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Leadership Links

March - April 2005

Leadership LinksArchives


Welcome to ECS Leadership Links, a bimonthly e-mail publication with links to key information on education leadership.

COLORADO school leader Monte C. Moses, superintendent of the Cherry Creek School District in suburban Denver, is the 2005 National Superintendent of the Year.

In VIRGINIA, city and state educators are joining with the Council of the Great City Schools to help shape district and state leadership goals.

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As a result of its recent 2005 NATIONAL EDUCATION SUMMIT ON HIGH SCHOOLS, the National Governors Association (NGA) has released an "Action Agenda for Improving America's High Schools" with a focus on leadership. The agenda goals include assuring that teachers and principals have the necessary knowledge and skills, and offer incentives to attract and retain the best and brightest to the neediest schools and subjects.

School district leaders can gauge the health of their schools by cutting through the blizzard of statistics burying them to focus on a few KEY INDICATORS, according to a new report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education. The report lists "seven essential pieces of information" ranging from student test scores to teacher turnover to funding equity.

This collection of four articles covers topics related to the SUPERINTENDENCY, such as: superintendent vacancies and the challenge they pose to big-city boards; compensation and contracts; the interim superintendent, and the specialized needs of aspiring urban superintendents.

This first in a series of publications probing how leadership can best promote STUDENT LEARNING concludes that leadership not only matters - it is second only to teaching among school-related factors. Further, its impact on student learning tends to be greatest in schools where the learning needs are most acute.

This new report from Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) examines the degree to which standards that 40 states have adopted for administrator preparation and licensure are aligned with McREL's research on effective school leadership. The report also examines the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards in light of findings from McREL's recent study of principal leadership, as captured in the BALANCED LEADERSHIP Framework™.

A new report led by Arthur E. Levine, the president of Teachers College, Columbia University, offers a candid assessment of leadership PREPARATION PROGRAMS. Drawing from a four-year study of leadership programs at schools of education across the country, the report provides insights into the ways in which those programs operate, the incentives that drive them, and the steps that must be taken if they are to improve.

Based on the Harvard Business Review article "Seven Surprises for New CEOs", EdWeek commentator Patrick F. Bassett offers his own reading of ON-THE-JOB SURPRISES for new school leaders and shows that the challenges of the business world closely resemble those faced by school leaders.

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The latest edition of this series publication summarizes recent research on the nature, structure and responsibilities of SCHOOL LEADERSHIP; the effect of principals' and superintendents' work on student learning; and the effectiveness of existing professional standards for school leaders.

New energy and resources are emerging for policy discussions about the aspects, types and styles of leadership that lead to effective school practices. Some of these EMERGING ISSUES include standards for defining high-quality leaders, distributed leadership approaches and school leaders' influence in the creation of a school culture conducive to teaching and learning. Each of these topics is explored in this paper, supported by MetLife Foundation, and provides a snapshot of the recent research and literature. Several promising examples of state and district activities also will be described.

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The Education Commission of the States is pleased to announce its 40th annual NATIONAL FORUM ON EDUCATION POLICY, to take place July 12-15 in Denver, Colorado, at the Adam's Mark Hotel. Stay tuned to ECS' Web site for ongoing information.

MetLife Foundation has awarded the Education Commission of the States (ECS) a $350,000 grant to create a toolkit that will identify and promote promising models of school and district leadership. The toolkit will contain a variety of resources and provide a step-by-step guide for implementing effective LEADERSHIP PRACTICES. It will be developed from knowledge gained through site visits to selected states and districts, focus groups, and interviews with superintendents, principals, teachers, community leaders and students. While the toolkit will be applicable to leaders at all levels within education systems, it will be designed primarily to help state policymakers and district leaders understand and promote promising leadership models designed to improve teaching and learning environments and increase student achievement. Stay tuned to the ECS leadership page and to this newsletter for updates!

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You may not know that ECS' LEADERSHIP ISSUE SITE provides a variety of information around five issues related to education leadership: recruitment and retention of highly qualified and diverse principals and superintendents; preparation and professional learning of principals, superintendents and school board members; licensure and certification and the accreditation system for education leaders and preparation institutions that serve the hiring and personnel needs of schools and districts; compensation structures and practices for school leaders; and quality and evaluation. You also will find sample state policies, research summaries, selected readings and links to related Web sites and information on national projects.

e-LEAD, a new online resource, is designed to provide easy-to-read, easy-to-access information on the DEVELOPMENT OF SCHOOL LEADERS in three parts: professional development programming, a programs database and a leadership library.

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To read more about Leadership, visit the ECS Issue Site on Leadership.

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