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Exercising Leadership for Systems Change. National Summit on Educator Effectiveness April 29, 2011 Circe Stumbo, President, and Deanna Hill, Senior Policy Analyst, West Wind Education Policy. Who We Are.

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exercising leadership for systems change

Exercising Leadership for Systems Change

National Summit on

Educator Effectiveness

April 29, 2011

Circe Stumbo, President, and Deanna Hill, Senior Policy Analyst, West Wind Education Policy

who we are
Who We Are
  • West Wind Education Policy Inc. is based in Iowa City, IA; our work is national in scope
  • We work to build capacity of state leaders to imagine and enact a public K-12 education system that overcomes historic and persistent inequities and engages each and every child in learning
questions we ask
Questions We Ask
  • What is the role of policy?
    • What policies do we believe will impact systems change?
  • What is the role of leadership?
    • How do we exercise leadership to impact systems change?
themes from this morning
Themes from this morning
  • We have policies we need, but we aren’t taking advantage of them
  • There are policies in our way—or we perceive they are in our way
  • We need to create new policies
  • Our mindset about what “school” is limits us
questions we ask1
Questions We Ask
  • What is our vision for learning, teaching, and leading?
  • What does it mean to be effective within the system we envision?

What does effective learning, teaching, and leading look like?

questions we ask2
Questions We Ask
  • If we all agree on the vision…how do we get from here to there and take it to scale?
  • How do you change a system that has to keep moving?

(Can’t write a regulation and wave a wand and suddenly be there)

questions we ask3
Questions We Ask
  • What are the components of a system to support educator effectiveness?
  • How do our education workforce policies help to achieve that vision (or hinder)?
  • What is the role of the state?
who we draw on when helping states answer those questions
Who We Draw On When Helping States Answer Those Questions
  • Learning organizations (Senge) and systems thinking (Wheatley)
  • Adaptive leadership (Heifetz)
  • Implementation Science and Scaling Up (Fixsen & Blasé)
  • Critical Race Theory (Ladson-Billings & Tate)
  • Direct Action Organizing (Midwest Academy)

Gene Wilhoit said:

    • “We are facing systemic challenges”
    • “We need to address them systemically”
  • Do you agree?
  • What does that mean for your work?


Key State Challenges Identified at the Summit

  • Articulating a coherent and comprehensive vision that drives the work
  • How to shift the leading drivers for reform
  • Leading through resistance to change
possible scee steps
Possible SCEE Steps
  • Work through SCEE to articulate a common vision
    • Encompassing a “21st century” vision of learning, teaching, and leading
    • Providing a beacon, more than just the technical aspects of the system
  • Resources: NCTAF, Houle, SCEE, CCSSO, states, Fullan,....
addressing the challenges1

Addressing the Challenges

Strategically Choosing Lead Drivers for Reform

fullan s wrong drivers
Fullan’s Wrong Drivers
  • “‘Whole system reform’ is the name of the game and ‘drivers’ are those policy and strategy levers that have the least and best chance of driving successful reform.”

Source: Michael Fullan, Choosing the Wrong Drivers for Whole System Reform, page 3..

fullan s wrong drivers1
Fullan’s Wrong Drivers
  • “A ‘wrong driver’ then is a deliberate policy force that has little chance of achieving the desired result, while a ‘right driver’ is one that ends up achieving better measurable results for students.”

Source: Michael Fullan, Choosing the Wrong Drivers for Whole System Reform, page 3.

fullan s wrong drivers2
Fullan’s Wrong Drivers

1. Accountability vs capacity building;

2. Individual vs group solutions;

3. Technology vsinstruction;

4. Fragmented strategies vsintegrated or systemic strategies.

Source: Michael Fullan, Choosing the Wrong Drivers for Whole System Reform.

fullan s wrong drivers3
Fullan’s Wrong Drivers
  • “The four ‘wrong drivers’ are not forever wrong. They are just badly placed as lead drivers. The four ‘right drivers’ – capacity building, group work, pedagogy, and ‘systemness’ – are the anchors of whole system reform.”

Source: Michael Fullan, Choosing the Wrong Drivers for Whole System Reform, page 5.

possible next steps
Possible Next Steps
  • Work through SCEE to better understand Fullan’s drivers and how strategically to shift the conversation about the drivers for reform
  • Join in SCEE sub-group “deep dives” to work together to design a common, cross-state, whole system reform programs
addressing the challenges2

Addressing the Challenges

Resistance to Change

leading through resistance
Leading Through Resistance
  • West Wind builds our work on the principles of Adaptive Leadership™ expanded from Heifetz and Linsky.
  • We ask, “How might we forecast and diagnose resistance in order to help the system to change?”
why do people resist change
Why Do People Resist Change?
  • People by and large do not resist change—they resist:
    • Loss
    • Disloyalty
    • Incompetence
    • Uncertainty

















Challenging and re-defining

… who I am, what I believe

… what makes my life or my work meaningful

… what I know how to do

engenders a sense of incompetenceabout new processes, content, and behavior


The process of becoming different can involve disloyalty

  • The notion of the loss of one’s identity and becoming uncomfortable may feel like abandonment of and disloyaltyto:
    • People
    • Concepts and Ideas
    • Practices
  • What if what we do doesn’t work?

(… especially when what we have been doing worked for most of us)

  • What if there is no research base?
other possible solutions

Other Possible Solutions

Potential Cross-State

Deep-Dive Actions

through SCEE

possible deep dives
Possible Deep Dives
  • Marketing: Holding up real life examples of ways to achieve our vision
  • Systems change study group
    • Systems thinking
    • Adaptive leadership
    • Implementation capacity
    • Scaling up
questions we ask4
Questions We Ask
  • What is *my role* in exercising leadership for educator effectiveness?
  • What changes am *I willing to undergo* to improve student performance?
  • What is it about *my own thinking* that allows the system to persist?
questions we ask5
Questions We Ask
  • What are our beliefs about the role of the state in promoting educator effectiveness?
  • What is the state responsibility?
  • Who do we need to engage? Why?
questions we ask6
Questions We Ask
  • What do we want the state department to do?
  • What capacity do we have and what capacities can we develop?
West Wind Education Policy, Inc.



Email: westwind@westwinded.com

Address: 1700 S. First Avenue, Suite 17

Iowa City, IA 52240-6036

Website: www.westwinded.com