"Making gentlemen out of savages"

In his superb book Managing the Non-Profit Organization*, Peter Drucker talks about the Do's and Don'ts of writing mission statements.
One of our most common mistakes is to make the mission statement into a kind of hero sandwich of good intentions. It has to be simple and clear. As you add new tasks, you de-emphasize and get rid of old ones. You can only do so many things. Look at what we are trying to do in our colleges. The mission statement is confused - we are trying to do fifty different things. It won't work, and that's why the fundamentalist colleges attract so many young people. Their mission is very narrow. You and I may quarrel with it and say it's too narrow, but it's clear.
One example Drucker seemed to like:
Arnold of Rugby, the greatest English educator of the nineteenth century, who
created the English public school, defined its mission as making gentlemen out of savages.
Compare this to the BCPS mission statement, which is too long for my taste and comes too close to the problematic "hero sandwich":
... provide a quality education that develops the content[,] knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will enable all students to reach their maximum potential as responsible, life-long learners and productive citizens.
For good measure, here's the "vision" statement that BCPS came up with:
Baltimore County Public Schools’ graduates will have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to reach their potential as responsible, productive citizens in a global economy and multicultural society.

*If you can find it, listen to the audio version. His rumbly Viennese accent is soothing and inspiring, and his personality shines through.

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