4778 Chapters
Medium 9781475820102

The New Instructional Leadership

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Richard Halverson

Jeffrey Grigg

Reid Prichett

Chris Thomas

The New Instructional Leadership

Creating Data-Driven Instructional Systems in School (2007)

ABSTRACT: The recent press for high-stakes accountability has challenged school leaders to use data to guide the practices of teaching and learning. This article considers how local school leaders build data-driven instructional systems to systematically improve student learning. Such systems are presented as a framework involving data acquisition, data reflection, program alignment and integration, program design, formative feedback, and test preparation. The article reviews data collected in a yearlong study of four schools to describe how leaders structure opportunities to engage in data-driven decision making.

In June 2005, the New York City Public Schools announced that fifth grade test scores had made impressive gains across the city—15.2 percentage points in math (for students testing proficient and above) and nearly 20.0 percentage points in reading. Some of the most impoverished, lowest-achieving schools were responsible for the largest gains. Although politicians and policymakers wrangled to claim credit or question the legitimacy of the results, school leaders, teachers, parents, and students offered a simpler explanation: hard work. But what did they mean by hard work? Leaders and teachers emphasized “a relentless focus on literacy and math” and a “ceaseless scrutinizing of tests, quizzes and writing samples” to understand what students did not know (Herszenhorn & Saulny, 2005). Others highlighted after-school tutoring and preparation, improved attendance, prekindergarten, smaller classes, fear of grade retention, community outreach, and intense political pressure to succeed. However, leaders, teachers, and parents could not “agree on any one primary reason for the gains.”

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Medium 9781475819168

Kaleidoscope Feature

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub

Kaleidoscope Feature

KELLY M. ANDERSON, DAWSON R. HANCOCK, AND VICTORIA P. JAUS

ABSTRACT: Since its creation in 1987, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) has implemented a national voluntary system to assess and certify teachers who meet rigorous teaching standards. Testimony from over 16,000 NBPTS-certified teachers has revealed that the journey toward certification is often difficult, time consuming, and resource intensive. To assist qualified teachers make this journey and eventually earn NBPTS certification, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation began in 1998 to fund the Charlotte Collaborative Project—a multifaceted initiative to improve teaching and student learning by helping teachers in the nation’s 12th-largest school district, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, earn NBPTS certification. The project was designed to serve as a prototype for organizations interested in fostering the objectives of the NBPTS. This article evaluates the project’s performance and offers recommendations regarding future efforts to support NBPTS goals and the needs of NBPTS certification candidates.

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Medium 9781935542001

Chapter 11 Reading With a Writer’s Eye

Timothy V Rasinski Solution Tree Press ePub

Ruth Culham

There they were: nineteen ninth graders suited up for the first home football game, squeezed awkwardly into their seats for my seventh-period English class. “Put your helmets on your desks,” I instructed, wondering how I was going to make it through the next testosterone-charged forty-five minutes. Surely the last thing on these young men’s minds was writing.

There must have been some wisdom in scheduling the entire football team into the same English class at the end of the day. I just had no idea what it was. This group was a challenge to motivate on a typical day, so it was going to take superhuman powers to pull off something good—even sorta good—on a game day.

After several unsuccessful attempts to engage students with paired readings, a routine activity for writing workshop, I grabbed a treasured book from my shelf—an autographed copy of Kavik the Wolf Dog by Walt Morey—and I asked the students to suspend their writing for the moment. “Just listen,” I said, hoping the book would do what I could not—focus and inspire my class. I began to read from chapter 1:

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Medium 9781936765171

3 Assessing the Performance of English Learners

Douglas Fisher Solution Tree Press ePub

Issues of accountability and assessment have become part of the daily discourse of principals. In fact, you may have turned to this chapter first, because you believed it unthinkable to separate the discussion of English learner issues from the measurement of their progress. For much of the history of education in the United States, however, that was not the case. Despite the fact that the United States consists of immigrants and their descendants, English language acquisition was viewed as an imperative for the child but not necessarily for the school. However, a series of court cases and statutes have shifted the responsibility to give assessment a prominent role.

Assessment for English learners requires attention to the whole child. A multidimensional approach is necessary in order for a true picture to emerge. This requires balancing large-scale assessments with individualized informal ones that highlight strengths, rather than simply catalog deficits.

• Haven’t English learners always been assessed?

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Medium 9781935249368

4 A Hunger for Knowledge

Phi Delta Kappa International Solution Tree Press ePub

Regular Kappan readers may remember two previous hunger-related cartoon collections: My Homework Ate My Dog and its sequel, My Homework Ate My Dog Again. In this take on the hunger theme, our cartoonists look at various aspects, from school lunches to those familiar “hungry for knowledge” breaks from academe: recess and field trips.

Speaking of school lunches, many of us remember the cafeterias of earlier times, when hair-netted lunch ladies of a certain age served up hot meals, and a cute grin could bag you an extra cookie. That recalls a story making the rounds about two little chums in the lunch line at a parochial school. When they came to a pyramid of bright red apples, they noticed a sign: “Take just one … God is watching!” Later along the serving line, they spied a mound of cookies. One little fellow elbowed the other and said, “Look! We can take as many cookies as we want. God’s watching the apples.”

These days, you can buy a prepackaged lunch from a franchise restaurant, snacks from vending machines, and a lunch lady action figure on the Internet. But before you do, check out the cartoons in this chapter.

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