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Resources for Principal as Instructional Leader
"Leadership for Accountability" Research Roundup
For school leaders, the accountability challenge is three-fold. First, principals must lead their staffs in a search for instructional strategies that will meet the new expectations. Because so many of today's standards call for achievement that transcends traditional academic skills, the task requires significant teacher learning, not just better implementation of traditional methods. An overview of a number of important works addressing the school leader in today's highly accountable environment.
"Rethinking the Principalship" Research Roundup
This article from the ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management features information about how today's principals are expected to be both instructional leaders and able managers. Given the demands on the principal's time, much current discussion focuses on new ways to allocate the workload.
IEL's School Leadership for the 21st Century Initiative
The School Leadership for the 21st Century Initiative's mission is to spark and assist multisector efforts to develop policies and practices and create a new generation of education leaders. To achieve its mission, the School Leadership for the 21st Century Initiative will foster inter-sector relationships, bring greater coherence to these complicated issues and engage the public in addressing the leadership crisis. Some excellent reports, as well as links to on-going events at this site.
Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC)
The Consortium's vision of leadership is based on the premise that the criteria and standards for the professional practice of school leaders must be grounded in the knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning. The purpose of the ISLLC Consortium is to provide a means through which states can work together to develop and implement model standards, assessments, professional development, and licensing procedures for school leaders. The overarching goals of ISLLC are to raise the bar for school leaders to enter and remain in the profession, and to reshape concepts of educational leadership.
Isolation is the enemy of improvement: Instructional leadership to support standards-based practice
Instructional leaders must understand the demands of standards-based instruction and foster the conditions that support it. This book by Kate Jamentz of WestEd's Western Assessment Collaborative is designed to assist principals and teacher leaders in this effort.
Leadership for Learning
From the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, features back issues of the publication NEW LEADERS FOR TOMORROWS SCHOOLS, THE URBAN LEARNERS LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE, focused on closing the achievement gap.
Leadership for School Improvement
What kinds of leadership bring about meaningful and long-lasting school reform? Leadership for School Improvement probes this question and challenges educators to expand conventional notions of leadership. The report synthesizes some of the most current literature on leadership and offers ideas and suggestions. Fundamental change, according to the report, often requires leaders to question deeply held assumptions and long-term practices. This comprehensive report concludes that educators must reconceptualize leadership as something larger than one person with a specific set of traits or skills; it also involves building the leadership capacity of the community of teachers, students, parents and administrators.
Leadership: Critical Issues
The Pathways to School Improvement portion of the NCREL website has several articles on the theme of leadership, including building a vision, building a committed team, and creating high-achieving learning environments.
Leading School Improvement: What Research Says
Leading School Improvement: What Research Says by Gary Hoachlander, Martha Alt and Renee Beltranena, MPR Associates Inc, Berkeley, CA was supported by a grant awarded to the Southern Regional Education Board from the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds. This review of the literature presents much of the best thinking about practices that promote student achievement and their connection to educational leadership. It shows that there is a common consensus about what leaders need to know and be able to do to lead schools in which students are successful.
Mistakes Educational Leaders Make
A research summary offering six suggestions for avoiding career-ending mistakes: (1) evaluate and refine your interpersonal skills; (2) understand how you perceive the world around you; (3) don't let your past successes become failures; (4) look for organizational indicators that your leadership may be faltering; (5) be assertive in developing a professional growth plan; and (6) and recognize the handwriting on the wall by making the first move.
NASSP Professional Development offerings
The National Association of Secondary School Principals offers a number of resources for instructional leaders, and those aspiring to become instructional leaders. In addition to traditional offerings, the site offers 'virtual mentors' where you can ask questions of current school leaders.
National Institute for School Leadership
The National Center on Education and the Economy hosts this program, designed to effectively tran school principals to succeed in standards-based reform. A train the trainers model is used, and it is a combination of web-based learning and face-to-face workshops.
Northwest Education Magazine: The New Principal
Research tells us that principals are the linchpins in the enormously complex workings, both physical and human, of a school. The job calls for a staggering range of roles: psychologist, teacher, facilities manager, philosopher, police officer, diplomat, social worker, mentor, PR director, coach, cheerleader. This Spring 2000 issue of Northwest Education looks in on some of the Northwest's best -- principals who are guiding their schools toward excellence while earning the affection and respect of their staff, students, and communities.
Pathways to School Improvement Trip Planner Survey Tool
Trip Planner Survey Tool helps prioritize your use of resources within the Pathways website based on your responses to any or all of 11 surveys. Each survey comprises about 25 statements that invite you to think critically about the topic as it applies to your school or district. Based on your responses, the tool delivers a customized profile that suggests Pathways Critical Issues relevant to your needs.
Principals Share Strategies on Equity and School Reform
Principals working to improve the success of all students presented at the National Principal's Forum: Equity and School Reform on February 26-27, 1999, in Washington, D.C. Cosponsored by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, the Laboratory for Student Success (Temple University), and the Education Alliance at Brown University, the forum provided principals from across the country an opportunity to discuss, critique, and recommend actions to achieve equity and systemic school reform, improve student achievement, and meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population.
Role of the School Leader
A "Trends and Issues" summary by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management. Discussion of leading change, leaders as learners, providing the moral center, and responding to challenges.
The Strategies of a Leader
This ERIC digest provides a good summary of different strategic approaches to leadership. Included are hierarchical, transformational, and facilitative. A discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each.
David Conley (1996) has found that many school leaders have become ambivalent--sometimes even cynical--about the usefulness of vision. Yet experts continue to regard it as a make-or-break task for the leader. This 1997 Digest reviews the process and importance of vision to strong leaders.