times more likely to be academically motivated to learn. That’s the holy grail.
I would be up here talking about other things if they were that impactful. That alone. How
do we measure kids’ hopes and dreams? Some teachers say, “I don’t have time.” I
tell teachers, “You don’t have time not to. You don’t have time not to understand
these kids’ hopes and dreams.” Could you imagine talking to your own kids about their
futures without having any understanding what their hopes and dreams are? How do you inspire
them to go to school every day if you don’t know those things? Well, how do we expect
teachers to teach kids if they don’t know those things? IMPACT ON ACADEMIC MOTIVATION Dr. Russell Quaglia: So let’s look at these
things. Student voice, self-worth, engagement, and purpose. Their impact on academic motivation.
It’s pretty profound. The other piece that’s pretty profound is this. Teacher support.
Teacher supporting me as a learner. Teacher understanding the school as I understand the
school. Teachers having a voice. When they do, it impacts these kids many times. So let’s
share some data there, and then I will let you go and have more dessert and watch the
game. DELUSIONAL DISCREPANCIES Dr. Russell Quaglia: We surveyed over 50,000
teachers. The report just got released yesterday called “Teacher Voice.” It was last year.
We had I think 8,000 maybe in it. And here’s some delusional discrepancies between teacher
data and student data that I think you’ll find interesting. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Students enjoy working
with teachers. That’s nice, 86 percent, that’s what the teachers said. Teachers
enjoy working with us, not so much. [00:41:30] Dr. Russell Quaglia: We asked teachers, “Do
students have fun in school?” Seventy-nine percent of the teachers said, yes, kids have
fun in school. Yet, when we asked kids, the school is boring, 43 percent. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Students make school
an exciting place to work, 89 percent. That’s pretty awesome. Teachers make school an exciting
place to learn, 44 percent, not so much. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I have fun in school,
83 percent of the teachers we surveyed said they have fun at school. We asked kids if
teachers have fun in school, again, not so much. Kind of makes me wonder what happens
in the faculty room. But we are obviously not having fun in front of our students. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Ah, I love this one.
Students care if I’m absent, 86 percent. Teachers care if I’m absent, again, not
so much. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I enjoy working here,
85 percent of the teachers around this country say I enjoy working here in school. I enjoy
being at school, 53 percent of the kids. Dr. Russell Quaglia: The other person I’ve
done work with recently is Michael Fullan. You know Michael, the kind of Change Systems
guru? I give him a hard time all the time. I go, “Michael, you know for the past 40
years you’ve been trying to figure out why change is so difficult. I figured it out.
Make schools as miserable for teachers as it is for students, and my guess is they’ll
change quicker.” I think that might happen. Dr. Russell Quaglia: There are delusional
discrepancies going on from the teacher perspective and from the student perspective. That is
data that is useful for the practitioner, not because this answers it, but because it
creates a better conversation. I used to teach research at Columbia. One of the things I
used to tell my students all the time around data. “It’s a conversation starter. It’s
not the end all, be all. It’s a conversation starter. It’s like looking in the mirror
that you are afraid to look at, and I’m going to hold this mirror up in front of you
and you’re going to see data that you already know.” When I share this data with teachers,
nothing surprises them. Nothing. It’s the reality slap. You know this data. I just put
a number on it so now you can’t hide from it anymore. [00:43:40] SAD SIMILARITIES Dr. Russell Quaglia: There are also some sad
similarities. Some sad similarities. I’m excited to tell my colleagues when I do something
well. Remember I talked about this notion of it’s not cool to be successful yet? The
same is true for teachers as it is for kids. When we do something great in our classroom
or in our work, we’re not excited to tell our colleagues, just like kids aren’t excited
to tell her friends. Dr. Russell Quaglia: The other one which we
are doing some analysis on now, which I find fascinating. I feel comfortable asking questions
in staff meetings, and I feel comfortable asking questions in class. Those numbers are
pretty close. Why? What’s happened to our curiosity and creativity? We talk about it
all the time but our own teachers don’t practice it very well. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I know I dumped a ton
of stuff on you this evening after a big meal, which is always not the smartest thing to
do. So I just want to leave you with a couple of challenges for the next couple of days.
I challenge you. I challenge you to take time to reflect, to really understand and appreciate
why you do get up every day and do what you do. I challenge you to never stop listening
and learning from students because they do have something to teach us. I challenge you
to embrace every possibility. I challenge you to live on the edge a bit. I want you
to live on the edge. Do something once a week that just scares the living hell out of you.
Grab a pair of scissors, run in the hallway. I don’t really care. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: But I want educators
to do something that scares them a bit. I challenge you to spend more time with kids
about where they are going and less time about where they’re from. Spend more time with
kids about where they are going and way less time about where they’re from. I challenge
you to be students as much as you are superintendents, school administrators, tech gurus, and everybody
else out there. Be a student. I challenge you to eat a big Hershey bar and feel good
about it. I challenge you to dream big and do everything in your power to get there.
I challenge you to be normal. And I challenge you to never forget, ever forget, that wonderful
surprise that’s just waiting to happen, and all of our hopes and all of our dreams,
all of them are well within our reach. Thank you very much. Audience: [applause] [00:00:09] Dr. Russell Quaglia: So before we begin, let
me – I want to share a little bit about what just happened a couple of days ago when
I was in England, and then jump into the Student Voice and Aspirations piece. In England, I
go there, I don’t know, maybe once every six weeks or so. We have a number of schools
there, 14 actually, called Aspirations Academies. And this past week we had our board meeting,
not to tell you about our board meeting, but what was really interesting this past trip
was that we had the inspection. You know how they have the New England Association of Schools
and Colleges, the Mideast – you know how we all have these accrediting things. Well,
they have this thing over there called Ofsted. Ofsted is like this Nazi group – no, seriously,
it’s unbelievable how this works. You know how you have like a year, year and a half,
two years to get ready for your accreditation process? They call you on Tuesday, they come
on Thursday. Absolute truth. And I was actually going to leave early but we had a call on
Tuesday for one of our schools and the accreditation process happened on Thursday. And I am proud
to say that we received “outstanding,” which is the highest ranking that you could
possibly get in the country of England. And I share that with you because it has a lot
to do with what I’m going to talk about this evening around data and practice. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Our scores went up over
the past three years in this school by 14 percent. We took over a place that was not,
oh, it was challenging. I guess that’s the best word for it. It had difficulty. It’s
in West London right outside Heathrow Airport, and we saw amazing gains. Why? Not because
we raised our standards. Not because we had more test scores. It’s because we focused
on the whole child. We made a difference. And the connection I want to make back tonight,
which when flying over here I was like, “Wow, this is like perfect timing.” Because what
happened is this. Again, not monkeying around with standards and the curriculum and those
kinds of things. We added some data. We started paying attention to a different piece of data
that we’ve never paid attention to before around student aspirations and student voice.
And I’m going to share some of that data with you today, not from England, but from
the U.S. about what made that difference. What turned that school around? What turns
a lot of schools around? What are we doing in our schools that are making a real difference?
I mean a sustained difference. [00:02:41] Dr. Russell Quaglia: There’s lots of good
stories out there about decent schools, where they are building internal capacity. What
are we doing to take a good school and move it away from being a little “fifta,” which
we’ve got lots in this country, to a place that we can model, a place we can learn from?
And then how do we connect that with the data? Dr. Russell Quaglia: I was interviewed by
BBC, and all sorts of people who wanted an interview about the new test scores and what’s
been going on and so on. And one of the questions that I was asked over and over again was,
“What makes our schools special?” From my opinion, what do you think makes education
what it is today? Or how do you define the good schools from the bad schools? So I started
going into my Professor of Education mode, and I was talking about things like, “Oh,
well, they all have good communication systems, they promote technology, they do everyday
learning everywhere.” What education happens outside the classroom, we talked about technology,
we talked about the importance of collaboration, we talked about the importance of data. And
I am into this thing for like, oh, I don’t know, 10 minutes and I was like boring myself.
I’m like, “Holy crap. What am I saying? I’m saying what everyone else does, blah,
blah, blah.” And then, I stopped and I said, “No, you know what? Here’s the deal.”
Now this is live so you know how the Brits can be. Where is…? [unclear name], I love
you though. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I’m sorry, but you
know how they can be. So I stopped and I said, “No, you know what? It’s not about that.
It’s about being normal.” Yeah. Think about it for just a minute. What if we just
were all a little more normal. Because here’s a newsflash. Open communication, collaboration,
listen to student voice, having kids meaningfully engaged in learning, making sure they have
self-worth, give them a sense of purpose to grow. Using data to inform practice. Using
practice to inform researchers. What a novel concept in education. No, that’s not novel.
That’s common sense. It’s about being normal. [00:04:45] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I said, “Do you want
education policy to make a difference?” Have an education policy that says I think
we’re going to be normal this year. Yeah. It’s not going to happen. Why? Because our
educational system, our educational system of common sense is being trumped by common
practice, and that’s an issue. That’s an issue. We do things in education that make
absolutely no sense to anyone. Yet we continually do them. Audience: [applause] Dr. Russell Quaglia: No, don’t clap because
I’m only going to get worse. I’m telling you right now. But I do promise you we will
be out by 8 o’clock, because seriously, it is like a speaker’s dream when you can
speak at a dinner on Sunday evening after a bunch of educators have been drinking and,
oh, the NCAA is on. So this is like perfect. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Seriously, if American
Idol was on tonight, that would just be the home run right there. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: So, the other thing I
want to just tell you about me before I get into this, I want to present data tonight
that ties together with practice. Another novel thought. It’s a very radical thing.
I get perceived as being this radical all the time, probably because maybe my hair’s
too long. But the real issue is this. I talk about researchers and practitioners like they
should work together, because we know they should. I work with teachers that don’t
see the usefulness of data, and I work with data people that wouldn’t know the difference
between a student and a squirrel. Now I know it’s different here in Pennsylvania, but
here’s why we need to talk to each other. Because good practice – I used to be a principal
too, and I would tell my teachers, I’d say, “You know what? Good practice without data
is an event. That’s all it is. It’s an event. If we can’t document why it works,
what’s working, and what those measures are, it’s an event.” However, good data
without then practicing, without impacting practice, good data without impacting practice.
You know what that is? That’s just a research article. And that doesn’t mean anything
to anybody either. [00:07:06] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Now some of that’s
been a trained researcher, and some of that’s been in the field practicing for a really
long time. Now I spend three-quarters of my life working directly with kids. We’ve got
to marry those things together. We’ve got to marry those things together and we don’t
do it very well yet, but we can. And I’m going to show you how we’ve done it. FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS Dr. Russell Quaglia: So, fundamental beliefs.
Students are not the problem, but they are the potential. I always hear people, “Can
you come in and work with us so you can fix up the kids?” Seriously? They’re not really
broken. They’re not really broken. We’ve got things we can do, but students, to me,
they are the potential and not the problem. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I believe students have
something to teach us. That drives me every single day I get up in the morning. I believe
students have something to teach us. Dr. Russell Quaglia: And the third thing is
working together is the only way forward. And when I talk about working together, I’m
not talking about us working together. I’m talking about working together with the students.
What do we do to connect our work with students? I mean, real students. Not just collecting
stuff in numbers, but having a conversation. Having a conversation with students and teachers. Dr. Russell Quaglia: So, with those three
basic premises, let’s jump into some of these things around the work. ASPIRATIONS Dr. Russell Quaglia: Aspirations. I’ve made
a life out of this. It’s a cool word. We use it all the time. You know, we want our
kids to have aspirations. It might be in some of your school mission statements. But what
does it mean? For me, it’s not just about dreaming. “Oh, aspirations, let me tell
you what I want to be, blah, blah, blah.” No, it’s not about that. That’s a piece
of it, but the other piece around aspirations is being able to think about the future, being
able to set goals for yourself, but at the same time be inspired in the present to get
there. Because dreamers are a dime a dozen. It’s easy to dream and tell you what you
think I should do or what you want me to do. But what are you doing as an educator to inspire
kids in the present to reach their dreams? [00:09:17] DREAMING AND DOING Dr. Russell Quaglia: Dreaming and doing. The
two concepts that have been driving my life, and what I have come to realize as an educator
for now over 30 years is that you really can’t be a real educator until you have a quadrant. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Yes. That’s why the
book is actually selling so well is because it has a big quadrant right smack in the middle
of it. The two dimensions are dreaming and doing. Let’s talk a little bit about those. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Dreaming. We usually
talk to people and kids about what they want to be when they grow up. I will tell you later
why I think that’s an inane thing to ask kids, but we all do it. And when we talk to
kids, this is what they will tell us. “I want to be a doctor. I want to be a lawyer.
Or I want to be a teacher. I want to serve in the military. I want to be a police officer.
I want to be a professional athlete.” I hear them all. I hear them all. But here’s
the rest of the story. The kid that wants to be a doctor doesn’t particularly like
science. The kid that wants to be a [unclear] doesn’t like going to math class. The kid
that wants to be a teacher doesn’t like to read. The kid that wants to serve in the
armed services doesn’t like to be told what to do. The kid that wants to be a police officer
doesn’t like telling people what to do. My favorite, my all-time favorite is a junior
in high school. I am interviewing this kid myself about the future. He wants to be a
professional athlete. I have four kids, I wish one of them were a professional athlete.
A junior in high school who wants to be a professional athlete. I’m not saying, no,
that’s a bad thing, I’m saying, “Good, good for you, man, that’s awesome.” What’s
the question you would ask this kid? Audience members: What sport do you play? Dr. Russell Quaglia: Exactly. What sport do
you play? A fair question. “Oh, that’s awesome. Good for you, man. What sport do
you play?” His response to me was, “I don’t play one.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I’m cool with that
because he’s hurt. I’m like, “Oh, you must be hurt. What sport did you play?”
And he’s looking at me and he says, “I don’t play any yet.” Now I am like – I
turned toward dad, which is not a good thing as a resource. It’s like, “What? You want
to be a professional athlete, you’re a junior in high school, and you don’t play a sport?”
And now he’s looking at me like I’m the one with the issue. And this is what he says,
“Yeah, man. I want to be a professional athlete but I don’t like to sweat.” [00:11:38] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Well, unless he’s going
to play for the Steelers, I suggest he get… Audience: [laughter/boos and cheers] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Whoa. I’m sorry. I
thought I was in Cincinnati. You might have picked up the Boston accent. Audience: [laughter] HIBERNATION Dr. Russell Quaglia: The disconnect between
what kids are telling us and what they’re doing in the present to get there is bizarre.
So think about this. Think about the kid that’s in the bottom left quadrant there. “I don’t
dream and I don’t do.” They are in hibernation state. It’s like they’ve got a bag over
their head. They’ll go to the classroom but they are just there. And we know who these
kids are. And you know what? We let them stay there. Do you know why? Because they don’t
bother us. They’re not causing trouble. They’re just, they are there. There’s
people on our staff that are in a state of hibernation. They are just there. It’s like,
“What do you do?” “I don’t know.” “What are you going to do?” “Not sure.”
And we leave them alone because they don’t bother us. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I can’t even tell you
how many times people come up to me after a talk, and so I’m asking you not to do
it tonight, and I’m not being sexist but this is usually what happens. A woman will
come up to me and say, “Excuse me, Dr. Quaglia. I think my husband is in a state of hibernation.
What should I do?” And seriously, like she’s asking me this kind of advice. And, of course,
I give her advice I say, “Leave him.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Seriously, what do I
care? But this notion of hibernation, low dreaming and low doing. We’ve got lots of
kids there. If you go to inner-city schools and dead rural schools, I see a bunch of kids,
I would say almost half the kids there – and I’m going to show you data to prove that’s
where they are. Again, not evil. They are just there. And because they don’t cause
us problems, we let them stay there. [00:13:38] IMAGINATION Dr. Russell Quaglia: Ah, high dreaming, low
doing. We love these kids. Why? Because they say everything we want to hear. Yes. Think
of somebody, maybe in your family, somebody you work with. High dreamers. “Yes, we can
do that. Yes, I’m going to do that.” These are the kids that are going to Harvard but
have yet to apply. Yeah. They are in this imagination state. Dr. Russell Quaglia: My son. My son has the
most unbelievable job. $300,000 a year. He’s 26, $300,000 a year. Has got more benefits
than half the people in this room combined. Six weeks of vacation. A house in the mountains.
Yeah. And, oh, he doesn’t have to go to work all the time because he’s that special.
You ask yourself, “Where is this job?” It’s in his flipping head. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Yes, it’s in his head.
I love him to death, and I’m hoping this isn’t being taped to be broadcast, but he’s
in this imagination state. And I had conversations with him, it’s not like I’m a riff-raff
dad. I go, “Case, what are you thinking?” He goes, “Dad, that’s what I deserve.”
I say, “You don’t deserve shit. You haven’t done anything.” Or, “I think a I need
a break.” “From what?” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Help me understand. What
do we do with kids in this category? We let them stay there because they are nice to be
with, but it’s not healthy. How do we move kids in the imagination state into high dreaming
and high doing? [00:15:28] PERSPIRATION Dr. Russell Quaglia: And, let’s not forget
this group. If I had to categorize this around socioeconomic status, SES stuff, which most
of you in this room are very familiar with, there’s my blue class, my blue collar working
class group. The hardest working kids on the planet. Always come to school, always work
hard, always get their stuff done, and don’t know what they are doing next week, never
mind in the future. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Alternative ed schools,
I don’t know how many people in here work in alternative ed schools. When I go into
alternative ed schools, that’s where my kids are, that’s where they are. They hate
Fridays because they don’t want to go home. The biggest issue is trying to get these kids
to go home or somewhere after school is over. They are just there, and they work like dogs.
They work, they work, they work, they work. But they have no future thoughts. So when
we go into alternative ed schools, we spent three-quarters of our time not having these
kids build up their work ethic, because that’s not the issue. The issue is have them think
about the future. Have them realize that there’s something bigger out there than them right
now. ASPIRATIONS Dr. Russell Quaglia: So where do we want our
kids? Obviously, up in the upper right-hand quadrant. The kids are high dreamers, high
doers. What’s the problem with being up there too long? Burnout. Burnout. I see a
lot of kids up there that are just ready to break, and I’m always telling them, “Chill
out. Calm down.” Because if you are up there too long, it’s this constant pressure, you
are on this incredible treadmill. “I always have to dream. I always have to do. I always
have to dream. I always have to do.” I’m like, “Chill out.” Dr. Russell Quaglia: The other important thing
about these quadrants is that people move in and out of them all the time. This isn’t
a Myers-Briggs test. You don’t get typecast and that’s where you are for life. You can
see yourselves in these different quadrants in different situations. Some kids, they might
be in Perspiration during math class, they might be in Aspirations during social studies,
maybe Hibernation during algebra class. I don’t know. But kids move in and out of
these things all the time. What I try to tell them when we work with teachers, when we work
with teachers at the Institute we let them know that in your classroom, all four of these
groups exist. All four of these groups exist. [00:17:35] Dr. Russell Quaglia: So let’s start making
some of these connections. Like, “How do I get kids over there?” Because it would
just be ridiculous if I gave you a quadrant without any information. Dr. Russell Quaglia: So we’ve identified
four conditions that need to be in place to move your kids from any of those three quadrants
up into the upper right. Self-worth, engagement, purpose, that’s driven by student voice.
I’m going to share with you data that we have collected from over a million kids over
the past six years, and I’m going to show you what our kids are telling us around these
guiding principles, as we call them. STUDENT VOICE Dr. Russell Quaglia: The first one I want
to talk about is student voice. Student voice. It’s so mind-boggling to me why this is
an issue. It’s even more mind-boggling to me why I travel literally around the world
talking about the coolness of student voice when that’s just being normal. There are
way more of them than us. Yet we seem to always be doing something to them rather than something
with them. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Remember the first thing
I talked about? I believe students have something to teach us. When we go into the most horrific
situations of schools, the very first thing we do is talk to the students. What’s up
with them? What are they thinking? What are they doing? What do they believe? What do
they believe about themselves, the school, the community? And student voice isn’t about
listening to their voice and then doing something with it necessarily. But it’s making sure
we listen. Making sure we listen enough to understand what they’re saying, and then
us figure out why they’re saying it, and then working with them. So often we assume
that student voice is, “Well, you know, the kids will tell us what to do, and if I
don’t do it, that means I’m not listening.” No. Student voice means you are willing to
listen to them and willing to learn from them. [00:19:22] Dr. Russell Quaglia: But what do kids tell
us around student voice in their schools? Forty-seven percent say students have a voice
in decision-making. That’s not so good when we’re trying to create leaders, is it? Teachers
are willing to learn from students, 52 percent. Fifty percent know the goals that their school
is working on. That’s not really good, is it? Dr. Russell Quaglia: Half the kids in our
country don’t think they have a voice. And interestingly enough, the half that don’t
think they have a voice is the same half that don’t think teachers are willing to learn
from them. Interestingly enough, it’s the same half that have no idea what the school’s
goals are. Those are real numbers and real kids, and half of them don’t think their
voice matters. Dr. Russell Quaglia: We’re teaching them
all the 21st century skill la-de-da-de-da stuff. In England, they call it personal [unclear]
and thinking skills, or something. You know, collaboration, communication, problem solving,
global think, ba-ba-ba-ba. Those things mean nothing if people don’t have a voice. They
mean nothing. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Why does it matter? Because
when kids believe they have a voice, when they know people are listening to them, when
they know that teachers are willing to learn from them, they are seven times, seven times
more likely to be academically motivated. That’s pretty unbelievable. And yet, it
is very believable because we did the research. SELF-WORTH Dr. Russell Quaglia: Self-worth. Self-worth.
If there’s one of these things that I get hammered on, it’s self-worth. Because there
are always people saying, “You know what, you are so soft on kids. You just want everybody
to feel good.” Like that’s a bad thing? And I make it very clear to these critics,
and there are a fair number of them out there, I say, “It’s not just about kids feeling
good. I don’t want kids in the hall singing Kumbaya and being idiots. I don’t want to
graduate happy, dumb kids.” Albeit if we didn’t where would the politicians come
from? But the issue becomes… [00:21:30] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: No. I’m talking about
where I’m from, which I’m not sure where now. But the issue becomes it’s not about
just kids in the hallway singing Kumbaya at all. It’s about them learning. It’s about
having them believe in themselves. Dr. Russell Quaglia: When we go into districts
and schools, the bottom that bottom can be, these kids have no expectations of themselves.
When people ask me, and I get asked this all the time when I travel all over, they go,
“What do I think the biggest issue is in American education?” They want me to talk
about the budget. They want me to talk about Arne Duncan. They want me to talk about all
sorts of crazy things. No. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Here’s the biggest
issue in our education system is we have an expectation gap. Our expectations of our kids
are lower than their expectations are of themselves. That is criminal. It is criminal when the
teacher expectations of kids are lower than the kids’ expectations are of themselves.
When we go in to turn around things, that’s the very first thing we do. Dr. Russell Quaglia: But this notion of self-worth
and this expectation gap, moving away from, “Oh, we have an achievement gap.” Seriously,
what is an achievement gap? I asked people and this is what they tell me. “Oh, it’s
the difference between high achievers and low achievers.” I’m like, “Seriously,
that’s amazing. Is that what it is?” “Well, yeah, but it’s usually the disadvantaged
kids that don’t do really well, but the other kids that have better homes, they do
better up here, so it creates this gap.” Seriously, that’s what that is? Maybe there’s
an expectation gap. Maybe there’s a participation gap. Maybe there’s a relationship gap. Because
I can tell you this. When there is not an expectation gap, when there is not a participation
gap, and when there is not a relationship gap, shockingly, the achievement gap goes
away. I don’t believe there is an achievement gap. I believe there are these other gaps
that make this gap. But trying to fix an achievement gap, like that’s the gap we should be working
on, I think is naïve at best. [00:23:30] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I fly in an airplane
all the time, and I’m always shocked of the people that bring things onto the plane
and themselves. I’m in this seat. I have a relatively large man that sits next to me.
He starts complaining to the flight attendant about the seats. “These seats are too damn
small, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And I’m just letting him go because, I really do,
when I go on a plane I turn into this mute. I’m like, just let him go. And this poor
flight attendant, and he is just railing on this woman, like, “I can’t believe how
these seats, they are so small.” And now the woman is getting a little upset, and I’m
feeling quite bad for her. And for me to feel bad for a flight attendant is pushing the
limit. The guy goes off again the third time, like seriously, stop. I turned to him and
I said to him, I go, “Listen, here’s the deal. The seats are okay. You’ve got a big
ass.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: “Lay off the peanuts
and the Coke and you’re going to be fine.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: It is kind of like that
sense to me with the achievement gap. We are blaming the achievement gap, but it’s not
the achievement gap, it’s all these other things. It’s like a butt gap. It’s something.
All I know is I’m challenging you, when you are collecting your data, collect data
around the things you need to collect data about. Not things to perpetuate some other
kind of thinking. Dr. Russell Quaglia: So what do we learn about
the achievement gap around self-worth? I’m a valued member of my school community, 46
percent. Teachers care if I’m absent from school, 51 percent. I’m proud of my school,
60 percent. Here is the unbelievable data point I just want to talk about for a minute,
the second one, 51 percent of the kids in this country think teachers care if they are
there. [00:25:28] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I was in front of the
U.S. Senate not that long ago, testifying and sharing some of this data. And I said
to them in my eloquent way, I said, “Before you senators get your pants in a bunch about
meeting AYP, maybe we should think about half the kids in this country do not think we care
if they show up.” How do we expect kids to be successful if beforehand we don’t
think it matters if they are there? Dr. Russell Quaglia: So when I talked earlier
about those transformations we made in these England schools and these other places, we
did it through data. We did it through data that made sense to the teachers. In 15 minutes,
we collected data around these kinds of items. Items that made common sense to people. And
then we connected it to their academic achievement scores. Dr. Russell Quaglia: And why is self-worth
important? Because when kids have self-worth, they are five times more likely to be academically
motivated to be successful. That alone is pretty unbelievable. Granted, student voice
is a little higher. But either one of those, you’re making a difference. ENGAGEMENT Dr. Russell Quaglia: Engagement. Engagement
to me is this delicate balance between the teacher, the student, and the content. It’s
that balance. Now, I know there are about nine zillion books written around engagement,
and about a bazillion articles of data points around it. But I look at it as this. If you
can envision like three circles there, a little Venn diagram, I’ve got the teacher, student,
and the content. The teacher and the student, when that overlaps, what do I have? I have
a relationship there. That’s good. I want a relationship. But if I have a relationship
and the teacher doesn’t know the content, that overlap is expertise, now I have a friend
with an older person. That doesn’t mean anything. But let’s say I’m a teacher
that is an expert and I am a teacher that has a relationship with the kid, but the connectedness
between the student and the content, that needs to be engagement, that needs to be interest.
Right? When I have interest in the subject matter, when I have a relationship with the
teacher, and the teacher knows the content area, that’s when I’m meaningfully engaged
in learning. [00:27:40] Dr. Russell Quaglia: When I do various site
visits, one of the things I look for when I go into the classroom is to see if I can
tell the difference between the teachers and the students. And the very best classrooms
I go to, I can’t see the difference. I don’t know who the learner is or who the teacher
is because they are so engaged in what’s going on. They are so engaged, they lose track
of time and space. They are so engaged that they are having fun and excitement. And by
fun and excitement, I am not talking about laughing and giggling and goofing, but literally
saying, “Where did that time go?” Dr. Russell Quaglia: I’m talking about when
kids are curious and creative. Curious kids will ask why. Creative kids will ask why not.
I’m talking about an environment that has a spirit of adventure. Kids are not afraid
to fail, and most importantly, kids are not afraid to succeed. So many of the students
that we work with are more fearful of success than they are of failure. They’re not afraid
to fail because we have a zillion different safety nets for them, and we should be proud
of that. We have not made it cool to be successful in school yet. We just haven’t. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Think, I just said some
blah, blah, blah. I’m inspired I’m going to work really hard. I go from a D student
and now I’m an A student. What happens when I’m an A student? The kids in this A group
say, “You don’t belong here. You belong over here.” My friends say, “You don’t…What’s
wrong with you, man?” We have not made it cool to be successful in school yet, but interestingly
enough, that’s the stuff we measure constantly. Dr. Russell Quaglia: We haven’t made it
safe for staff members to be successful yet. Have you ever been to the Teacher of the Year
thing? We might have some in this room. But I’ve gone to a fair amount, and it kills
me. Every time you do Teacher of the Year, here’s what happens. They introduce the
Teacher of the Year. The Teacher of the Year comes up and says, “Oh, this isn’t about
me. This is about the students. It’s about the colleagues. I don’t deserve this.”
And as soon as they say, “I don’t deserve this,” I want to take it from them. I live
for the day when someone introduces Teacher of the Year and they go up there and the first
thing they say is, “Damn it, should have got it last year.” [00:29:51] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Yes! Yes, I want that
drive, I want that passion, and I need that passion when it comes to professional development.
Professional development is another thing. I’m talking about us as adults. Professional
development, what’s that about? I started off as a social studies teacher many moons
ago. And it was my first professional development day and I went to my principal, Mr. Ray, and
I said to him, “Mr. Ray, you know what, when I die I want it to be during professional
development day.” And he’s looking at me like, “What?” I go, “When I die I
want it to be during professional development day because that transition from life to death
will be so subtle, who would know?” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Seriously, I know things
are different here. But the issue for us is how do we get our kids engaged? How do we
let them know that we are excited about what we do? Dr. Russell Quaglia: Forty-three percent of
the kids in this country say school is boring. And you know what happens when I share this
data with people you know what they say? “Oh, that’s not bad.” Seriously. I swear to
God, I had a senator that said that to me and I said to him,, “No, no, this isn’t
an election, 43 percent, that is bad. That is bad.” It’s like a rite of passage.
If you’re not bored, what the heck? Dr. Russell Quaglia: How about this one? Forty-four
percent say my classes help me understand what’s happening in my everyday life. Forty-four
percent. That’s abysmal. Oh, but wait, let me tell you what’s more abysmal, where in
the sixth grade that’s 80 percent, where in the 12th grade it’s 17 percent. The longer
kids are in school, the less they really understand why. And we wonder why we have dropout rates.
We wonder why kids aren’t going to post-secondary education. [00:31:42] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Sixty-six percent feel
comfortable asking questions in class. How can we create a curious and creative school
environment when a lot of kids are afraid to ask questions in class? Here’s the other
interesting thing. These are the same kids that are proud of their school. The same kids
that tell them the teacher cares about me. The same kids that tell me they care if I’m
absent from school. If you care about me as a student, if you connect quality-of-life
to me, I’m going to care more about learning. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Engagement, 17 times
more likely to be academically motivated when they are engaged. When that delicate balance
between the teacher, the student, and the content is on, it makes a difference PURPOSE Dr. Russell Quaglia: Last but not least, purpose.
Purpose is about moving beyond the self. It’s not just all about me as a student. And I
hear schools all the time talking about citizenship programs and all these things they are trying
to do. Do we really do those things or just talk about it? I have measurement gurus in
front of me. Do you measure citizenship? Do you measure these kinds of things to help
us inform the practitioners? Because this is the stuff that they can take the academic
stuff and make sense around. Citizenship, it’s so important, isn’t it? But we don’t
measure it very well, and we don’t do anything when it’s not even happening. Dr. Russell Quaglia: For all my principals
out there or superintendents, have you ever graduated someone that couldn’t read and
write? Probably not. Have you ever graduated somebody that was just not a very nice person?
Of course you have. I have, too. I never graduated and shook somebody’s hand that I didn’t
think could read or write, but I can tell you this, I shook hands with a lot of kids
saying, “Thank God you are out of here.” [00:33:43] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Yeah. What if we kept
kids back because they weren’t good citizens? What if we kept kids back because they didn’t
have a sense of purpose? I can tell you that’s what we’re doing in England. We are not
graduating kids unless they have this purpose project where they are showing us that they
are going to make a difference in the community. It’s having these kids believe they can
be successful. Will there be lawsuits? Absolutely. And we’re not going to budge on this thing.
It’s part of our mission. I’m going to create lifelong learners to be contributing
members of society. That’s my mission. That’s what we stand for. And if you can’t live
that, then you shouldn’t graduate from here. Dr. Russell Quaglia: How serious are we around
this? And how do you measure it? I know you go to a zillion workshops because I went through
them all when I got here. I challenge you to start bringing these things up. How do
we measure citizenship? How do we recognize it? I know we do grades, but how do we do
[unclear] perseverance that make sense? How do we ask these kinds of questions? Dr. Russell Quaglia: So we asked kids, 93
percent of the kids we surveyed believe they’re going to be successful. It’s pretty amazing,
isn’t it? One of the people I get to work with, with this new Institute around the teachers,
which is not what I am talking about today, but is Andreas Schleicher. Some of you might
know Andreas is the guy that is in charge of the PISA study. And what’s interesting
about this data, which we were doing the study together, actually, looking at the international
data stuff around the student voice data. And what’s interesting about it is this.
United States, we are number one, number one believing we are unbelievable. We are number
17 on everything else. We’re pretty much flat lined in the middle. Finland, Sweden,
some of these countries that are number one are number 29 when it comes to these things.
We are good but we don’t think we’re good. We’re not so good but we think we are amazing. [00:35:40] Dr. Russell Quaglia: I do this all the time
in England, it’s actually pretty funny. I also had the opportunity, I did a lot of
work with London 2012, and we did a whole thing about the whole psyche of sport, and
our country compared to other countries. And if you remember, not the last World Cup, but
the World Cup before when we played England and the score was 1-1. And at the time I was
doing work with the FA, the Football Association over there, and I’m thinking here’s the
difference between your country’s mentality and mine. At the last World Cup, you are ahead
1 to nothing at the half, and your announcers are saying how bad you’re playing and how
you are going to lose. We are playing the game after, we are down 3 to 0 with four minutes
left in the game and we’re still talking about, “We can still come back.” Two World
Cups ago, the U.S. ties England 1 to 1. The head of The New York Times says, “1 to 1.
U.S. wins.” Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: It is a mindset we have.
It is a great mindset to have, but we need to operationalize it. So if people say, “Oh,
kids don’t care.” No, no, they care, and they want to be successful, and you know what,
they think they can be successful. It’s all his other stuff we’ve got to work around. Dr. Russell Quaglia: But here’s that expectation
gap. Ninety-three percent believe they can be successful, yet only 76 percent say teachers
believe in me and expect me to be successful. Seventy-one percent say I believe I can make
a difference in the world, which I find so amazing because so many kids want to be teachers.
I say, “Man, if you can make a difference, then be a teacher. They make a difference
every day in the world.” Who do you know that you’re going to teach and that’s
going to turn out to somebody – to be somebody that’s going to influence others? [00:37:25] Dr. Russell Quaglia: But here is the end all,
be all. If you take one thing away from anything I’ve said this evening, it’s this. Thirty-four
percent of the kids that we surveyed say teachers know my hopes and dreams. Teachers know my
hopes and dreams, 34 percent. Just knowing who these kids are. Another question we asked
but I don’t have it on paper, there’s 60 some odd items. One of them is, “Does
the teacher know your name?” The majority of kids in high school do not think teachers
know their name. And the teachers are, “Of course I know their name.” And I say, “How
many times have you ever used their name?” “Well, I don’t know.” “Well, how do
they know you know their name?” “Well, I grade their papers.” I go, “Well, that
doesn’t mean…” Who knows how their brains work? But I’ll tell you this. Unless you
call someone by their name, chances are they might not think you know it. Dr. Russell Quaglia: But the teacher knowing
their hopes and dreams. What could be more natural than that? How can I expect a teacher,
if I don’t know anything about you, how can I inspire you to be a learner in my classroom
if I don’t know what your hopes and dreams are? And it’s not just about what you want
to be, it’s who you want to be as a person. Dr. Russell Quaglia: We interview people at
the Aspirations Academies, and when I’m over there I’ll sit on the interview process.
And one of the things I always ask teachers that are coming in and they’re applying
is, “Who are you? Who are you as an educator?” And I can tell you some funny stories. I had
one woman come in and she’s a math teacher and I said, you know, “Who are you as an
educator?” And she goes, “Oh, I teach mathematics.” I’m like, “No, no. I get
that. I’ve got your resume right here. I’ve got that.” But being very nice. And I go,
“But who are you?” She says, “Oh, I teach algebra.” I’m like, “No, no. I
know you’ve got algebra, and you’ve got calculus down here. But I don’t know who
you are.” And then she’s talking to me like I’m the one with the issue. She goes,
“I can also teach pre-algebra.” [00:39:25] Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: And I’m like, “No,
I want to know what gets you up in the morning. What inspires you to teach Period 7 like you
do Period 1? What keeps you in school in February when you just want to leave? What inspires
you as an educator? What is your purpose? Who are you?” Do we know that about our
colleagues? Do we know it about the kids? Dr. Russell Quaglia: Why is it I’m pushing
this thing on the kids? Because when one item, when we know kids’ hopes and dreams, they
are 18 times more likely to be academically motivated to learn. That’s the holy grail.
I would be up here talking about other things if they were that impactful. That alone. How
do we measure kids’ hopes and dreams? Some teachers say, “I don’t have time.” I
tell teachers, “You don’t have time not to. You don’t have time not to understand
these kids’ hopes and dreams.” Could you imagine talking to your own kids about their
futures without having any understanding what their hopes and dreams are? How do you inspire
them to go to school every day if you don’t know those things? Well, how do we expect
teachers to teach kids if they don’t know those things? IMPACT ON ACADEMIC MOTIVATION Dr. Russell Quaglia: So let’s look at these
things. Student voice, self-worth, engagement, and purpose. Their impact on academic motivation.
It’s pretty profound. The other piece that’s pretty profound is this. Teacher support.
Teacher supporting me as a learner. Teacher understanding the school as I understand the
school. Teachers having a voice. When they do, it impacts these kids many times. So let’s
share some data there, and then I will let you go and have more dessert and watch the
game. DELUSIONAL DISCREPANCIES Dr. Russell Quaglia: We surveyed over 50,000
teachers. The report just got released yesterday called “Teacher Voice.” It was last year.
We had I think 8,000 maybe in it. And here’s some delusional discrepancies between teacher
data and student data that I think you’ll find interesting. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Students enjoy working
with teachers. That’s nice, 86 percent, that’s what the teachers said. Teachers
enjoy working with us, not so much. [00:41:30] Dr. Russell Quaglia: We asked teachers, “Do
students have fun in school?” Seventy-nine percent of the teachers said, yes, kids have
fun in school. Yet, when we asked kids, the school is boring, 43 percent. Dr. Russell Quaglia: Students make school
an exciting place to work, 89 percent. That’s pretty awesome. Teachers make school an exciting
place to learn, 44 percent, not so much. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I have fun in school,
83 percent of the teachers we surveyed said they have fun at school. We asked kids if
teachers have fun in school, again, not so much. Kind of makes me wonder what happens
in the faculty room. But we are obviously not having fun in front of our students. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: Ah, I love this one.
Students care if I’m absent, 86 percent. Teachers care if I’m absent, again, not
so much. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I enjoy working here,
85 percent of the teachers around this country say I enjoy working here in school. I enjoy
being at school, 53 percent of the kids. Dr. Russell Quaglia: The other person I’ve
done work with recently is Michael Fullan. You know Michael, the kind of Change Systems
guru? I give him a hard time all the time. I go, “Michael, you know for the past 40
years you’ve been trying to figure out why change is so difficult. I figured it out.
Make schools as miserable for teachers as it is for students, and my guess is they’ll
change quicker.” I think that might happen. Dr. Russell Quaglia: There are delusional
discrepancies going on from the teacher perspective and from the student perspective. That is
data that is useful for the practitioner, not because this answers it, but because it
creates a better conversation. I used to teach research at Columbia. One of the things I
used to tell my students all the time around data. “It’s a conversation starter. It’s
not the end all, be all. It’s a conversation starter. It’s like looking in the mirror
that you are afraid to look at, and I’m going to hold this mirror up in front of you
and you’re going to see data that you already know.” When I share this data with teachers,
nothing surprises them. Nothing. It’s the reality slap. You know this data. I just put
a number on it so now you can’t hide from it anymore. [00:43:40] SAD SIMILARITIES Dr. Russell Quaglia: There are also some sad
similarities. Some sad similarities. I’m excited to tell my colleagues when I do something
well. Remember I talked about this notion of it’s not cool to be successful yet? The
same is true for teachers as it is for kids. When we do something great in our classroom
or in our work, we’re not excited to tell our colleagues, just like kids aren’t excited
to tell her friends. Dr. Russell Quaglia: The other one which we
are doing some analysis on now, which I find fascinating. I feel comfortable asking questions
in staff meetings, and I feel comfortable asking questions in class. Those numbers are
pretty close. Why? What’s happened to our curiosity and creativity? We talk about it
all the time but our own teachers don’t practice it very well. Dr. Russell Quaglia: I know I dumped a ton
of stuff on you this evening after a big meal, which is always not the smartest thing to
do. So I just want to leave you with a couple of challenges for the next couple of days.
I challenge you. I challenge you to take time to reflect, to really understand and appreciate
why you do get up every day and do what you do. I challenge you to never stop listening
and learning from students because they do have something to teach us. I challenge you
to embrace every possibility. I challenge you to live on the edge a bit. I want you
to live on the edge. Do something once a week that just scares the living hell out of you.
Grab a pair of scissors, run in the hallway. I don’t really care. Audience: [laughter] Dr. Russell Quaglia: But I want educators
to do something that scares them a bit. I challenge you to spend more time with kids
about where they are going and less time about where they’re from. Spend more time with
kids about where they are going and way less time about where they’re from. I challenge
you to be students as much as you are superintendents, school administrators, tech gurus, and everybody
else out there. Be a student. I challenge you to eat a big Hershey bar and feel good
about it. I challenge you to dream big and do everything in your power to get there.
I challenge you to be normal. And I challenge you to never forget, ever forget, that wonderful
surprise that’s just waiting to happen, and all of our hopes and all of our dreams,
all of them are well within our reach. Thank you very much. Audience: [applause] r forget, ever forget, that wonderful surprise
that’s just waiting to happen, and all of our hopes and all of our dreams, all of them
are well within our reach. Thank you very much. Audience: [applause]