Wake County schools asking futurist for help with new strategic plan

Posted by T. Keung Hui on May 29, 2014 

The Wake County school board is turning to a futurist for help in developing a new strategic plan to replace the one developed under the leadership of former Superintendent Tony Tata.

On Friday, the school system is holding what it calls a community kickoff event to get the public involved in developing a new strategic plan. The keynote speaker will be David Houle, who is a futurist, thinker and author of the book, “ Shift Ed: A Call to Action for Transforming K-12 Education.”

Marvin Connelly, Wake’s chief of staff and strategic planning, told school board members at the May 6 work session that Houle has been called “the CEO of all futurists.”

"We thought it was important to start off our work with hearing from this futurist because our work needs to be now how do we prepare our students for that future that has been laid out by the futurist,” Connelly said.

The timing of Friday’s event, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh, drew questions from board members. Connelly responded that they had gotten a better price for the venue by holding it right after the 4 p.m. graduation for Southeast Raleigh High School.

Friday night’s event is free and open to the public. But registration is required.

This new plan that would be developed and adopted by the school board later this year would replace the one approved in 2012 called “Vision 2017.” Board members had argued with Tata over some elements, such as his desire to have pay for performance plans for teachers.

Some of that frustration that the old plan didn’t have more board involvement came out during the May 6 work session.

“I have bad memories of a strategic plan that came to us as opposed to what we were involved in,” said board member Jim Martin.

School board member Keith Sutton gave some context for how that plan was developed amid AdvancED’s calls to respond to their warnings about stripping the district’s high schools of accreditation.

"The memories that you speak of in the past, that was one that was probably more administratively driven,” Sutton said. “Now part of the reason for that – I think Mr. Hill was chair at that time – a lot of that was being driven by the response to AdvancED, trying to speed along a plan that would at least in some part, in some way respond to the concerns that were put out there by AdvancED.”

Click here for a post on the board’s Feb. 7 discussion on starting a new plan. Click here to view the handout from the May 6 meeting.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service