Linda Cliatt-Wayman: How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard
Linda Cliatt-Wayman - High school principal
Linda Cliatt-Wayman is a Philadelphia high school principal with an unwavering belief in the potential of all children. Full bio
in the school district of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia public schools,
special education for 20 years
among the highest in the nation.
as the school's new principal.
for what they would learn in school.
when I attended a low-performing school
many, many, many years earlier.
low-performing school as principal.
fourth principal in four years.
and persistently dangerous"
of my new school
from poor lighting.
of broken old furniture
of unused materials and resources.
were nearly empty.
that something would happen;
in the cafeteria for eating free food.
and all the bullying.
for their own safety,
for the students and themselves,
unaware of their role
of the school's culture.
not schools at all.
at Strawberry Mansion High School.
with me will tell you
in our quest for change.
and what does not happen in a school
to address anything
a top-notch leadership team
of all the children,
locker combination by hand
could have a secure locker.
bulletin board in that building
and positive messages.
the front doors of the school.
every classroom to its core,
that was not needed,
of old materials and furniture.
to have more teachers and support staff.
school day schedule from scratch
support person and police officer would be
at every second of the day,
positive behavior at all times.
from the Persistently Dangerous List
Dangerous List for five consecutive years.
low-performing and persistently dangerous.
come to school on a regular basis,
of the parents participate,
and single-parent homes,
have special needs,
were proficient in algebra,
telling us all the stories
and the children were,
became my primary responsibility.
on teaching and learning.
that teachers knew what to teach
with so many vast abilities.
delivery model for instruction
to get their individual needs met
by 171 percent in Algebra
with a "So What. Now What?" attitude.
to my third and final slogan.
Strawberry Mansion moving forward,
that I love my students
to go to a school that's not a school.
any way out of poverty.
and their purpose in life,
about deeply personal things,
when I cannot sing at all?"
"Why do we have to follow rules?"
each question honestly,
helps to clear up any misconceptions.
in my rules and consequences
we can accomplish things together.
my expectations for them,
every day over the P.A. system.
change their lives.
to make real progress
that serves children in poverty
to navigate the world around them.
of us who are privileged
a school that serves children in poverty,
with unbelievable challenges,
"So what. Now what?
tells them they should be,
of the world tells them they should be,
About the speaker:Linda Cliatt-Wayman - High school principal
Linda Cliatt-Wayman is a Philadelphia high school principal with an unwavering belief in the potential of all children.
Why you should listen
Linda Cliatt-Wayman grew up in poverty in North Philadelphia, where she experienced firsthand the injustice being perpetrated against poor students in their education. She has dedicated her career and her life to ending that injustice, working within Philadelphia's fractured public-school system. She spent 20 years as a special-ed teacher before becoming a principal, leading two low-performing urban high schools to success with improved test scores and increased college admissions among students.
Now at Philadelphia's Strawberry Mansion High School, Wayman and her team are once again proving what is possible for low-income children. Test scores have improved every year since Wayman took over, and the school was removed from the federal Persistently Dangerous Schools List for the first time in five years. Diane Sawyer and her team spent the 2012-2013 school year documenting Wayman’s efforts for ABC World News Tonight and Nightline.
Linda Cliatt-Wayman | Speaker | TED.com