Thursday, December 06, 2007

NAESP's Vision 2021

The National Association of Elementary School Principals has a video posted on YouTube titled Vision 2021 (also embedded below). You can learn more about the vision:

The mission of VISION 2021 is two-fold:

  1. Understand the drivers that are shaping teaching, leading and learning; and how the future is changing for pre-K-8 principals; and
  2. Envision strategies, models, structures and relationships that will realign NAESP with the future.

NAESP also has a blog.

A few things about the video bothered me. First, I just don't think the video is done that well. I know I'm one to talk, since my presentations aren't exactly high quality either, but I'm also not the NAESP creating a public service announcement. And - except for Did You Know? 2.0 where XPLANE took care of the higher quality - I wasn't originally intending them for the world. But the part where the four of them are on screen speaking in unison didn't inspire me to think of 2021. (And, yes, I know, I should go back and improve my presentations now that they do have a wider audience - so this is a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black.)

Second, in the About This Video section they do a nice job of describing their video, but they don't link to their website. I know they list the main NAESP site at the end of the video, and the vast majority of folks would be able to find it, but I would've thought they wanted to make it easy to click through directly to Vision 2021 to learn more.

Third, and I don't think this is just because they take a shot at 2020 Vision, but - for me - the tagline of "Hindsight is 20/20" doesn't quite work with the title of Vision 2021. 2021 doesn't have much of a ring to it, and I don't follow the logic of 2020 is hindsight, so therefore 2021 is the future. If you're looking back at 2020, wouldn't that mean you were in at least 2021?

Fourth, in their blog entry about the YouTube video, they don't link directly to the video. They link to YouTube, but they tell their readers to:

access the video on the YouTube Web site by typing “NAESP” into the search engine.

Finally, I just can't help noticing the irony that they posted it on YouTube, when presumably a very high percentage of K-8 schools can't get to YouTube because of their Internet filter. I couldn't find it on TeacherTube, so they must think YouTube is special in some way - has some quality that inspired them to post it there. (In their defense, I did eventually find it on the Vision 2021 site in RealPlayer format).

As I read over the above, it sounded pretty negative, so I almost decided not to post this. I do think it's good they are taking a look at the future and trying to figure out what our students need, and I don't want to knock them for their effort. I just wonder if they could've made their video - and associated posts - just a bit more appealing.


  1. In "What is 2021" at this link:, they explain why they chose 2021, "In the year 2021, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) will celebrate 100 years of service to pre-K-8 principals worldwide. "

    In "Letter from NAESP’s President", they explain their thinking behind the "hind site is 2020" quote as well. "The saying "hindsight is 20/20" helps us understand that while we can't change the past, we can use insights
    from past lessons to prepare for the future. No one can truly anticipate what the future holds for our nation's
    educational system, but as educators we know that we can use our foresight to prepare children to be
    academically and globally competitive "

    I felt the video left me hanging too much. I thought something was wrong with it as it stopped in my opinion before it began. From a Public Service Announcement (PSA), I wanted more information.

    On the positive side, your blog post about this new video did take me to the NAESP sight where I read Envisioning the Future, Five Emerging Strategic Issues and checked out their blog. Skimming each of these has increased my thinking and planning. It has given me a topic for conversation with our elementary school principals. . .


  2. @Connie - Thanks, that helps a lot, although I still don't think the Hindsight is 20/20 and Vision 2021 juxtaposition works, but that just might be me! But how far did you have to dig to find that, and how many folks would do that digging? From the YouTube video, they would've had to find the NAESP site, then the link to Vision 2021, then click on both What is 2021 and Letter from the President. I don't know much about marketing, but that doesn't seem like an effective strategy.

    Part of the reason for the post was indeed to link to their stuff, so I'm glad you found it useful - hopefully others will as well.

  3. I agree with you - I am not sure the juxtaposition works - it is not just you. I did have to dig a bit and definitely didn't read all of the information from cover to cover. I just skimmed the materials as they were too long for me initially. If I have a need, I'll now be able to go back and utilize it.

    I agree that their marketing strategy leaves room for improvement and my experience is marketing and training with technology vendors as well as P21 education.