If you want to be a better leader, then you must identify why change is imperative. The most noble reason I can think of is because each school year, we affect 1/13 of a child's life. Not their education, but their life. What we do with each child's 1/13 is life or death for that child, and what we do or don't do this year for a child will affect the subsequent 1/13's of their life in the following years. To make our resolution even more compelling, it is safe to say that what we do will affect their quality of life, their ability to have a stable or successful career, and ultimately the quality of their health.
The Most Valuable Number13 is the most valuable number in the 21st century because it is the number of years that all educators have to set the foundation for every child to begin their college and career future. If they only get 12 years of an education, they are guaranteed a life of poverty, crime, poor health and early death. 12 is not good enough. 12 will get you nowhere. 13 is the only acceptable number in the 21st century to ensure that every child is guaranteed the most valuable currency of our new century. Learning.
No Room for ExcusesChildren will come to us 2 or more years behind. Children will fail to learn due to language or disability. We can no longer allow these excuses to be the reason that kids did not achieve because these excuses will not keep our kids out of the unemployment line or the prison system. If we want to end the cycle of poverty and reduce the crime rate, we must guarantee that 100% of our students learn for 13 straight years and walk out of our public schools into a prosperous and secure future.
I hope you will join me in 2013 in owning the responsibility for every child's 13th.