Dr. Rudy Crew, Miami-Dade’s superintendent, spoke to a packed room at CUBE‘s Issues Seminar this morning in Miami. As the country’s fourth largest district and the winner of last year’s CUBE Award for Excellence, Dr. Crew spent time discussing the innovative style he’s brought to Miami-Dade and the sometimes difficult choices that have to be made to benefit the children of the district. “We have to look at the way we look at children. It’s not about yesterday’s assumption base to define the children of today. It starts with belief,” he said.
The theme of CUBE’s Issues Seminar this year is Parent and Community Involvement. Miami-Dade’s Parent Academy devotes resources and a tremendous staff to helping parents and community leaders work with the schools to help children learn. Dr. Crew echoed the program’s mission by pushing those in attendance to use the community as an asset and to help build the relationships that are going to help students achieve. “It’s all about the kids and moving the energies of success to get to the end zone.”
With over 300,000 students, Miami-Dade has looked at new ways to work with students to improve their achievement and find answers to tough questions about how students learn, their reading and math scores, and alternatives to traditional schooling methods. Dr. Crew stressed the building of a community saying, “Build a bridge from your aspirations into practicality. That’s 21st century learning.”
His message today was primarily about his experience as superintendent in Miami-Dade and in New York City, but Dr. Crew was quick to point out that regardless of the size of the district, whether it was less than 5 or 10,000 all the way up to the largest districts in the county, “it’s all about keeping the conversation about children and achievement.” If it were that simple all the time, many of our educational woes would be behind us.