Improving school culture is not an easy task, but neither is any worthwhile endeavor. In schools, it is much easier to point to a deficient teacher, an ineffective school or district leader, the bureaucracy as a machine to stifle innovation, or a program in need of revision as the cause of under performance. In our attempts to develop action plans to address deficiencies, we often try to reduce the potential cause to one or just a few variables. Although not always easy tasks, schools and districts can remove deficient teachers and ineffective leaders, restructure the bureaucracy, or modify programs. This reductionist approach, though, might prove fruitless, which might lead you to identify your school or district's toxic culture as the primary cause of this under performance.
Cultivating a culture of trust, professionalism, and autonomy is not a quick fix that can be accomplished with a short term action plan, but there is evidence that a culture based on these concepts is related with and predicts school outcomes and student achievement. Please join the discussion and share your thoughts for improving school and district culture, because as the evidence suggests, school culture influences everything.