Public K-12 education "tipped" this legislative session, an "idea has crossed a threshold, started to tip and begun to spread." Many of you recognize this reference to Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point and how it applies to what we have been discussing.
The idea that reached a boiling point this spring was that for all of our investment in the WV K-12 system (45% of the state budget, #1 in the country in technology spending per student per capita), none of it really has had anything to do with motivating students to learn. All the system-level changes that have occurred and the ones being discussed this session (there were around 125 new bills introduced) , while possibly necessary, were not sufficient. The job is now to stimulate innovation.
Let's put this into Gladwell-ese because by understanding The Three Rules of Tipping Points, we can ensure that "the unexpected becomes the expected."
Rule 1 The Law of the Few
The tip starts with a few voices and comments- CreateWV, Senator Erik Wells, First Lady Manchin...the mavens, connectors and salesman..the dance begins and the idea buzzes and moves out into the airwaves (blogosphere). Did you hear about the School Innovation Zone Act, WV Charter School Act, Teacher Hiring.
Rule 2 The Stickiness Factor
Rule 3 The Power of Context
How sensitive is this idea to its environment (context)? Vey sensitive if you believe that:
"What underlies successful epidemics, in the end, is a bedrock belief that change is possible, that people can radically transform their behavior or beliefs in the face of the right kind of impetus. Can leopards really change their spots and do you agree that it only takes the smallest infractions to cause the greatest changes? With the slightest push in the right place, can the world around us be tipped?" (Malcolm Gladwell)