Oct. 25, 2020

Transforming Education Systems During Crisis

Transforming Education Systems During Crisis

“What opportunities do we have that we can really transform the way we do business? Is every child successful within your system? If not, we really need to think about how we do things differently.”

Episode 39: Show Notes.

As we consider the challenges of keeping our education systems up and running, we must also consider the opportunities that are becoming visible to us, including school and district cultures we are creating, the systems and structures we have put in place, and the transformative practices we have established. In the middle of this crisis, where is the silver lining?  And how do we organize ourselves to benefit from it? Could this be the tipping point we have all been waiting for in public education? Today’s guest is Matt Pope, Chief Transformation Officer with the E3 Alliance, whose efforts focus on supporting districts in Texas and across the country in the improvement of student outcomes, by helping to transform systems and develop educators. In his role leading transformation efforts, Matt applies his expertise in transformative change, district culture, and systems to support districts through this challenging time. In this episode, Matt shares how the schools in the communities he supports are dealing with the pandemic, how the E3 Alliance sets students up for success from cradle to career, and how to go about closing the learning gap created by virtual learning over the last eight months. He also talks about the transformation of systems in the context of the pandemic, and the value of creating silver linings committees, as well as maintaining a cultural foundation in a time of physical distance, finding opportunity in crisis. Tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Matt talks about the challenges and reflections he has had over the last few months in 2020.
  • How the district communities Matt supports are dealing with the pandemic.
  • The E3 Alliance firmly believes that every student deserves to succeed, from cradle to career.
  • E3 has built a team of virtual mentors to support students in the transition to post-secondary. 
  • After the misalignment caused by the pandemic, Matt believes he has to lead with empathy.
  • The work of ensuring safety needs to align with closing the learning gap of the past eight months.
  • Matt talked about transformative change and the transformation of systems in the context of the pandemic.
  • Opportunities are born from crisis – education systems can finally overcome ingrained issues.
  • Matt encourages district leaders to create innovations or silver linings committees.
  • E3 helped schools maintain cultural coherence by asking them to reflect on their purpose.
  • E3 has partnered with districts to seek to create "culture" when we can’t be together physically.
  • When shifting to the virtual environment, a fundamental belief or cultural foundation is crucial.
  • Matt’s advice for listeners at this time – every day it’s getting better, and we are learning, growing, and adapting to new challenges.
  • Matt reads an Atul Gawande quote that resonates with him, which starts, “Better is possible.”


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: