Five Big Issues for Parents

Five Big Issues for Parents

This past week we conducted focus groups with one of the school districts that participated in our Parent Engagement and Satisfaction Survey in December 2009 which highlighted some exemplary education leadership and school leadership practices. The focus groups included over 100 parents from eight different public schools including a mix of elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.

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Calendar of Upcoming K-12 Research Projects

Calendar of Upcoming K-12 Research Projects

Each year, the National Center for School Leadership conducts a series of multi-district benchmarking projects working closely with district and school leadership. These benchmarking projects are designed to assist public schools and school districts to better understand their organizational strengths and weaknesses. By collecting data from a range of school districts, we are able to offer participants a truly objective analysis of their school and school district operations.

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The Good News and Bad News about Arizona Schools

The Good News and Bad News about Arizona Schools

The school year has officially begun across Arizona and the rest of the country. Discussion topics have shifted from vacations and summer camp to homework, school leadership and new teachers. Parents (and most likely your school administrator) have suddenly found new enthusiasm for carefully comparing notes on everything from math curriculum to testing policies. Parents agonize at length about whether their child's teacher is the best match to the needs of their children. No detail regarding the school, teacher or curriculum is left unanalyzed.

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360 Degree Feedback

360 Degree Feedback

Three-hundred and sixty degree feedback -- also known as multi-rater feedback -- is an excellent diagnostic and development tool for education leadership development with public schools and school districts. Not only do those who are new to educational leadership develop a more comprehensive and accurate self-image, the school leadership framework we utilize helps them develop a much deeper understanding of the commitments of leadership.

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Lessons for New Educational Leaders

I am often asked the questions "Can leaders be made or are they born?" This is a central theme that has spurred discussions, indeed arguments, among leadership experts always.

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Is ELearning For Teachers One Answer to School Reform?

Educational LeadershipSchool leaders face many challenges in today's education environment. As educational leadership is just coming to grips with the accountability components of No Child Left Behind, our new administration promises to create even more requirements for public schools.

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School Turnaround: Does it take an outsider?

Educational LeadershipSchool turnaround experts in educational leadership are becoming ever more popular in certain parts of the country. A recent NPR report on the use of Turnaround for Children in the Bronx provides an interesting overview on the situation creating this need as well as some insight into their approach.

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Transforming School Culture

In my work with schools in the area of education leadership, I have seen all forms of resistance to change. In some groups of educators, their focus on the status quo is difficult to spot which make it difficult for school leadership and educational leadership whose focused is on implementing best practices in education. The untrained ear hears rational, logical arguments for current methodologies and current approaches. We can be quickly lulled into tranquility ... and loss of action.

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In the Mind of Teachers: Measuring Commitment

Education Leadership and School LeadershipMany of my clients are masters of educational leadership and, as such, are anxious to learn about how their teachers really feel. Principals typically feel as if they know whether teachers are generally pleased or not with their current lot. But, if their teachers are unhappy, just how unhappy are they? If their teachers are highly committed, how highly committed are they?

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Top 3 School Culture Killers

Climate and culture within a school is often underrated as a cause of failure among our schools. Indeed most leaders -- and students of education leadership -- spend far more time focused on instructional related matters, educational leadership issues, personnel issues, bus schedules and even lunch duty. While these are all important aspects of running a school, many leaders spend little time truly understanding and actively managing school culture.

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Can Web 2.0 Break School-to-Home Barriers?

Many school leaders, district administrators and experts on effective educational leadership that I speak with spend a significant amount of time figuring out how to connect with parents. The research clearly indicates that parental involvement is critical to student success. And so, educators create elaborate (and often time consuming) ways to increase parent interaction with the school.

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Do we listen to teachers?

School Leadership and Education LeadershipI was speaking with the superintendent of a mid-sized district in the Midwest this week. He is an old friend and someone I regard as an expert in education leadership and school leadership.  We had not had a chance to connect in some time. He was updating me on developments with a school administrator in his districts and we were sharing thoughts on all manner of tangentially related topics.

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Principal Interview: Sheri Marcotte of Chapel Hill 7th and 8th Grade Center

School Leadership and Education LeadershipChapel Hill 7th and 8th Grade Center is a middle school on the west side of Indianapolis that was in need of a new school administrator. MSD of Wayne Township Superintendent Dr. Terry Thompson has overseen an impressive series of building initiatives which, most recently, included rebuilding the school into a state-of-the-art facility.

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Why Are Teachers Afraid of Being Heard?

Best Practices in Education Leadership“Response Fear” is a sometimes irrational skepticism of survey respondents who fear their loss of confidentiality. We can all imagine a scenario in which a feared school administrator (or a related school leadership position) uses survey data to explore the hearts and minds of his or her team.

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