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LEADERS OF LEARNING . . . . Roger Breed Elkhorn Public Schools September 2006. MENTOR LESSONS . . . “There are no children that can’t learn, but there are some that need a little more time and a different approach.”

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leaders of learning


Roger Breed

Elkhorn Public Schools

September 2006

mentor lessons
  • “There are no children that can’t learn, but there are some that need a little more time and a different approach.”
  • “Every teacher can bring about high achievement if properly supported, involved and valued.”
the agenda
The Agenda
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • The Framework of Ideas
  • Changing Public Schools Perceptions
  • Moving to Greatness Through Professional Learning Communities
good to great companies
Good to Great Companies
  • Five years of research
  • Good to great results
  • Sustained for at least 15 years
  • Attained extraordinary results
  • “We believe that almost any organization can . . . become great if it conscientiously applies the framework of ideas we’ve uncovered.” - J. Collins
good to great level 5 leadership
Good to GreatLevel 5 Leadership
  • Ambitious not for themselves but for their institution and its success
  • Professional will
  • Personal Humility
  • Lincoln, for example
good to great first who then what
Good to GreatFirst Who, then What
  • Get the right people on the bus
  • Five basic characteristics
  • Then decide where the bus should go
  • Be Rigorous
    • When in doubt, don’t hire, keep looking.
    • When you need to make a people change, act.
    • Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems.
good to great first who then what7
Good to GreatFirst Who, then What
  • “In just one academic year, the top third of teachers produced as much as six times the learning growth of the bottom third”

-D. Sparks 2004

good to great confront the brutal facts
Good to GreatConfront the Brutal Facts
  • An honest diligent effort to determine the truth of the institution’s situation
  • Create a culture where the truth can be heard within the institution
    • Lead with questions, not answers
    • Engage in dialogue and debate, not coercion
    • Conduct autopsies, without blame
    • Build red flag mechanisms that turn data into data that cannot be ignored
good to great the hedgehog concept
Good to GreatThe Hedgehog Concept
  • The ‘one thing’
  • An understanding of what you can be best at (not a goal, not a strategy)
  • ‘We should only do those things that we can get passionate about?
  • Intersection of three circles
    • What you can be the best in the world at
    • What drives your “achievement” (economic) engine
    • What you are deeply passionate about
good to great the hedgehog concept10
Good to GreatThe Hedgehog Concept
  • Our ‘hedgehog concept’ in Elkhorn
    • We accept high levels of learning for all students as the fundamental purpose of our school and therefore we are willing to examine all practices in light of their impact on learning.
    • Elkhorn schools will:
      • Clarify what each student is expected to learn
      • Monitor each student’s learning on a timely basis
      • Create systems to ensure students receive additional time and support if they are not learning.
good to great a culture of discipline
Good to GreatA Culture of Discipline
  • Built around the idea of freedom and responsibility within a framework
  • Filled with self-disciplined people
  • No tyrannical disciplinarian
  • All adhere to the hedgehog concept, focused on the intersection of the three circles (BHAG’s)
  • Create a “stop doing” list and unplug anything extraneous
  • Cultivate a collaborative culture
good to great technology accelerators
Good to GreatTechnology Accelerators
  • A crawl, walk, run effort
  • When used right, technology becomes an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it
  • Disciplined action adhering to the hedgehog concept - make the software, the data warehouse, etc. work for your purpose - improving student learning.
good to great the flywheel and doom loop
Good to GreatThe Flywheel and Doom Loop
  • Transformation to great never is a dramatic/revolutionary event
  • Pattern of organic, cumulative processes with lengthy buildup
  • Avoids the doom loop which involves an attempt to skip the buildup
  • Alignment principally follows from results and momentum
  • Preserve the core and stimulate progress
  • Persist, persist, persist
changing perceptions

Changing Perceptions

Can Public Schools go from

Good to Great?

changing perceptions effective schools
Changing Perceptions. . . Effective Schools . . .
  • McREL “Effective leadership (Level 5?) can substantially boost student achievement”
  • Organizes to improve student learning (the Right People in the Right Seats on the Bus?)
  • Must be a commitment to student learning (Hedgehog Concept?)
  • Must have a collegial culture that confronts the brutal realities (Disciplined Culture?)
  • Must be sustainable (A PLC?)
mcrel s leader learner connection
McRel’s Leader Learner Connection
  • There is a “through” line from leadership to improved student learning - Leadership Matters!
  • Quantitative Analysis of 30 years of research
  • 21 Key Leadership Behaviors Correlated with Student Achievement
  • Effective Leadership is Situational
three leadership responsibilities and practices
Knowledge of CIA

-Is knowledgeable about instructional and assessment practices

-Provides conceptual guidance for teachers regarding effective classroom practice


-Monitors & evaluates the effectiveness of school practices and their impact on student learning

Three Leadership Responsibilities and Practices
three leadership responsibilities and practices18
Three Leadership Responsibilities and Practices
  • Culture - Fosters shared beliefs and a sense of community and cooperation

-Promotes cooperation among staff

-Promotes a sense of well-being

-Promotes cohesion among staff

-Develops an understanding of purpose

-Develops a shared vision of what the school could be like

leading the change in culture
Leading the Change in Culture

“Much change is structural and superficial. Transforming culture -- Changing what people in the organization value and how they work together to accomplish it-- leads to deep, lasting change.”

-Michael Fullan

instruction leadership using assessment data

Instruction Leadership Using Assessment Data

Waverly High School Principal

Dr. Phil Warrick

the task of the leaders
The task of the leaders….
  • To unify all educators in the SIP process
  • To address data driven needs
  • To practice collaboration school wide
  • To focus on teaching and learning
  • To access or create expertise on our staff
how we do this at waverly high
How we do this at Waverly High
  • May curriculum area meetings….
  • Assessment data reviewed by curriculum area teams…
  • Data indications written up…..
  • Data form handout.
data retreat early june
Data retreat, early June
  • Building leadership team dives deeper into data….
  • Team consists of: Principal, Asst. principal, Counselors, Curriculum area Chairpersons, Special Education Chairperson…
  • Data from curriculum meetings drives our search….Layering tells the story…
how do we layer data
How do we layer data ?
  • Divide and Conquer…different groups take different pieces of data…
  • Sample: Writing Data…boys lower than girls…what is the story?
  • Layers of data included: State Writing Score/ Grades in 11th English/ Previous Writing Scores/ Attendance/ Special Education Identification/ Free and Reduced info.
what did we find
What did we find ??

*For the class of 2007:

  • -in 8th grade 74.76% of the students made the cut-score
  • -in 11th grade 87% of the students made the cut-score
  • *21 students did not make state-wide writing cut-score; 13 of those students were sped and 2 were from the developmental handicap program.


  • *5 non-sped students were male.; 1 male was free/reduced lunch
  • *6 students had D/F semester grades
  • *6 students missed over 8 days each semester
sip plan developed or modified from this data
SIP Plan developed or modified from this data….

1. Research based interventions…..

2. Assessments that will be used to monitor effectiveness…..

3. Funding sources that will be used to implement the interventions….

4. Training and staff development necessary for these interventions…..

5. Identification of people responsible for these activities…..

some success stories
Some success stories….
  • Art teacher uses reading.
  • Social Studies teachers are exceeding expectations
  • Choir director has students do weekly journaling
  • Band students write critiques of their concerts and practice sessions
  • Building wide vocabulary practices are much better
  • Reading and writing is becoming a constant in all classrooms