Strategic Planning versus Goals and Objectives – What is the difference?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about strategic planning and the importance of such planning when it comes to our school district and the education of our children. Our new Superintendent, Dr. Lawrence, has indicated a desire to set goals and objectives rather than embark on the task of strategic planning. Sherry Whitmarsh seems to support this idea in her blog comment on MDUSD Parent.

I am curious as to how our district leadership defines the difference. The California School Board Association states, “Of all the responsibilities of governing boards, none is more central to the purpose of local governance than ensuring that a long-term vision is established for the school system. The vision reflects the consensus of the entire board, the superintendent and district staff, and the community as to what the students need in order to achieve their highest potential. The vision should set a clear direction for the school district, driving every aspect of the district’s program.”

The last sentence of the above paragraph speaks directly to my prior post. How can our district continue to make crucial decisions with respect to expenditures, budget cuts, staffing, etc… without a strategic plan and if they are going to pursue “plans and objectives” instead, what is the difference?


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