Saturday, January 10, 2009

Educators Can Learn From Sports

So the Yankees are at it again this offseason. Spending obscene amounts of money for the best available free agent players to stock their team. If the objective is to win the World Series, it's doomed to fail unless these players happen to have the character and hunger to win that ultimately makes the difference over a long, 162-game season and three rounds of playoffs.

It's an old adage but true as ever, "The best team wins." And the best team doesn't necessarily have the best players. The evidence is clear: year in and year out, with little exception, Frankenstein fantasy teams with high payrolls flop while the team with a solid core, often home-grown, takes the crown.

It's no different in publilc schools, where the grind is even longer (180 to 200 days in New York City, depending on your school). If the school leader can put together a strong team, hungry for success, and with all partners defining success in the same way, that's a winning combination. Stocking a team with egos and me-firsts is not going to produce the coherence needed to accomplish the gargantuan task before today's educators.

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