A mission statement, or simply a mission, is a public declaration that schools or other educational organizations use to describe their founding purpose and major organizational commitments—i.e., what they doe and why they do it. A mission statement may describe a school’s day-to-day operational objectives, its instructional values, or its public commitments to its students and community.
The term mission statement is often used interchangeably with vision statement. While some educators and schools may loosely define the two terms, or even blur the traditional lines that have separated them, there appears to be general agreement in the education community on the major distinctions between a “mission” and a “vision.” Generally speaking, a vision statement expresses a hoped-for future reality, while a mission statement declares the practical commitments and actions that a school believes are needed to achieve its vision. While a vision statement describes the end goal—the change sought by a school—a mission statement may describe its broad academic and operational assurances, as well as its commitment to its students and community.
For a more detailed discussion, see mission and vision.
The Glossary of Education Reform by Great Schools Partnership is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.