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Reinventing Ourselves: Preparing New Leaders for the 21 st Century. MPEA Conference October 9, 2008 stozer@uic.edu. Starting Thoughts 1. My journey from Social Foundations to School Leadership: professional preparation and school outcomes Consequent limitations

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reinventing ourselves preparing new leaders for the 21 st century

Reinventing Ourselves: Preparing New Leaders for the 21st Century

MPEA Conference

October 9, 2008

stozer@uic.edu

stozer@uic.edu

starting thoughts 1
Starting Thoughts 1
  • My journey from Social Foundations to School Leadership: professional preparation and school outcomes
  • Consequent limitations
  • Relationship between work at UIC and at State/National Level (and consequent interference between the particular and the general)
starting thoughts 2
Starting Thoughts 2
  • Purposes (vs. discussions later today):
  • The argument for improving Leadership Preparation and Development
  • Where we are in Illinois efforts to improve Leadership Preparation and Development (www.illinoisschoolleader.org)
  • (Limitations of Illinois lessons for Missouri)
problem 1
Problem 1
  • For most Illinois school children, demographics are destiny. Why?
    • We are not implementing what we already know about creating successful learning environments for children and youth
    • The Edmonds postulate: How many schools do you need to see. . .?
problem 2
Problem 2
  • Increasingly, policy makers, funders, and legislators are looking outside higher education for the solutions to problem #1; “breaking the monopoly” of higher ed on teacher preparation and principal preparation; while developing accountability measures that exacerbate problems for higher education resources (ARC, TFA, NLNS, ACE, NCLB)
solution to both problems
Solution to both problems:
  • Addressing school leader programs NOT primarily to quantity but to quality, demonstrating improvement of student learning in pre-K-12 schools (“student learning focused” professional preparation)
    • Not because we have to, but because we want to (not compliance, but leadership)
using what we know
Using What We Know
  • The Urbanski postulate: SES vs. instruction
  • The NCTAF postulate: What Matters Most
  • The teacher learning postulate: most teacher learning occurs after certification
  • EOL postulate: quality of classroom instruction at the school level is a function of how schools are organized to support adult learning
corollaries 1 2
Corollaries 1 & 2
  • We know what successful low income schools look like.
  • The factors that these successful schools share in common are directly related to quality of school leadership (Effective Schools Research, Consortium on Chicago School Reform, Marzano’s Five School Level Factors, Mass Insight’s Turnaround Schools, etc.)
what we don t know
What We Don’t Know
  • Though we know that outstanding principals can “turn around” student performance school-wide, we don’t know:
    • That higher ed can produce such principals at scale
the unproven hypothesis
The Unproven Hypothesis
  • Higher education, working collaboratively with school districts, can regularly and reliably produce school leaders whose schools demonstrate sharply improved student learning where it is most needed.
origins of illinois task force
Origins of Illinois Task Force
  • (www.illinoisschoolleader.org)
  • 2002-UIC proposes new model to IBHE
  • 2003-Chicago OPPD formed
  • 2004-Illinois SAELP formed (Wallace)
  • 2006- “Levine Report”
  • 2006-IBHE Blueprint for Change
  • 2007-General Assembly Resolution
  • 2008-ISBE/IBHE ISLTF Report
tf recommendation 1
TF Recommendation 1
  • State policies must set high (outcome) standards for school leader certification that align principal preparation, early career mentoring, ongoing professional development, and master principal recognition with those standards, so that by 2013 all new principal preparation programs would be conducted in programs approved under these new standards.
implication
Implication
  • Our current approach to licensure is not adequate to the task.
  • Evidence: school performance in Illinois and Type 75 enrollments in Illinois (quantity limits quality)
tf recommendation 2
TF Recommendation 2
  • Formal partnerships must be established between school districts and principal preparation programs affiliated with state-accredited institutions to support principal preparation and development
implications 1 2
Implications 1, 2
  • higher education alone is not likely to get the job done (but is positioned to lead change).
  • our most important ethical obligation is not to the graduate student, but to the high school senior.
tf recommendation 3
TF Recommendation 3
  • Refocused principal preparation programs must demonstrate that they develop and rigorously assess in aspiring principals the capacities that are most likely to improve student learning in preK-12 schools. These capacities should . . .
tf 3 continued
TF 3 Continued
  • (a) form the heart of the new Illinois School Leadership Standards previously recommended and (b) reflect the vision of school leadership identified in the Illinois Distinguished Principals Program.
implications 1 21
Implications 1, 2
  • The burden is on higher education to prove the unproven hypothesis.
  • We know enough already about candidate selection and program design to prove the hypothesis; the obstacles are economic and political.
the problem of scale
The problem of scale
  • We have the opportunity to be more selective about who becomes a principal than about who becomes a physician
  • The scale of the problem is solvable if we manage our resources strategically
conclusions 1
Conclusions (1)
  • improved school leadership is the most powerful lever we have for improving student learning in schools because:
      • a. Quality of classroom instruction is the key to improved student learning, and . . .
conclusions
Conclusions
  • B. Quality of instruction at scale is a function of two things: what the teacher brings to the school and how the school is organized across all classrooms and grade levels for teacher learning
conclusions1
Conclusions
  • C. Strong school organization improves teacher performance and student learning dramatically, but requires capable school leadership;
  • D. The resources needed to improve school leadership at scale are manageable for two reasons: enormous resources are already being mis-allocated in Colleges of Education, and the number of school principals is comparatively small.
and finally
And Finally
  • The challenge is intellectual, practical, and political
  • Everything we know about change theory will need to be acted out on the larger state-level stage if we wish change at the school level
  • In the meantime, the unproven hypothesis must be addressed at the district/higher ed level