In this day and age, many schools incorrectly view successful education as an extremely complex process, but… the formula for a really first rate education is relatively simple: put highly qualified, caring faculty, and eager, bright youth together in a personalized setting on a bucolic campus with a robust curriculum and first rate educational facilities – and let things happen.
These are some fine ingredients for a “first-rate education.” I certainly think that when you have highly qualified, caring faculty, and eager, bright youth, in these kinds of settings, then nice things will often happen in learning.
We can object to the statement's presumptuousness: it is only a very, very small set of schools that have all these things. The statement can be read a bit of a logical tautology: education excellence isn't complex, it is simple when it has all or most the things that make education excellent. The complexity of successful education is not in generating this list, but in defining “highly qualified teachers” and “robust curriculum:” the devil is in those details.
My bigger objection is the idea that, no matter what our ingredients are, we will do fine as educational leaders if we just “let things happen.”