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Ellen Goldring Department of Leadership, Policy & Organizations

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  1. Leadership for Learning: Assessing Behaviors that Matter Most Ellen Goldring Department of Leadership, Policy & Organizations Peabody College, Vanderbilt University

  2. Agenda • What is learning-centered leadership? What should we evaluate school leaders on? • What behaviors and actions can we take? How can we approach school improvement?

  3. “So after a day in which I was part cafeteria manager, registrar, disciplinarian, social worker, procurement officer, nurse, human resources officer, and chief financial officer of a multi-million-dollar budget, I took some time to reflect on the primary job I have ahead of me this year: being the instructional leader of a school that must raise its test scores by 10 percentage points across the board, or face increased sanctions under the federal No Child Left Behind Law.” http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14442740 - Principal Lisa Moreno, one of 170 new principals in the Chicago public school system this year. Since 2004, more than 350 of the school system's principals have retired. Like Chicago, many other school systems across the country are facing the same turnover, as baby boomer principals near retirement age.

  4. How do principals spend their time? • Political Leadership (community) • Managerial Leadership (building, finances, paperwork) • Instructional Leadership • Planning/setting goals • Own professional development • Other

  5. How principals report spending their time: Spring 2005. Based on 5 log reports

  6. Principals spend 12-20% of their time doing instructional leadership S05 F05 W06 S06 F06 W07 S07

  7. “The first step in learning, I decided was unlearning, casting off old habits and assumptions. No one had ever explained this to me. . . the unlearning happened by necessity, almost by force.” J. R. Moehringer, The Tender Bar

  8. Learning–Centered Leadership • Staying consistently focused on learning, teaching, curriculum, and assessment • Making all the other dimensions of schooling (e.g., administration, organization, finance) work in the service of improved student learning

  9. School Effect? • Classroom? • Teacher? • The Student? • Consistent-Coherent-Planned • School-wide priorities, culture, practices, procedures, programs –everywhere, everyplace, everyone • NOT pockets of excellence

  10. Leadership Behavior Framework

  11. Learning Centered LeadershipCore Components I. Vision for Learning: High Standards II. Quality Instructional Program III. Rigorous Curricular Program IV. Culture of Learning and Professional Behaviors • Connections to External Communities • Performance Accountability

  12. I. Vision for Learning: High Standards High Standards for Student Learning—There are individual, team, and school goals for rigorous student academic and social learning. A. Developing vision B. Articulating vision C. Implementing vision D. Stewarding vision

  13. Actions Clearly guides and drives actions and decisions High standards for all students Rigorous learning goals Accountability Involvement of the whole school community Measurable goals for student learning and academic progress. Guides the daily practices and decisions of all stakeholders Unity and clarity of purpose Learning focus for all –teachers too

  14. II. Quality Instructional Program Quality Instruction (pedagogy)—There are effective instructional practices that maximize student academic and social learning. A. Knowledge and involvement B. Hiring and allocating staff C. Supporting staff D. Instructional time

  15. Actions Quality Instruction and Time Support teachers and provide feedback to improve instruction Ensure all students have access to high quality instruction; opportunity to learn Extended and ongoing learning opportunities (after school, Saturday, tutoring) Focus on actions and strategies (differentiated instruction, flexible grouping and reteaching)

  16. III. Rigorous Curricular Program Rigorous Curriculum (content)—There is ambitious academic content provided to all students in core academic subjects. A. Knowledge and involvement B. Expectations, standards C. Opportunity to learn D. Curriculum alignment

  17. Actions Rigorous academic content standards Provide depth and specificity High cognitive demand Coherence and alignment across grade levels and subjects Coordination Do not adopt any program or idea—focus on strategies and interventions that connect and are consistent

  18. IV. Culture of Learning and Professional Behavior There are integrated communities of professional practice in the service of student academic and social learning. There is a healthy school environment in which student learning is the central focus. A. Professional development B. Communities of professional practice C. Learning environment D. Personalized environment E. Continuous improvement

  19. Actions • Implements programs to build a culture of learning • Discusses a culture of learning and professionalism with faculty • Monitors the culture through data

  20. Actions Culture of support and responsiveness Collaborative cultures, community of learners Professional communities focused on student learning, de-privatized practice and reflective dialogue Effective professional communities are deeply rooted in the academic and social learning goals of the schools

  21. Examples: Teacher High Expectations

  22. V. External Communities Connections to External Communities—There are linkages to family and/or other people and institutions in the community that advance academic and social learning. A. Stakeholder engagement B. Diversity C. Environmental context

  23. Original: Parents support the school and help achieve the mission • Current: Expanded role for parents, families and the community • Authentic engagement and involvement • Focus on academic and learning • Open and increased two-way communication • Collaboration and partnerships (Center on Family, School, and Community Partnerships, John Hopkins University)

  24. Examples: Home-School Relationships

  25. VI. Performance Accountability Assessment Program Leadership holds itself and others responsible for realizing high standards of performance for student academic and social learning. There is individual and collective responsibility among the professional staff and students. A. Knowledge and involvement B. Assessment procedures C. Monitoring instruction and curriculum D. Communication and use of data

  26. Actions: Actions of Frequent Monitoring Identify individual students who need remedial assistance Tailor instruction to individual students’ needs, identify and correct gaps in the curriculum Improve or increase the involvement of parents in student learning Assign or reassign students to classes or groups Use data to help teachers identify areas where they need to strengthen content knowledge or teaching skills. In other words, monitoring is used to focus professional development What do students need to know and be able to do: (what) How will we know when they know it: Formative assessments and student work

  27. Examples: Frequent Monitoring of Student Learning • Multiple types and sources of data : teacher record-keeping, formative assessments, student work products, criterion-referenced tests, and standardized measures of student performance. • Direct observations in classrooms. • Disaggregate information on the important conditions and outcomes of schooling (e.g., program placement of students, test results) by relevant characteristics of students (e.g., gender, race, social class). • Tight alignment between local school-based and external assessments

  28. Leadership Behavior Framework

  29. Definitions of Key Processes Planning—Articulate shared direction and coherent policies, practices, and procedures for realizing high standards of student performance. Implementing—Engage people, ideas, and resources to put into practice the activities necessary to realize high standards for student performance. Supporting—Create enabling conditions; secure and use the financial, political, technological, and human resources necessary to promote academic and social learning. Advocating—Promotes the diverse needs of students within and beyond the school. Communicating—Develop, utilize, and maintain systems of exchange among members of the school and with its external communities. Monitoring—Systematically collect and analyze data to make judgments that guide decisions and actions for continuous improvement.

  30. Advocating: Actions Advocating—Promotes the diverse needs of students within and beyond the school. • Promotes avenues for reaching families who are least comfortable at school • Challenges others who blame others for student failures • Advocates that all students achieve at high levels • Challenges faculty to teach a rigorous curriculum to all students

  31. Supporting: Resource Acquisition and Use Supporting—Create enabling conditions; secure and use the financial, political, technological, and human resources necessary to promote academic and social learning A. Acquiring resources B. Allocating resources C. Using resources

  32. Actions • Ensures teachers have materials necessary for a rigorous curriculum • Allocates resources based on needs • Allocates resources to build student learning and culture • Partners with external agencies to secure resources • Uses resources to develop parent partnerships

  33. Leadership Behavior Framework

  34. Principals Assessment • Why a new assessment?

  35. The Need for a Valid and Reliable Principal Leadership Assessment Tool • Virtually every school district in the United States (N = 14,000 school districts and over 90,000 schools) requires some form of evaluation of its principals. • Many states and districts have developed their own leadership assessment tools. • Our analysis of the assessments with large urban school districts indicates that few have a conceptual framework based on how leaders improve student learning, nor have they been validated for their intended uses.

  36. Comparing Sampled Evaluations with the Learning-Centered Core Components

  37. Comparing Sampled Evaluations with the Learning-Centered Core Components

  38. Comparing Sampled Evaluations with the Learning-Centered Core Components

  39. Comparing Sampled Evaluations with the Learning-Centered Core Components

  40. From the sampled principal leadership assessment instruments, we find: • Various levels of specificity • Wide spread of assessed areas • Limited depth • Locally designed procedures for growth and development • More on knowledge and skills, less on behavior • Lack of consistent focus on school performance as measured by student achievement • No psychometric development or reporting