I recently visited some colleagues from my previous job to ask them a question. The question was, “What decisions did I make that were right and what decisions did I make that were wrong.” It’s been about a year since I left that position and most of my colleagues asked why I wanted to Monday morning quarterback those decisions. They felt that the decision was made and, good or bad, we are all moving forward with the mission. I explained to them that I wanted to learn from those decisions so I can improve my decision making process in the future. This act was prompted by a discussion I heard recently about what most Americans consider one of the best decisions in our history, but in reality caused more harm than good. That decision was the Supreme Court decision in Brown v Board of Education.
The decision was called monumental because it forced the integration of America’s school making administrators or white school accept black students. Supposedly, like the integration of our military, this decision was progress for racial equality by giving black students the same opportunities white students had at the time. In reality, this decisions set black Americans’ education back by decades. Most obviously, those students who were integrated into white schools had to deal with a completely different, unfriendly environment each day they attended the white schools. When asked later, these students didn’t want to attend the white schools because they already had a good school with good teachers in a nurturing environment. Academic research has proven that nurturing environment was, and always will be, the key to students’ successful academic careers. Finally, the Supreme Court’s monumental decision resulted in all American students attending white schools resulting in the closure of most black schools, the loss of most black teaching and administrative positions and the regression of black academic progress for decades.
No matter how good our decisions look in the light of the day we make them, it’s always important to look back and learn as time shines more light through its multifaceted prism and exposes the real results for us.