‘Adequate’ Isn’t Good Enough: The NETP Roadmap to Higher Expectations

By Tina Rooks

Imagine the impact on consumer sales if “adequate” replaced words like “ultimate,” “good,” or “best” in the taglines of top selling brands. Now consider the widely publicized expectation of our public education system that all schools must attain “adequate yearly progress.” By definition, adequate is average or acceptable. Certainly neither is the most aspiring adjective.

Successful Fortune 500 companies do not include “acceptable” in their mission statements. Coaches do not encourage a team to be “average” before the big game. Instead, to promote a message of quality that is not conveyed with the lackluster “adequate,” they use phrases such as “exceed expectations” and “set the bar high.”

When did adequate become good enough for our educational system? What impact is this mindset having? And most importantly, how do we break free from this low expectation? Continue reading