Linda Cliatt-Wayman: How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard

After leaving class tonight, I immediately thought about this Ted Talk. In class, we discussed Transformational and Transactional Leadership. In this Ted Talk, Linda Cliatt-Wayman talks about the changes and improvements that she made at Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia, PA.

At Strawberry Mansion, she started by gaining the students’ and teachers trust and making them feel safe. At the school, many of the students felt like Strawberry Mansion was not a school. As a result, Cliatt-Wayman and her administrative team made large and small changes throughout the building and worked feverishly to change the school’s atmosphere and climate. They worked to get rid of excuses that teachers, students, and stakeholders gave for not achieving. In the end, Strawberry Mansion was removed from the persistently dangerous list one year after they had been on the list for the five previous years. Algebra scores grew by 171 percent and literature scores went up by 107 percent.

Linda Cliatt-Wayman’s passion and charisma played a major role in the school’s changes. In this Ted Talk, she gives you a glimpse into the steps that she took to transform Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion High School.


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