Starting Point                                                 Page 6


Organizational Health


When I asked Kent Bechler about writing for us after hearing him present at an education writers conference last spring, I figured he’d probably want to discuss the nuts and bolts of a school district’s effective use of data to improve student learning. What Bechler delivered instead (“Data as the Driver”) was a package about organizational health.

Attending to the latter, he believes, is just as important as focusing on the “smart” side of the organization “because real work is accomplished through collaboration.” During his five years as superintendent of the Corona-Norco Unified Schools in California’s Riverside County, Bechler targeted both the healthy and smart sides of the district and expected the academic gains to follow. They did, almost immediately after year one, sparking momentum that accelerated the progress.

A couple of months after Bechler left his post last summer to become an executive coach, Corona-Norco was named one of five finalists for the 2012 Broad Prize, honoring the top urban school districts.

“Our values impact our behaviors, and our behaviors shape the culture of the organization,” he says, a point in his article illustrated though staff members’ sacrifices.

“The culture leads to success.” 

Jay P. Goldman, Editor
Voice: 703-875-0745
E-mail: jgoldman@aasa.org


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