False Optimism Issue for Independent Schools amid Enrollment Declines

Ari Betof
Ari Betof

Based in Boston, Dr. Ari Betof (EdD) is a respected educational consultant who provides actionable advice when it comes to results-driven organizational leadership. Having recently attended the NAIS Annual Conference 2019, Dr. Ari Betof wrote about his experience at the National Association of Independent Schools event in a Medium article.

One major insight was that data showed 73 percent of schools experiencing moderate to high enrollment declines. In that context, one-third of school heads surveyed reported feeling very concerned about whether independent schools could remain competitive and relevant moving into the future. At the same time, only one-fourth of school heads expressed these same concerns when it came to their own schools. From Dr. Betof’s perspective, this represents both the donning of “rose-colored glasses” and a reluctance to acknowledge weakness when it comes to one’s own institution.

Dr. Betof has explored this topic in depth in the another Medium article entitled “The Seduction of False Optimism,” in which he maps out the dangers inherent in forecasting too much from metrics such as enrollment numbers.

Published by aribetof

Ari Betof is a senior leader and management consultant with 15+ years of experience building sustainable organizations and maximizing revenue growth. He leverages a combination of expertise in organizational stewardship and transferable skills such as principal gift fundraising, quantitative analysis, and strategic planning to drive mission-aligned, high-impact change. Ari is an agile, savvy, and emotionally intelligent partner who achieves results, builds trusting relationships, develops others, and creates scalable systems. He thrives in high-pressure, complex environments while bringing together diverse sets of stakeholders. Core competencies include: • Building high performing teams • Leadership development • Executive coaching • Organizational effectiveness • Change management • Strategic planning and implementation • Business development • Fundraising • Quantitative analysis

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