The Work of SCL

Dear SCL Members and Friends,

A few months ago, SCL launched our first research project, the Thriving Schools Study, to evaluate the health and needs of school leaders across the country. Thank you to those who participated in the survey! I also want to thank Dr. Brian Polk, SCL’s Director of School Improvement, who organized the study and managed the project. Finally, I want to thank Dr. Albert Cheng from the University of Arkansas. He has been analyzing the survey results for weeks and giving us great insight about the data.

When we sent the survey, we told each head of school we would generate a summative report based on the results. We are now drafting a first look of those results and will send it to all who completed the survey. Meanwhile, full, in-depth analysis will continue over the summer. Also, at the conference, Dr. Polk will present findings more broadly, expanding upon the summative report. I invite all school leaders to attend this informative session.  

Finally, also at the summer conference, I will share results from a research project I conducted as part of my Ed.S. program at Gordon College. For the last five months, I have been researching how the board-head relationship impacts head of school tenure. I was able to draw from a deep well of research on this topic and also incorporate the Thriving Schools Study survey results. This allowed me to apply the research to classical Christian schools specifically. I invite all heads and board members to attend my session. I will share specific recommendations to boards and heads that includes both structural and relational recommendations. My goal is to foster a healthy relationship among key school leaders and extend the longevity of the head of school.

The growth of classical Christian education will only be as strong and stable as its leadership. It is one of our primary aims at SCL to ensure that every leader is informed, equipped, inspired, supported, and coached to lead well and stand firm in the classical Christian tradition. 

Thank you, again! We look forward to seeing everyone next month. We are very excited to have over 800 registered for the conferences so far. See you soon!

In Christ,

Eric Cook

President, SCL

Could Dorothy Sayers Join SCL

Douglas Wilson is right. In his review of Wisdom and Eloquence on the preceding pages, he says that every school must decide where they stand with respect to Dorothy Sayers’ characterization of classical education. He details his own successful experience with and support of Sayers’ model while summarizing the authors’ fundamental disagreement. So with a founder and current board member of SCL, Robert Littlejohn, joining with a former SCL board member, Charles Evans, to spearhead one philosophical camp while the other is led by the man whose book, Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, triggered the modern classical and Christian movement, where exactly does SCL stand?

On the sidelines, applauding loudly.

SCL is not a proponent of one viewpoint. Rather, we are facilitators of discussion and debate. SCL is a professional society with membership open to individuals involved in classical, Christ-centered education. Many of our members are educators in ACCS schools and hold views of classical learning quite similar to those expressed by Mr. Wilson. Our goal is to offer an opportunity for professional classical educators to compare their various viewpoints, share the variety of their experiences, learn from each other and challenge each other—much as we expect our students to do in our class- rooms.

So as you read the preceding article, whether you found yourself nodding along with Mr. Wilson or with Dr. Littlejohn and Mr. Evans, you will find like minded educators among the ranks of the SCL member- ship. You will also find intelligent, experienced, passionate educators on the other side, eager to debate.

At SCL, that’s what we call a good time and we think Dorothy Sayers would have agreed.