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Medium 9781475816792

Teacher Evaluation in Indiana: Principals’ Use and Perception of Field-Based Practices

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Lori Boyland

Michael W. Harvey

Marilynn Quick

Youngkung Choi

ABSTRACT: Teacher evaluation is an important component of the education reform agenda. This study gathered and examined information regarding teacher evaluation practice in Indiana, which was needed before wide-scale implementation of new models mandated by recent legislation. Information was received from 477 principals regarding their current use and perceptions of effectiveness of summative, formative, and emergent evaluation methods. Elementary and secondary principals reported high use and effectiveness of many summative and several formative methods but reported low use of most emergent practices and disagreed that these methods were effective. Recommendations are provided to facilitate field-based support when implementing new models.

Teacher evaluation is an important component of the education reform agenda (Danielson, 2010; Duckett, 1980; Furtwengler, 1995; Hazi & Rucinski, 2009; McGreal, 1983; Stanley & Popham, 1988). Improvements in teacher evaluation systems were called for as far back as 1983, when the report A Nation at Risk spoke directly to the pressing need for effective teacher evaluation systems (U.S. Department of Education [USDOE], 1983). During the years following A Nation at Risk, states became progressively more involved in creating and implementing state-level policy for teacher evaluation (Furtwengler, 1995).

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Medium 9781475812015

Teachers’ Perceptions of the Ethical Leadership of Male and Female Headteachers in Ghanaian Basic Schools

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP R&L Education ePub

CLEMENT KWADZO AGEZO

ABSTRACT: The lack of ethical leadership is a pervading factor in today’s society. Although interest in ethical leadership has increased dramatically in Ghana as a result of the June 4 revolution by the military that preached probity, accountability, and integrity, ethics within the context of leadership has not been a subject of much discourse. Being a skillful school leader presumes the competence to judge the ethical consequences of actions. This implies a need for all school leaders to analyze values at stake and in turn reconcile didactic rationality with ethical rationality. This article examines the ethical leadership practices of male and female headteachers of basic schools in Cape Coast Metropolis. In sum, 571 and 14 male and 38 female headteachers participated in the study. Furthermore, 128 teachers evaluated the ethical leadership practices of male headteachers, while 443 teachers evaluated that of 38 female headteachers. The purposeful sampling technique was used to select the respondents. The independent t test was used to analyze the data. It was found that there was no significant difference in the ethical leadership practices of male and female headteachers in Cape Coast Metropolis. It was recommended that headteachers should uphold ethical leadership practices, as this is key in gaining cooperation and group cohesiveness toward the achievement of stated goals.

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Medium 9781934009314

Chapter 3 From System Effectiveness to System Improvement: Reform Paradigms and Relationships

Michael Fullan Solution Tree Press ePub

Sir Michael Barber

In the 1980s, a series of major reports from leading academics such as Michael Rutter and Peter Mortimore gave us for the first time a clear definition of school effectiveness. The picture they painted then has been refined somewhat in the decades since, but it has not been substantially altered. In the mid-1990s, the focus shifted from school effectiveness (what an effective school looks like) to school improvement (how to achieve effectiveness). Currently, research about whole education systems, not just individual schools, is reaching a similar point. We are becoming much clearer about what effective systems look like. The current picture will surely be clarified and refined in decades to come, but the central question now is this: What kind of reforms and what approaches to implementation will be most successful in enabling systems to achieve effectiveness? This debate is only just beginning, and there is much more to learn. The thirst for this knowledge in governments around the world is very great because a significant and perhaps decisive factor in the future economic and social success of countries is the quality of their education systems.

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Medium 9781935542728

9 Final Reflections From New Teachers

John C. Daresh Solution Tree Press ePub

The basic argument of this book is that the selection of new teachers is both a responsibility and an opportunity for a principal to move his or her school to excellence. Other members of the school community are also important partners in the selection of teachers who are likely to add to the quality of a school and help pursue its goals and objectives.

But the one voice not reported until now comes from the “customers” of the searching, interviewing, hiring, and supporting actions noted throughout the book. This last chapter offers comments often made by people who have gone through the selection process from the other side of the interview. Teachers who have recently gone through the frequently frustrating process of finding and getting a good job are full of stories about their experiences. The items listed here came straight from responses to the question, If you could advise the people who hired you in terms of what were (or what should have been) questions and issues to ensure that the best applicants for teaching jobs would be hired, what things would you suggest to improve the process?

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Medium 9781936763818

Chapter 13 Time for a Change

Ian Jukes Solution Tree Press ePub

We do not need to improve schools, we need to reinvent them
for our times. We need people who can think like children
.

—SUGATA MITRA

We regularly hear complaints from teachers, parents, and the media about how different kids are today, how differently they learn, and how differently they’re motivated. We hear criticisms that kids today can’t concentrate the same way the older generations can. We hear that kids today can’t even memorize the names of the states, the provinces, or their capitals. And yet, despite the complaints about what kids today can’t do, we continue to teach and test them the same way we always have.

Meanwhile, those same kids are thinking to themselves, “Why in the world do I have to remember the names of the states or the capitals when I can just use Siri or Google and get the answer in three seconds on my smartphone?” At the same time, many teachers are saying, “What’s a Siri?” And yet, the same kids who seem completely incapable of remembering the names of the states or the capitals can instantly and with enthusiasm tell you the lyrics of one thousand songs or the attributes of one hundred game characters.

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Medium 9780253006127

4 Becoming More Efficient

Robin K Morgan Indiana University Press ePub

MARCIA D. DIXSON

INDIANA UNIVERSITY PURDUE UNIVERSITY FORT WAYNE

One of the most lauded aspects of using technology is more efficient use of resources. Administrators, faculty and students seem to believe that technology can make better use of student time, better use of faculty time, and better use of resources (i.e., classroom space). Why, then, do we frequently hear faculty complain, “I have so much more to do! More email to read, more discussion posts to grade!” And students lament that now they have discussions during and beyond class time because we have extended their classrooms into cyberspace (without cutting anything else). The motto when using technology should be, “Because you can do something, does not mean you should do something.” Technology is a set of tools. The important thing is to choose the most appropriate tool and do not overuse it (i.e., if you only need to put in one nail, use a hammer - don’t buy a nail gun!)

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Medium 9781936764709

Chapter 5: An Assessment System for Modern Learning

Jay McTighe Solution Tree Press ePub

Consider trying this interesting and revealing action research process. Collect samples of the assessments that teachers in your school or district are currently using as the basis for evaluation and grading. Then present these to a panel of outsiders for review (such as educators from another school or district, parents, or community members), and ask them to tell you what they think your mission and desired impacts are, given what is being assessed. Do they see evidence that transfer of learning is valued or that transdisciplinary impacts and 21st century skills are priorities? Indeed, it is often the case that observers will detect a mismatch between stated impacts and the commonly used assessments. This action research process sheds light on a fundamental idea of backward design—that our assessments should closely align to our desired impacts. In other words, what we assess signals what we value. If we don’t assess it, then students are likely to see it as unimportant and won’t take it seriously.

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Medium 9781475819540

Preparing Teacher Leaders in a Job-Embedded Graduate Program: Changes Within and Beyond the Classroom Walls

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub

ALYSON ADAMS, DORENE ROSS, COLLEEN SWAIN, NANCY DANA, WALTER LEITE, AND ROBERT SANDBACH

ABSTRACT: This article presents findings from a study about the perceived impact of a job-embedded graduate program designed to prepare teacher leaders within the context of university–district–school partnerships. Study participants completed a 30-item survey about impact of the program on instructional practices, collaboration with peers, participation in teacher research, and acceptance of leadership roles. Survey results indicate that graduates perceived changes in their abilities and actions related to teacher research, instructional practices and curricular design, and teacher leadership as a result of participation in this graduate program. Results also indicated that graduates perceived that their actions as leaders have an impact beyond their individual classrooms and the children whom they teach. The study has implications for the development of graduate programs to prepare high-quality teacher leaders who lead within and beyond classroom walls.

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Medium 9781475827149

Design of Online Induction Programs to Promote Reform-Based Science and Mathematics Teaching

Teacher Education and Practice Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Design of Online Induction Programs to Promote Reform-Based Science and Mathematics Teaching

Gillian H. Roehrig, Joel D. Donna, Barbara L. Billington, and Mary Hoelscher

ABSTRACT: This paper describes an online induction program designed to support secondary science and mathematics teachers. Research shows that almost 50% of beginning teachers leave the profession within the first five years, and induction programs have been shown to have a positive effect on teacher retention. However, a singular focus on retention misses the critical opportunity to provide a bridge from teacher preparation to practice through sustained professional development for beginning teachers to continue to develop their instructional practices. We discuss the development of the online induction program through design-based research, sharing challenges and solutions that led to the specific components of the current Teacher Induction Network (TIN) program. In particular, we describe the use of video annotation tools that allow teachers and mentors to reflect directly on classroom practices asynchronously and without regard for physical distances.

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Medium 9781475811445

Leadership Program Effects on Student Learning: The Case of the Greater New Orleans School Leadership Center

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

KENNETH LEITHWOOD

BRIAN RIEDLINGER

SCOTT BAUER

DORIS JANTZI

ABSTRACT: Demonstrating the contribution of leadership development programs to student learning has become a problem of considerable recent interest to both school reformers and those attempting to improve how school leaders are prepared. This article describes an innovative approach to improving school leadership developed by the Greater New Orleans School Leadership Center. Longitudinal evidence from a four-and-a-half-year external evaluation of the effects of the center program on schools and students is summarized. Promising evidence of program effects are reported using state-collected achievement data and measures of student engagement with school collected specifically for the study in each leader’s school. The article highlights lessons from this case that may be of general value for others engaged in leadership preparation initiatives and their evaluation.

Evidence about the important effects of leadership on schools and students mirrors a widely held assumption on the part of the public that leadership matters a great deal to the success of most organizations. This evidence and assumption accounts for the unprecedented focus, at the present time, on improving leadership preparation as a central feature of school reform efforts (Young, Peterson, & Short, 2001).

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Medium 9781475811926

Principal Preparedness: Superintendent Perceptions of New Principals

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

MARTHA CRAY

SPENCER C. WEILER

ABSTRACT: National advocacy groups have undertaken significant efforts to define the performance capacities needed by principals to lead schools in this era of continuous improvement and accountability. There has been little articulation between the core skills essential to new principals and the leadership capacities of experienced peers. This study focused on the needs of new principals as noted by superintendents. This study posed an open-ended question to superintendents asking for a list of challenges observed in newly hired school principals. Superintendents identified three discrete areas of deficit: experience with and understanding of the range of demands faced by principals, understanding differentiated instructional practices and best practices, and functional use of personnel management strategies.

The national concern over the availability of high-quality principals has been framed by a broad spectrum of educational groups and advocates (Browne-Ferrigno & Knoeppel, 2004; English, 2004; Hess & Kelly, 2005; Lasley, 2004). The concerns range from a pattern of a shrinking pool of applicants to expressed concern over the preparedness of newly credentialed administrators to make a successful transition to school principal (Garrison-Wade, Sobel, & Fulmer, 2007; Goldring & Sims, 2005; Hess & Kelly, 2005; Levine, 2005).

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Medium 9781475811612

Creating Learning Communities in Low-Performing Sites: A Systemic Approach to Alignment

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

D’ETTE FLY COWAN

ABSTRACT : Creating learning communities in low-performing districts and schools is especially daunting in an era of accountability and standards-based assessment. This article describes research that informed application of Southwest Educational Development Laboratory’s Working Systemically model for increased student achievement. The article highlights 4 needs of low-performing districts and schools, and it describes actions to address these needs systemically while promoting a culture of collaboration and professional learning. It focuses on a process for alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment to state standards across levels of the local system. Finally, it discusses roles and responsibilities of external change agents in helping districts and schools learn to work systemically.

Since 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act has required schools to use evidence- or research-based approaches in their efforts to increase student achievement. An assumption behind this legislation seems to be that informing schools about what they need to do is sufficient; that is, schools can figure out for themselves how to do it.

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Medium 9781475815122

Stewardship as a Sense-Making Model of Leadership: Illuminating the Behaviors and Practices of Effective School Principals in Challenging Public School Contexts

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Sophia Marsh Masewicz

Linda Vogel

Stewardship as a Sense-Making Model of Leadership: Illuminating the Behaviors and Practices of Effective School Principals in Challenging Public School Contexts

ABSTRACT: This mixed methods study explored the behaviors and practices of effective school principals in challenging public school contexts. Participating in the study were principals and teachers from four schools serving high-minority and high-poverty students in an urban district that demonstrated high student growth as designated by the Colorado Growth Model (Colorado Department of Education, 2007). Findings of the nature, values, and beliefs of effective principals in challenging public school contexts around actions as a tenacious leader, collective efficacy, personal mastery, and critical theorist led to the development of a grounded theory of stewardship as a sense-making model of school leadership.

Public schools have played a major role in our democracy as institutions for the common good (Fullan, 2003). The nation has turned to public schools to address the social or economic crises of our nation. Confidence in the ability of public schools to provide a world-class education to all students has significantly declined (DuFour & Eaker, 1998). The excellence movement of the 1980s, the restructuring movement of the 1990s, and the current reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (No Child Left Behind Act of 2001) have failed to produce the results that citizens demand. We are at another crossroad in public education. The success of public schools will have a direct effect on the social cohesion of our country, the distribution of wealth, and the nation’s ability to compete in a global economy. Economic, social, and global conditions demand new skills of all students.

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Medium 9781475830293

Notes from the Editor

Journal of School Public Relations Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Notes from the Editor

SUSAN C. BON

In this issue of the Journal of School Public Relations, authors address an array of topics that impact the decisions made by public school leaders. As explained previously, the journal has expanded its scope to promote success in the increasingly competitive journal publication market and respond to emerging issues in education that impact school public relations professionals. This wider lens includes six critical areas that are central to public school and higher education administrators: public relations, school and community relations, community education, communication, conflict management/resolution, and human resources management. I would like to invite all prospective authors to consider how their scholarly work fits in the Journal of School Public Relations given the expanded scope of topics.

The scope of issues that schools are expected to address and manage has increased dramatically. Many of these issues present significant challenges and potentially lead to poor or strained relationships between schools and local communities. In particular, educators and school leaders must build positive relationships with parents and communities and find ways to bridge the divides between the school and community over complex issues. In this issue, the authors address many of the complex issues that potentially lead to disconnect between school and community and also provide thoughtful advice about handling these challenging issues emerging in our public schools and communities.

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Medium 9781936763771

Chapter 9 Planning Differentiated Instruction for Struggling Learners

James H. Stronge Solution Tree Press ePub

No two students learn in exactly the same way or at the same pace. And, since students learn at different rates and in different ways for different reasons, effective teachers plan for both academic enrichment and remediation opportunities for their students. For students who may lack the prerequisite knowledge or skills to fully benefit from classroom instruction, the teacher must provide time for them to learn the foundational material on which to build new learning and, then, extend that learning to maximize opportunities for gaining new skills (Stronge, 2007).

Unfortunately, attempts to provide remedial and supplemental instruction to students at risk of school failure have not been very successful, usually because remedial instruction pays too much attention to the deficits of low-achieving students and too little attention to making instruction meaningful (Good & Brophy, 2007). This problem can best be rectified by, first, acknowledging the learning needs of struggling students and, then, focusing on positive solutions to help them succeed. Planning differentiated instruction for struggling learners is based on understanding the characteristics of low-achieving students and providing recommendations for engineering instruction that can reduce students’ frustrations and stimulate their interest and success.

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