A brief look at what Mr. Stanford has done in Seattle highlights the power an individual still has in the midst of a confusing bureaucracy. Under his leadership, Seattle public schools have set quantifiable targets for student achievement, and defined exit standards for students in grades 5, 8, and 11. His city-wide Reading Campaign to make every child a reader has become a national model. The district has emphasized the importance of safe schools by providing all high school students with identification badges, expanding the district's antiviolence curriculum, and emphasizing peer mediation and intervention strategies. School district/corporate compacts in environmental education, school-to-work, the arts, and technology have been created. Test scores are up, and the student dropout rate is down.
John Stanford's appearance at the Athenaeum is sponsored by the Kravis Leadership Institute, for which he has served on the Board of Governors since September 1997.