E-Mail news for the K-12 education profession | May 27, 2004
Professional Leadership in the 21st Century: Rising to the Challenge (Part II)
 
Successful school leadership requires a solid management plan. Part II of this ASCD SmartBrief Special Report provides resources designed to help leaders hone their management strategies. Part II also covers perspectives on the broader subject of professional leadership. Part I was published on May 25.
 
At a Glance 
Finding the right management strategy
Successful school reform begins with a well planned management strategy. There is no silver bullet, but some plans produce better results than others. For a comprehensive list of effective management resources and tools, visit the Annenberg Institute for School Reform.
The News
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Testing and NCLB 
Learning First Alliance helps school leaders break down NCLB provisions
Browse the Learning First Alliance's "Practical Guide for Talking with Your Community About No Child Left Behind and Schools in Need of Improvement." The guide is designed to help districts, schools, parents and teacher leaders understand, explain and discuss the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, its requirements and its implications for local schools and districts. The materials give special attention to those schools that will be labeled "in need of improvement" and are intended to assist local efforts to rally community support for school improvement -- not to advocate for or against specific provisions in NCLB.
 New NCLB guidance helps schools leaders communicate with parents: The U.S. Department of Education has issued nonregulatory guidance designed to help states and school leaders communicate with low-income families with children in public schools about their rights under the No Child Left Behind Act. Among other things, the guidance lists print resources on involving parents in the school reform process.   Education Week (5/12)
 What to do when the media classifies your schools as failing: The news media has developed a frustrating tendency to classify schools that don't meet NCLB's academic requirements as "failing." Adam Kernan-Schloss, president of education consultancy KSA-Plus Communications in Arlington, Va., offers superintendents 11 recommendations for educating communities about school performance.
 Tips on communicating with parents: Communicating with parents can be especially difficult. Samuel J. Spitalli, director of administrative services at Township High School District 211 in Palatine, Ill., provides a series of pointers to make it easier. American School Board Journal (February 2004)
Report ties leadership to student achievement
A working paper by the nonprofit organization Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning identifies 21 crucial leadership responsibilities correlated with higher student achievement and lays out a framework to help leaders with school improvement initiatives. McREL (2003)
 Model standards for school leaders from the Council of Chief State School Officers: In 1996, a consortium of 24 state education agencies and representatives from professional organizations created the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium and established standards for school leaders.
Moving toward substantive instructional improvement
Academic fashion held that reform and improvement models be used to foster instructional improvement, but these models are being largely discredited in favor of establishing "learning communities," writes education consultant Mike Schmoker. Rather than creating elaborate systemic plans, Schmoker argues that schools first face up to shortcomings honestly and then address the problems that are revealed. Phi Delta Kappan (April 2004)
 
   
  Better Data, Better Decisions for More Effective Leadership. How do you plan for engaging instruction, insure individualized learning, and build effective schools with strong leadership? The answer is the cutting edge software designed by Teacher's Pal, Incorporated: CLASS and the Effective Schools Monitor. CLASS is a seamlessly integrated instructional management system designed to help educators spend more time teaching and less time shuffling papers. With CLASS, educators can easily align instruction with state and district standards and accurately assess student mastery. The Effective Schools Monitor is a unique software program that enables schools to monitor the Leading Indicators of the Effective Schools Correlates in real time so that educators can easily quantify data-insuring early intervention and continuous improvement.  
 
 
Perspectives 
Opinion: Education schools must ramp up principal training programs
Some policymakers have suggested reducing licensure requirements for principals to encourage talented applicants from outside the education field to apply for principal positions. This may not, however, be the best solution in the long run, as the job requires a specific set of skills, according Eastern Michigan University Professor William J. Price. The pool of applicants will continue to shrink unless education schools step up training programs in crucial areas such as data management and instructional leadership, Price says.   Education Week (1/7)
Opinion: Current licensure system needs revision
The existing licensure system for educational leaders in many cases excludes talented applicants who don't have a background in K-12 education, says Frederick M. Hess of the American Enterprise Institute. States should relax some of the current rules and put in place a simpler system that allows schools to consider all candidates who can demonstrate they have the right set of skills for the job, regardless of background, Hess says.   Education Week (7/9)
 A manifesto for school leadership: The Thomas B. Fordham Institute advocates for the loosening of licensure requirements for principals and superintendents in its May 2003 report "Better Leaders for America's Schools: A Manifesto." The report was endorsed by numerous education leaders including Alan D. Bersin, superintendent of San Diego schools and Mike Feinberg, co-founder of KIPP.
Rod Paige shares his vision for leadership
U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige outlines his thoughts on leadership in an interview with Marge Scherer, editor in chief of ASCD's Educational Leadership. Paige, former superintendent of Houston schools, is the first education secretary to have come from the ranks of educators.
Commentary: Great leaders need time, rewards to create great schools
Education writer and teacher Patrick Welsh says the secret behind the success of Samuel W. Tucker Elementary, a Northern Virginia school where minority students excel on the state math assessment, is the principal's superior leadership. So why, he wonders, did the school system promote Cathy David to a central office job instead of leaving her in place to make a fine school even better?   The Washington Post (5/2)
Diversity remains absent in school leaders' ranks
Although the percentage of Hispanic students in Broward County, Fla., has risen to 23%, only 6% of school principals are Hispanic. In addition to advertising for candidates outside the system, Superintendent Frank Till hopes to create an in-house pipeline by increasing the number of Hispanic teachers.   The Miami Herald (free registration) (5/10)
ASCD Resources 
Books on professional leadership:
 Staffing the Principalship Staffing the Principalship: Finding, Coaching, and Mentoring School Leaders
 Leadership capacity Leadership Capacity for Lasting School Improvement
 Leadership for Learning Leadership for Learning: How to Help Teachers Succeed
 Keeping Good teachers Keep Good Teachers
Articles and research:
 Leading in Tough Times Leading in Tough Times
 What professional development structures? What Professional Development Structures Best Affect Classroom Instruction?
 Cost of teacher turnover The Cost of Teacher Turnover
 How effective are national board-certified teachers? How effective are National Board-Certified Teachers?
Additonal resources:
 Guide for Instructional Leaders, Guide 1: An ASCD Action Tool Guide for Instructional Leaders: An ASCD Action Tool
 The Principal Series Tapes 1-3 with Facilitator's Guide The Principal Series Tapes 1-3 with Facilitator's Guide
 The Teacher Series Tape 2 Teacher as Instructional Leader The Teacher Series Tape 2 Teacher as Instructional Leader
 Teacher-Centered Professional Development Teacher-Centered Professional Development

SmartStat 
26% of teachers surveyed in 2000 said they formally mentored another teacher. -- National Center for Education statistics  




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