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Medium 9781475816631

Practices of Successful School Leaders

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Dave Dolph
Stephen Grant

ABSTRACT: This qualitative research article examines successful school leadership at the level of school superintendent. The article offers practical suggestions to help practicing leaders in education.

Leadership is a discipline that has been studied to improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency. Owing to the attention and emphasis that education has been subject to in recent decades, the study of successful school leadership presents an area worth examining (Smith & Piele, 1997). Therefore, the research underpinning this article examined leadership behaviors of superintendents in school districts in Ohio who were judged to be successful by virtue of consistently positive student test results on state testing protocols.

Regardless of whether school organizations are in the United States or other countries, leadership is an essential factor that helps determine success or failure. Smith and Piele (1997) noted that effective leadership in school organizations has a positive impact on student learning. Without high-quality leadership, school organizations may flounder until they become obsolete, extinct, or irrelevant—terms that critics often use when discussing public schools in the United States and elsewhere.

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Medium 9781576753200


Keith Merron Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

THE ORIGINAL CONCEPTION OF THIS BOOK did not include interviews. Some colleagues wisely suggested, and I readily agreed, that interviewing people considered contemporary masters of our craft would give both weight and credibility to my thoughts, and even more importantly, offer insights beyond my own experience. How right they were! I have learned through my interviews more than I could have offered on my own, and have been inspired by their wisdom, for it points to many ways I can continue to grow myself as a consultant.

Going one step further, I also decided to interview people in positions of authority in organizations about what they seek, value, and appreciate in a consultant. I was particularly interested in their view of the best consultant they have ever worked with. In the end, I interviewed 14 masterful consultants and 10 clients to add to and deepen my own perspective on consulting mastery.

The process of identifying participants to interview was itself a learning process for me. I began by asking many highly respected and well-connected colleagues whom they consider a masterful consultant in our field. Each colleague gave me a list of people. At first, I took this at face value and believed that, if my respected colleagues believed these people were masterful, they must have something on the ball. However, in probing further, I discovered that this was not necessarily the case. I began to ask, how do you know these people are masterful? Almost in all cases their answer was the same. “Well, I know them by reputation. These people are known throughout our field as being great.” Again I probed further. “How do you know, I asked?” Almost all answers sounded like the following: “Well, I heard about them. I heard they do a good job.” Seldom did my colleagues observe these consultants consulting in the flesh.

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Medium 9781475817263

Communication Skills: A Key to Collaboration and Change

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: Communication is frequently identified as an essential aspect of leadership, an argument that is supported strongly by research regarding organizational change and leader effectiveness. This paper reviews that research and argues that this area of study should be formally addressed in preparation programs—for administrators and teachers. The paper also describes an on-going effort to develop communication skills as part of a university-based administrative preparation program that incorporates principles of experiential or problem-based learning and reflective practice.

The last few years have seen a growing interest in the reform of professional development programs (National Commission on Excellence in Educational Administration, 1987; National Policy Board for Educational Administration, 1989). Much of this reform agenda is prompted by the need for new forms of leadership to facilitate school restructuring. Those leaders who are most effective in promoting change–transformational leaders–work in different ways. They recognize the need to engage members of the school community in the process of change and are able to work collaboratively with others to achieve common goals (Leithwood, 1993; Tucker-Ladd, Merchant, & Thurston, 1992). As the leader’s role is changing, so too is our definition of school community. An African proverb is shaping our notion of school leadership as it becomes increasingly clear that success in meeting children’s educational needs does in fact require a strong and concerted effort on the part of the entire village. The concept of schools as organic structures, where leaders work in partnership with teachers, parents, and students, as well as with public and private agencies and organizations, represents a dramatic shift from the traditional bureaucratic and hierarchical models. In this changing context, effective leadership requires new paradigms and new skills. Preparing leaders for these changing roles also requires new approaches to professional development.

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Medium 9781475817430

Beyond Simulations and Case Studies: Improving Leader Preparation through Action Research

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub



ABSTRACT: This paper describes an instructional innovation using field-based action research to enhance program quality and better prepare future administrators at one university. Specifically, the paper describes the learning experiences of graduate students enrolled in a Supervision of Instruction class as they participate in a collaborative school/university project. Three questions were addressed: (1) as an instructional strategy, in what ways does collaborative action research contribute to students’ understanding, acquisition, and use of professional knowledge in educational administration?; (2) in what ways does collaborative action research address major criticisms of educational administration program content and delivery?; and (3) what limitations and/or challenges confront professors and students in programs that incorporate field-based action research into their curriculum? From data gathered in this study, action research appears to provide meaningful opportunities for pre-service administrators to test leadership theories against actual problems of practice. However, data also suggest that action research as an instructional strategy places new demands on students and instructors alike.

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Medium 9781475817232

Superintendent Behaviors and Activities Linked to School Effectiveness: Perceptions of Principals and Superintendents

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub



ABSTRACT: This article focuses on the behaviors, activities, and perceptions of superintendents in the creation of effective school districts. It also examines the principal’s perception of the superintendent’s role in leading a district to a state of effectiveness. School districts were viewed as macro social systems and school sites as micro social systems for purposes of this leadership study.

Excellence in public schools is high on America’s educational agenda. Across the nation, states are mandating school reform. Those chosen to lead schools as superintendents are challenged to develop progressive programs that will establish excellence in their school districts.

During the last half of the twentieth century, there has been an intensive search for effective schools; that is, schools that provide all students with a quality educational experience regardless of their background and socio-economic status (Berreth, 1991; Levine, 1991; Miller, 1983). Researchers have identified teachers’ high expectations, school climate, instructional focus, measurement of student achievement, and the role of the principal as instructional leader as effective schools correlates. The role of the principal as instructional leader has dominated the effective schools research findings (Bridges, 1982; Brookover and Lezotte, 1977; Edmonds, 1979; Edmonds and Frederiksen, 1979; Levine, 1991; Lezotte, Edmonds, and Ratner, 1974).

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Medium 9781576336823

Level 1: Grade School_H-K: Praxis I Commonly Confused Words

Ace Academics Ace Academics ePub
Medium 9781475824407

A Roadmap to Evidence-Based Education: Building an Evidence-Based Culture

Journal of Evidence-Based Practices for Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Ronnie Detrich
Randy Keyworth
Jack States

ABSTRACT: The emphasis on evidence-based interventions in No Child Left Behind and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act has created an unprecedented opportunity to ensure that all students receive the positive benefits of research-based interventions. Despite this legal impetus, the implementation of evidence-based interventions is not an entirely straightforward process. It is often mistakenly assumed that once an evidence-based intervention is developed, it will automatically be implemented in school settings. The purpose of this article is to propose a roadmap of evidence-based education that highlights some of the complexities of moving from research to practice. This roadmap illustrates the necessary and reciprocal nature of influence between research and practice if an evidence-based decision-making approach is to be widely implemented.

No Child Left Behind (2002) emphasizes the use of evidence-based interventions to improve educational outcomes for public school students. The stated goal of No Child Left Behind is that every student in America will be performing at the proficient level in reading and math by 2014. The emphasis on evidence-based interventions is clear throughout the legislation. References to scientific, research-based instruction occur more than 100 times. Similarly, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2005) encourages evidence-based interventions for students in special education. Specifically, it calls for preservice and professional development to ensure that teachers are able to use scientifically based instructional practices—such as early reading programs, positive behavior interventions and supports, and early intervention services—to reduce the need to identify students as being disabled in order to address their learning and behavioral needs. The individualized education program should include statement of special education and related services, and it should be based on peer-reviewed research. Clearly, the intent of the federal education agencies is to use evidence-based practices to address the academic and behavioral concerns of America’s school-age children.

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Medium 9781475824223

Educational Reform in South Africa: Decentralization and Parent Engagement

Journal of School Public Relations Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: The promulgation of the South African Schools Act in 1996 was a critical moment in the process of making a compromise between a centralized and a decentralized system. The act describes the establishment, membership, and responsibilities of school governing bodies as the vehicle for parental engagement and decision making. The article touches on five crucial assumptions that underpin the efficacy of the worldwide movement toward decentralized cooperative governance for schools, before proceeding to discuss two mandatory functions of South African school governing bodies—namely, those relating to policy matters and financial matters.

C onstitutional imperatives and transformational demands have placed huge responsibilities on the South African government and education departments to transform education and establish a democratic education system based on the recognition and fulfillment of human rights, particularly education rights, and the provisioning of quality education to all learners. Transformation on this scale is slow, pervasive, and ongoing: It happens at all levels of society, in all institutions, and among people—and it affects the lives of all people, influencing their mind-sets and attitudes. Thus, to give effect to transformation demands in education, public schools in postapartheid South Africa have been transformed into democratic institutions where principles of representation, participation, openness, and accountability are paramount in the quest for the realization of the best interests of the school and all its learners. It is against this background—and the demands and obligations placed on public schools to practice democratic school management and governance—that this article has been written.

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Medium 9781574411638

Section 3 Torpedoes and Mines

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Section 3

Torpedoes and Mines

Note: during the war, the term “torpedo” was generally used to describe both mines and torpedoes as we know them today. Following that tradition, the torpedoes and mines described in this section will be referred to as “torpedoes.”

The Confederates were forced to invest heavily in the development and deployment of torpedoes to protect their extensive ports and riverways. Confederates could not deploy enough ships, artillery, and men to defend the extensive river and coastal areas in the

South. Even in heavily defended areas such as Mobile, Charleston, and Wilmington, torpedoes added significantly to the threat to exposed Union ships and gunboats.

Initial efforts to develop Confederate torpedo capabilities were headed by Matthew

Maury,1 who is also credited with the design of several smoothbore bolts. After he went to England, Hunter Davidson was appointed as his successor and headed the program until the end of the war.2 It was a high enough priority that Lt. John M. Brooke, later famous for his cannon and projectile designs, designed several types of torpedoes and even a torpedo boat design. He designed an anchored swaying spar torpedo and a fixed bottom torpedo called a “turtle,” that was convex, so antitorpedo boats could not grapple it off the bottom.3 It was deployed together with his swaying spar torpedo, which was said to be one of the deadliest encountered by Union ships.

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Medium 9781475817508

The Values of School Administration: Preferences, Ethics, and Conflicts

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub



ABSTRACT: This article reports the findings of two studies focussed on the personal and professional values of school administrators. Two themes were employed as general organizers for the research: the influence of personal preference and trans-rational principles on the problem solving actions of school administrators and the value conflicts that administrators experience in their work. One study was conducted in Umea (Sweden), the other in Toronto (Canada). The conceptual framework integrates Hodgkinson’s (1991) values theory with information processing theory. Action research methods were adopted as a way of overcoming the special problems associated with conducting research on values. Findings suggest that administrators’ personal values are significant influences on problem solving. Specifically, the rational value types of consensus and consequences predominate in the valuation processes of school principals, personal preferences are infrequently articulated, and trans-rational principles are employed under particular circumstances.

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Medium 9781475825831

Experiential Learning in Public Relations Through Student-Conducted Research Assignments

Journal of School Public Relations Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Experiential Learning in Public Relations Through Student-Conducted Research Assignments

Ron Prindle

ABSTRACT: As the responsibilities of public relations practitioners continue to expand to include institutional research, it is essential for universities to develop programs that prepare practitioners for these new expectations. This article describes the development of an experiential learning course focused on research for future public relations practitioners who were enrolled in an innovative undergraduate-level public relations research methods course. As part of the course, the third- and fourth-year public relations students conducted action research for an actual client. Details are provided about the course, along with guidelines on how instructors should create, implement, and assess a similar course.

KEYWORDS: experiential learning, research, focus groups, public relations, educational methods, practice-centered curricula, public relations


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Medium 9781475824179

School District Responsibilities in Addressing Parental Involvement in No Child Left Behind

Journal of School Public Relations Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT : No Child Left Behind, Section 1118, Title I is devoted solely to parental involvement. Section 1118 requires school districts receiving Title I funds to develop and implement a written plan for parent involvement. Parental involvement is examined through teachers’ responses concerning their engagement of parents in student achievement. Results indicate that parental involvement decreases as students progress through school. District public relations departments and administrators have an obligation to develop a plan to train teachers in effectively working with parents, which will ultimately increase student achievement.

The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)—better known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), one of the nation’s most controversial landmark reform acts affecting education from kindergarten through high school—requires states, districts, and schools to involve parents in the education of their children and “to organize programs of parental involvement and to communicate with parents and the public about students’ achievement and the quality of schools” (Epstein, 2005, p. 179). NCLB is based on four principles that families, educators, and communities can utilize to improve teaching and learning; one of these principles includes expanded parental choice. In fact, “parents are mentioned over 300 times in various parts of the NCLB Act” (NCLB Action Briefs, 2004, p. 1), specifically in Section 1118, Title I, which is devoted to parental involvement. Owing to the nature and importance of parental involvement as a predictor for student achievement, school districts must make a concerted effort to reach out to parents and partner with them in the education of their children.

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Medium 9781475823882

Examining Boundary-Spanning Leadership in University–School–Community Partnerships

Journal of School Public Relations Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: This article examines the characteristics and influences of boundary-spanning leadership in university–school–community partnership contexts. To gain a clear understanding of the diffuse literature in this area, over 60 related articles and books were reviewed; common themes were identified; and emergent connections were drawn. The most common themes involved boundary-spanning leaders, who can hold both formal and informal positions in organizations—namely, they serve as bridge builders who help connect group members; they act as organizational information brokers; they have legitimacy and credibility in the eyes of a diverse array of constituents; they have a depth of knowledge about issues relevant to specific university–school–community partnerships; they possess and utilize considerable personal and social skills; and they move most freely and flexibly when solely devoted to partnership matters. After describing these themes, the article discusses their implications in partnership contexts.

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Medium 9781576336045

ACT Exam Essential Vocabulary: "P" Words

Ace Academics Ace Academics ePub
Medium 9781475824407

Establishing and Sustaining Statewide Positive Behavior Supports Implementation: A Description of Maryland’s Model

Journal of Evidence-Based Practices for Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Teri Lewis-Palmer
Susan Barrett

ABSTRACT: Supporting students with problem behavior continues to challenge public schools. Additionally, federal legislation and mandates such as Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act and No Child Left Behind have simultaneously increased schools’ requirements to support all students and decreased or strained limited existing resources. Faced with decreasing resources, schools require strategies and systems that are effective and efficient. Schoolwide positive behavior supports1 combine primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention interventions in a systematic way so that the school climate is positive and so that children who are at risk for, or already involved in, antisocial behavior receive specialized interventions. The key elements of schoolwide positive behavior supports include practices-supporting student behavior, systems-supporting staff behavior, and data-supporting decision making that result in outcomes of social competence and academic achievement. Systems approaches require designed and sustained implementation in schools. To achieve this goal, critical features that support large-scale adoption and systems are necessary to facilitate sustained use and so must be identified through research and evaluation efforts. The focus of this article is on describing the critical features of schoolwide positive behavior supports using Maryland as a working example of large-scale implementation.

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