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Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) is a leadership organization that offers deep research and practical guidance, which will help elevate the impact of any building or district leader.
Dr. Doug Reeves and his team provide one-to-one support for doctoral students through phone, Skype, or personal conferences. This is a completely free, non-commercial, and voluntary group dedicated to supporting doctoral students who want to finish their dissertation.
Access: Finish the Dissertation
Nancy Gutierrez, president and CEO of The Leadership Academy, a national nonprofit that supports and develops school and school system leaders, shares this article, where the first tip is: Build a strong team of people who don't think alike. (October, 2022)
A well-made principal pipeline can benefit schools and students, research has found. So how can school districts go about constructing one?
A study released July 28, 2023, Planning and Developing Principal Pipelines: Approaches, Opportunities, and Challenges, helps answer that. Led by researchers at Vanderbilt University, the study looks at the work of 84 medium- and large-sized districts that joined a Wallace Foundation-sponsored effort—the Principal Pipeline Learning Community—which offered guidance on the development of “comprehensive, aligned principal pipelines.” Such pipelines are “comprehensive” because their seven major parts, or “domains,” cover the range of leadership-strengthening actions districts can take, from setting apt standards for principals to providing them with strong on-the-job supports. The pipelines are “aligned” because their parts reinforce one another, so that, for example, the job supports reflect the job standards.
Through a survey of learning community participants and interviews with central office leaders from the districts that took part, the researchers found that almost all of the districts prioritized equity in their efforts. Nearly 90 percent of survey respondents reported that “building leaders’ skills to improve equity of student experiences and outcomes” and “increasing diversity of school leaders” were medium or high priorities for the use of their pipelines. Few considered these priorities “fully operational” in their pipelines yet, however.
The researchers also found that the districts worked on enhancing a number of key pipeline domains. Actions included revising and refining the leader standards the districts already had in place and offering new growth opportunities to those aspiring to the principalship. A number of participating districts widened the scope of their leadership work beyond principals to include teacher leaders and assistant principals.
The districts encountered several obstacles to their work, the research found. One was that addressing equity and diversity became difficult when district leaders lacked clarity about goals and when districts found themselves in politically charged climates. Another was that some central office leaders lacked sufficient time to work on pipeline activities.
The report discusses a number of supports and barriers to pipeline development. The establishment of a core team of central office staffers charged with running the pipeline was especially helpful, for example, as was firm backing for the work from the superintendent. Barriers included turnover in the central office among those with key roles in the effort, as well as lack of strong communication between various central office units (from human resources to curriculum and instruction), which stymied the interdepartmental collaboration essential to constructing pipelines.
The authors offer recommendations for other districts interested in creating or bolstering their pipelines. Among them: Consider using pipelines to cultivate principals’ skills in promoting equity and inclusion as well as to develop school leadership roles beyond the principalship.
By Michael Fullan, his 9-page article focuses on the strategic components of an effective district.
Learning Forward's site for professional learning supports for learning communities, leadership, resources, data, learning designs, implementation, and outcomes.
This system for teacher and student achievement was highlighted at the Governor's Symposium for Teacher and Principal Leadershp on August 3, 2012.
Access: The Tap System
The pandemic led schools to buy technology and other resources to support students. Do those solutions still fit your school’s needs?
Explore topics that support learning - school leadership, after school, arts education, and summer and extended learning time
Access: The Wallace Foundation
The role of school districts in improving school leadership.
School leadership is second only to teaching among school-related factors in its impact on student learning, according to research. Moreover, principals strongly shape the conditions for high-quality teaching and are the prime factor in determining whether teachers stay in high-needs schools. High-quality principals, therefore, are vital to the effectiveness of our nation’s public schools, especially those serving the children with the fewest advantages in life.