Why the 50-Year NAIS Governance Experiment is Over | Part 2 | Sanje Ratnavale | 15 Min Read

The Extrinsic

In Part 1 of this series, we focused on how the 50-year NAIS governance experiment around mission failed to build constituency alignment. The resulting landscape is one of schools fragmented into siloes operating tactically because there is no alignment of strategy to the mission.

In Part 2, we examine how the resulting strategic vacuum gravitates toward extrinsic motivators instead of productive and aligned use of the mission. The evidence we see comes from an unusual source, many of those who have led and still lead NAIS.

This is important because in Part 3 we explain what needs to be done to avoid these extrinsic temptations and pitfalls on the road to achieving sustainability.

A Lost Opportunity

Over the last decade, a solution appeared that could have helped schools shift away from the focus on vague missions and instead, tune into pursuing missions that could be evaluated in a measurable way. Independent school parents had become increasingly fixated with grades in the narrowing zero-sum game for college and future success. It was almost impossible for high school principals and heads to manage this, particularly when donors and Boards were at their heels to deliver…

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Sanje Ratnavale

Sanje founded OESIS in 2012 and serves as the President of what has grown to become the leading network for innovation at independent schools: the acronym OESIS grew from the initial focus on Online Education Strategies for Independent Schools. He has held senior administrative positions at independent schools including Associate Head of School at a K-12 school for seven years, High School Principal for three years, and CFO for seven years. Prior to making a switch to education, Sanje spent 15 years in venture capital, investment banking, and senior C-level (CEO, COO, CFO) management. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford University (B.A. and M.A. in Law/Jurisprudence). Sanje is based out of Santa Monica.