Tagged “Principal Leadership”

Steven Weber

Common Core: An Educator’s Perspective

If the state of North Carolina decides to pull the plug on the Common Core State Standards, it will be a slap in the face to the teachers and administrators who have spent countless hours (most on their own time without reimbursement) preparing to implement the Common Core State Standards to maximize learning for 1.5 million students.

On June 2, 2010, the North Carolina State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) which were implemented during the 2012–13 school year. The CCSS represent K–12 learning expectations in English language arts and mathematics. They reflect the knowledge and skills students need to be college and career ready by the end of high school. Over the past few months, elected officials across the United States are beginning to question the CCSS. On June 4, 2013, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest posted a YouTube video outlining his concerns.

While standing in the car rider line at an elementary school, I was approached by a classroom teacher. She asked, "Are we going to align our curriculum, instruction, and assessments to the Common Core State Standards next year?" I replied, "yes." Then I said, "The Common Core is not going away." The teacher replied, "The Lieutenant Governor is discussing eliminating the Common Core." I replied, "Which Lieutenant Governor?" The teacher said, "The North Carolina Lieutenant Governor, Dan Forest."

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Klea Scharberg

Principals Shift Focus to Learning

Principals are key in providing strong instructional leadership as a path to student achievement. This clip provides tips and focus questions for principals working with teachers to ensure good teaching is matched by student engagement, meaningful tasks, and, ultimately, student learning. Learn more with ASCD Express.

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Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Make and Take the Time to Reflect, Refresh, and Recharge

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Summer for educators is often a time to look back on the past year—and look forward to the coming one. What worked, what didn't, and what will you change? Educating the whole child and planning for comprehensive, sustainable school improvement requires us to be "whole educators" who take the time to recharge, reflect, and reinvigorate. Where should we put our effort? What aspects of a whole child approach to education are most critical to us right now?

In this episode, we discuss educators' need to reflect on the past school year, refresh their passion for teaching, recharge their batteries, and look ahead to next year. Host Kevin Scott, a former history teacher and current director of constituent services at ASCD, is joined by

  • Peter Badalament, a former social studies teacher, English teacher, dean of students, and past president of Massachusetts ASCD. Badalament is currently the principal of Concord-Carlisle High School in Massachusetts and a member of ASCD's Emerging Leaders program.
  • Jason Flom, a former elementary teacher and current director of learning platforms at whole child partner Q.E.D. Foundation. At Q.E.D., Flom works with education leaders, educators, and students to build, inspire, cultivate, and sustain transformational learning practices that empower all learners. He is also a member of the ASCD Emerging Leaders program and a Board member of Florida ASCD.

Extend your reflection with the tools mentioned in the episode: the Edutopia article "Transformation Begins with Reflection: How Was Your Year," "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" (PDF) by Peggy McIntosh, and the Transformational Change Model. Both guests also recommend their favorite personal reading material, including

Refresh your personal learning with the summer 2013 digital issue of Educational Leadership magazine, available June 28. This issue gives you instant access to nearly 100 pages of practical tips and advice on how to refresh your personal learning, recharge your professional development, and get ready for the first days of school. If you do not currently receive Educational Leadership magazine, subscribe now to stay informed about new ideas and best practices for educators.

As educators, what strategies do you use to reflect, refresh, and recharge?

Chuck Bloch

Reflecting on Technology

I am a school principal. And I turned 50 recently. I know, it's just a number, but on watershed moments like these I find myself a bit more reflective than normal. Among many things, I have been thinking about how things have changed in my working life. I taught in the classroom for 11 years and have been in administration for 15 years now, and I can honestly say that it has been a great career so far. So many great people to work with and for, so many great kids and families, so many successes ... and an ever-increasing supply of technology to help me do my job. Technology has allowed me to enjoy access to support, instant and improved communication systems, information and professional development, motivating teaching strategies, and so on.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Take Action: Support Effective Professional Development and Evaluation

The Effective Teaching and Leading Act (S. 1063) was recently introduced by United States Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), and we need your help in getting your Senators to support it! The bill would help ensure that teachers and principals are effectively trained, mentored, developed, and evaluated through proven, team-based professional development strategies.

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Melissa Mellor

Teachers and Principals Can’t Do It Alone

"As long as some children are routinely assigned the least-prepared teachers, attend schools in disrepair, make do with outdated technology and instructional materials, and have limited access to a broad and rich curriculum, our nation is still at risk," writes ASCD Executive Director and CEO Gene R. Carter in his recent column.

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William Sterrett

Merging Innovation and Accountability: Leading Through School Improvement Planning

Two powerful and seemingly competing themes dominate today's educational landscape: innovation and accountability. Many educational leaders are drawn to the promise and potential of new ideas and technologies while working in the reality of an age of high-stakes tests. Although some see this as a historical pendulum swing from one end to another, educational leaders might instead see the two as intertwined. Principals are uniquely poised to help bring these two facets together in a way that benefits students and staff alike.

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Kay Wejrowski

It’s All About the Leadership

Recently, I dropped off more than 100 certificates for our principal, Mat McRae, to sign for winners in our high school's March Into Reading challenge. For the contest, students could draw or paint a new cover for their favorite book; create a book out of metal, wood, clay, or the medium of their choice; or create a graphic design that promotes reading. When all the entries were in, we had nearly 300 projects to judge, out of a school of 650 students. Our principal's response to the overwhelming participation in our school was, "It's all about the leadership."

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Paula Mirk

Set an Authentic and Respectful Tone at the Top

"Tone at the Top" is a key research finding from our Schools of Integrity research project, so we know the vital part leadership plays in the process of building school cultures. Having worked frequently with great school principals who are deliberate and responsible about that role, there are specific qualities we now look for in leadership at our participating Ethical Literacy schools.

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Mark Hyatt

Leaders Must Earn Their Stripes Every Day

As a former Air Force squadron commander and Vice Commandant of the U.S. Air Force Academy, believe me, I had already been through a lifetime's worth of leadership training when I moved into the civilian sector as a K–12 school superintendent in 2002. Looking back, however, I must admit that the most challenging leadership issues I have ever faced easily occurred in the last decade.

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