How To Treat People At Public School


“We teach others how to treat us.”



As he was finishing his critical review of American public education, Stop Stealing Dreams, Seth Godin, international best selling author, influential business blogger and speaker, was invited by a friend to visit Harlem Village Academies, a network of charter schools in New York City.

We’ve all heard about public schools in Harlem, synonymous with the problems with public education,  where students are truant or behavior problems and outcomes are very low.  “Hardly the place you’d go to discover a future of our education system,” Godin remembered.  He has written extensively about changes in our society because of the internet and the connection economy.

“You won’t see much of the web at the Harlem Village Academy (HVA) I visited.  The HVA is simply about people and the way they should be treated.  It’s about abandoning a top-down industrial approach to processing students and embracing a very human, very personal and very powerful series of tools to produce a new generation of leaders.” Godin states.

“The two advantages most successful schools have are plenty of money and a pre-selected, motivated student body.  HVA doesn’t get to choose its students, they are randomly assigned by lottery.  And HVA receives less funding per student than the typical public school in New York,” he reports.

“What I saw were students leaning forward in their seats, choosing to pay attention.  I saw teachers engaged because they chose to as well, because they were thrilled at the privilege of teaching kids who wanted to be taught.”  Godin noted.

“HVA works because they have figured out how to create a workplace culture that attracts the most talented teachers, fosters a culture of ownership, freedom and accountability, and then relentlessly transfers this passion to their students,” he concluded.

Horizonte works for the same reasons and I look forward to discussing them with you.

Question:  How do we foster more passion in our public schools?  

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