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April 23, 2013
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News for the Education Profession

ASCD Special Report:
The challenges facing principals (Part I)
Merriam-Webster defines the word "principal" as "most important, consequential, or influential: chief." The school principal is definitely all of those things, setting the tone of his or her school, leading by example, serving as an advocate and supporter of teachers.

In Part I of this two-part ASCD SmartBrief Special Report, we look at efforts by principals to bridge gaps and make a difference. On Thursday, in Part II of this report, we'll look at issues facing principals on the job and what they do to embrace technology.

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  Bridging Gaps  
  • Constraints call for resourcefulness from school leaders
    School leaders must be creative and resourceful to deal with the challenges presented by tight budgets and limited resources, writes Elizabeth A. City, director of the Doctor of Education Leadership Program at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Constraints shift attention to quality over quantity, though both are important, she writes. "But the good news is that tight resources force us to make choices, to focus, and to become more strategic and intentional," she writes. Educational Leadership (4/2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Effective principals help raise the bar
    A recent study finds that the most-effective principals can raise students' achievement in one year by as much as two to seven months of learning, while the least-effective principals can lower achievement in similar amounts. The findings, included in the School Leaders Matter study, are based on a look at 7,000 principals in Texas. The study also found that principal turnover is higher at disadvantaged schools -- a potential setback because it takes time for principals to begin to see changes in student achievement. The Deseret News (Salt Lake City) (4/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How high-achieving, high-poverty schools make it work
    Principals who lead schools with high rates of achievement and poverty share several traits, write Karin Chenoweth, writer-in-residence, and Christina Theokas, director of research at the Education Trust. Among the traits are a belief in students' ability to achieve and an ability to strictly manage their time so that instruction comes first. Educational Leadership (4/2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pa. district considers plan for schools to share principals
    A crisis budget scenario at play in the Allentown, Pa., school district calls for the four smallest elementary schools to share principals -- with one top administrator being responsible for two schools. George White, professor of educational leadership at Lehigh University, said school security and safety likely would not be affected by the change if policies are followed, but the principals would face several challenges, including identifying with the culture of each school. Some parents and teachers expressed concerns about the plan. The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.) (4/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Test Less, Teach More.
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  Making a Difference 
  • Educator recalls 4 inspirational principals
    As an experienced educator, Carol Ann Tomlinson remembers many principals she has worked with in the past -- including four of whom she recalls as leaders who inspired others, who helped whenever and wherever the school had a need, who never sat down and who defied the odds to improve their schools. "They were four of the many principals who actively challenge the education status quo every day. They were principle-driven; their inner compass set their direction," writes Tomlinson, a professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Educational Leadership (4/2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • N.J. principal, staff struggle to keep school open
    Backed by a dedicated team of teachers and volunteers, principal Everlyn Hay worked to reopen a K-8 Newark, N.J., parochial school -- now operating under the name Affirmation Academy. Hay, who has been with the school for 35 years and principal for 14 years, said she and others in the school focus on the students and do what they must to keep the school in the community, despite struggling with debt and a building that dates to 1887. The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.) (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Tips for teaching when every minute counts
    Teachers can fall into several time-wasting traps, including writing on the board for students to copy, passing out or collecting papers and ineffectively transitioning from one activity to another, writes Texas high-school principal and consultant Ben Johnson. In this blog post, Johnson offers ways that teachers can beat the clock, such as the "jigsaw method," in which the teacher has students collaborate to maximize their time, as well as using rubrics and previewing academic vocabulary and pre-assessing for students' understanding. Edutopia.org/Ben Johnson's blog (3/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • N.C. educators chosen for principal-training program
    The Sandhills Leadership Academy, a Race to the Top initiative, will train 20 educators to become principals in a full-time program this school year. Among the 20 is Shaun Krencicki, an eighth-grade English-language arts teacher at Crain's Creek Middle School in Moore County, N.C., who said he expected a lot of hard work ahead of him. "My career goal is to help the kids in our community grow up with a high school education so that they can get great jobs and be happy neighbors of mine," he said. The Pilot (Southern Pines, N.C.) (3/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
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