IS Systemic Change?
In education, Systemic Change is a comprehensive process of changing the fundamental structures and approaches, rather than individual elements, to reflect the needs and concerns of all stakeholders.
What does that mean?
It means that the primary objective of Systemic Change is to engage all elements of the community in creating a vision of knowledge and skills we want our students to possess when they are ready to leave our school system (Goal-based Education) and then enabling these stakeholders to actively participate in the decision-making which will achieve these goals.
What kind of decision-making?
State and Federal programs have developed targets for us to shoot for. These targets are partly composed of Oregon's Statewide Assessments (CIM and CAM) and the Federal No Child Left Behind program. Although it may be a gross oversimplification, these programs are established to enable us to formulate our 'vision' of what standardized skills and knowledge we want our students to possess when they leave our school systems. How we achieve these goals will be largely determined by staff, students and local communities. We will be able to choose from new approaches to education which include 'site-based management'; non-graded schools; alternative schools; charter schools and Districts; multi-year budgeting; vouchers; etc.. An informed community is crucial in achieving any of these goals.