Posted on: May 22, 2001 at 11:45 PM
Mark's bridge painting metaphor is both heartening and disheartening. The image helps to clarify the distinction between initiating and maintaining a program - and to see that it takes different parts of the system to tend to these two tasks. It is disheartening because Mark's metaphor speaks of only painting one bridge.
In reality, there is a bridge in each district we work with, in each school in that district. Essentially a system for bridge painting needs to be set up again and again.
Judi Fonzi asks: how do you break into a large district's culture ? The administative webs are tangled, the sources of decision making are blurry, and small reform fires don't seem to catch.
Given difficulty and diffuse nature of the task, how is it possible to maintain enough focus to have one's energies make a difference?