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State (IN) to revamp its school principal certification exam

State (IN) to revamp its school principal certification exam | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Indiana is poised to dramatically overhaul the way it determines whether educators are qualified to become principals.


No Multiple Choice


Starting in the fall of 2013, Indiana will abandon its mostly multiple-choice test to receive the administrator license required to become a principal or vice principal.


Case Study Approach


Instead, the new test will feature "real practical, applicable scenarios -- case-study kinds of things -- that actually show that you know what you're talking about," said Marg Mast, director of educator effectiveness and leadership in Indiana's state department of education.


More States to Follow


Several states are discussing the idea of creating a new principal certification test, but Indiana is the only one currently doing so, according to Ben Fenton, co-founder and chief strategy and knowledge officer of New Leaders, a national non-profit that trains school leaders.


The Difference Maker


Principal effectiveness accounts for 25 percent of a school's impact on student gains, while teacher effectiveness accounts for 33 percent.


Pearson Designs Test


Indiana's new test is under development with New Jersey-based Pearson Education, which is a major national player in standardized testing for students and future teachers alike.


Pearson, which already creates teacher certification tests for 17 states, says it hopes the exam will become the new standard across the country.


Quote


Successful leaders are "not just those who know how to use data. They also have this sense of urgency. That's something that's beyond a set of skills and competencies."--Gary Crow, chair of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies department at Indiana University

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Leading Schools
Improving Schools Through Enhanced Leadership
Curated by Mel Riddile
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Leading Success: Dynamic Solutions for Every School, Each Student

Leading Success: Dynamic Solutions for Every School, Each Student | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Our toolkit for educators includes videos, case studies and more that lead you to a forum for equity, personalization, smart data, collaboration and continuous improvement...
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Nancy J. Herr's curator insight, July 3, 9:53 AM

NASSP sponsored tools for success. Take a look at the many resources for new and experienced leaders alike.

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Educational Equity and Effectiveness: The Need for Fiscal Fairness and Fiscal Productivity

Educational Equity and Effectiveness: The Need for Fiscal Fairness and Fiscal Productivity | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
To ensure successful outcomes for all students, our nation must do more to improve the fair and productive use of school dollars.
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using your body leads to better learning

using your body leads to better learning | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Treating mind and body as separate is an old and powerful idea in Western culture, dating to Descartes and before. But this venerable trope is facing down a challenge from a generation of researchers—in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, even philosophy—who claim that we think with and through our bodies. Even the most abstract mathematical or literary concepts, they maintain, are understood in terms of the experience of our senses and of moving ourselves through space.

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The Case of the Missing Black Teachers

The Case of the Missing Black Teachers | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
In almost every city I go to discuss the issues confronting African American students and the state of education for Black people I hear a plaintive cry about the need for Black teachers. The stati...
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Half of superintendents said they plan to make budget cuts in the next school year

Half of superintendents said they plan to make budget cuts in the next school year | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
A new survey conducted by Gallup in partnership with Education Week probes the views of superintendents on the common core, teacher recruitment and evaluation, and district finances, among other topics.
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Is 'balanced literacy' truly balanced or is it merely another name for whole language?

Is 'balanced literacy' truly balanced or is it merely another name for whole language? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Schools that rely strictly on phonics or whole language to teach reading do their students a disservice.
Mel Riddile's insight:

"Children from affluent families by age three have heard 30 million more words than children from low-income families. This gap affects reading performance in ways that are still not fully appreciated. Further, the style of communication between parents and children differs, accounting in part on how children process language. In addition, children from affluent families are more likely to be exposed to knowledge by museums, travel and other activities."

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Tim Robinson's curator insight, July 7, 5:55 PM

Literacy is not just about the ability to construct complex sentences. It is about enabling students to understand the nuances of the world they live in.

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States must show how they plan to put "effective educators" in front of poor and minority kids

States must show how they plan to put "effective educators" in front of poor and minority kids | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The Obama administration will announce plans on Monday to enforce a long-ignored federal mandate: a decade-old requirement that states give students of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds equal access to good teachers.

The new initiative, cal...
Mel Riddile's insight:

By April 2015, states must submit "comprehensive educator equity plans" that detail how they plan to put "effective educators" in front of poor and minority kids. To help states write the plans, the Education Department will create a $4.2 million "Education Equity Support Network." And this fall, the Education Department will publish "Educator Equity profiles" that highlight which states and districts fare well or poorly on teacher equity.

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The problem isn't America's colleges. Blaming America's students.

The problem isn't America's colleges. Blaming America's students. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The problems of the K-12 education system haunt higher education.


"But there's a simple explanation for this, which makes it hard to tell how good American colleges actually are: American students are starting college farther behind than students in better-educated countries."

Mel Riddile's insight:

It's never the students. We don't have a student problem!


We have an adult problem at all levels of education and throughout our culture!


We have proven that, when we provide high-quality instruction and teach aligned standards, even our lowest income students can measure up to he best in the world.

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To Inspire Learning, Architects Reimagine Learning Spaces

To Inspire Learning, Architects Reimagine Learning Spaces | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
As schools refocus on team-based, interdisciplinary learning, they're moving away from standardized, teach-to-test programs that assume a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. Instead, there is a growing awareness that students learn in a variety of ways, and the differences should be supported. With that in mind, here's how one architecture firm is redesigning learning spaces.

Via Bob Farrace
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3 Myths of Flipped Learning

3 Myths of Flipped Learning | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Flipped Learning is a philosophy, not a method of teaching. It provides an approach where “students can learn information without the presence of a teacher”
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Invest in Counselors - Duncan Urges States

Invest in Counselors - Duncan Urges States | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is calling on state chiefs to support school counselors, though advocates chafe at administration attempts to consolidate the main federal program that finances K-12 counselors.
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The Principal: Three Keys to Maximizing Impact a Review

The Principal: Three Keys to Maximizing Impact a Review | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Principal Matt Renwick reviews The Principal by leadership expert Michael Fullan, a compact new book examining three keys to success as a school-based leader.
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Vision Statements That Work: The Long and Short of It

Vision Statements That Work: The Long and Short of It | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
How long should your vision statement be? The answer: Long enough. Long enough to evoke a noble sense of purpose, provide a call to action, and describe a clear picture of your destination. These four vision statements work because they condense a lot of information into an inspiring statement that is quickly understood by most people. If you were not familiar with the context, it would require a much longer statement to explain them. xxxxxxxxA computer on every desk. ~Steve Jobs xxxxxxxxA computer on every desk in every home running Microsoft software. ~Bill Gates xxxxxxxxProduce an affordable automobile. ~Henry Ford xxxxxxxxOne team, one country. ~Nelson Mandela HOWEVER…most effective vision statements are NOT short statements. Consider Martin Luther . . . → Read More: Vision Statements That Work: The Long and Short of It
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, July 3, 1:21 PM

In successful companies and schools, the vision statement belongs and is embraced by each person because they felt they contributed to it. Anything else falls short.

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Simon Sinek on Trust

Simon Sinek on Trust | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Once Simon Sinek's TEDx talk took off, it had an unexpected side effect: he didn't know who he could trust. This led him to new research...
Mel Riddile's insight:
“As the view count on my TEDx talk grew, the demand for finding one’s ‘why’ expanded. That, in turn, created a greater demand for me, and played a significant role in catalyzing my career,” Sinek says now, five years later. “As demand for me grew, I started to meet people who told me things that resonated with me—they’d tell me why they do what they do. I would find them appealing because of that thoughtfulness, and we would learn more about each other. But then I discovered that they wanted to do business with me—that they weren’t actually my friends. Ultimately, I didn’t know who to trust.”
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connecting children's life outcomes to their mother's education level

connecting children's life outcomes to their mother's education level | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
A new report suggests "dual generation" anti-poverty programs could boost the achievement and prosperity of parents and children alike.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Children of mothers who never went to college are nearly twice as likely to die as infants, two to three times as likely to be sickly in their childhood (and live without health insurance), and more than 10 times as likely to live in poverty, with all its attendant stresses.


parents' education strongly predicts their children's reading and mathematics proficiency

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Myth-Busting Differentiated Instruction: 3 Myths and 3 Truths

Myth-Busting Differentiated Instruction: 3 Myths and 3 Truths | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
With delivery of instruction, one size does not fit all. John McCarthy launches his differentiated instruction series by busting three common myths about DI.
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"Disadvantaged kids really struggle in American schools"

"Disadvantaged kids really struggle in American schools" | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
It's easy to point out that America is falling behind. It's harder to draw lessons from successful nations.
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"The one thing we have a lot of in the U.S. is unmotivated students." - Blaming Students?

"The one thing we have a lot of in the U.S. is unmotivated students." - Blaming Students? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
If there is one thing Bill Gates has been a fan of, it is the role of technology in improving education. But recent comments show he may be starting to see that even technology may not be all powerful. And this leads to some deeper questions about the viability of the entire education reform project.
Mel Riddile's insight:

"New technology to engage students holds some promise, but Gates says it tends to only benefit those who are motivated.

"And the one thing we have a lot of in the United States is unmotivated students." - Bill Gates

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How are the requirements for teacher evaluations affecting principals?

How are the requirements for teacher evaluations affecting principals? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

How are the requirements for teacher evaluations affecting principals?

Here are some numbers put together by the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank: 

  • 248: The number of hours the median principal in Michigan reported spending on activities related to teacher evaluations. Another way of putting it? The equivalent of 31 full working days.
  • 25: The number of teachers the average principal in Connecticut was responsible for evaluating in a given year, according to a principal survey.
  • 6:  The number of hours Chicago principals reported that it took to complete one evaluation.
Mel Riddile's insight:

The full Center for American Progress report can be found here. Its recommendations call on educators and policymakers to:

  • Redesign school organizational charts and job descriptions;
  • Develop instructional leadership capacity around the principal position;
  • Focus principal training on coaching teachers;
  • Provide technological supports that allow principals to record and share information; and
  • Build the capacity of  central office administrators to support principals.
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Nancy J. Herr's curator insight, July 8, 8:11 PM

These studies highlight the amount of work it takes to be an effective principal-- and with new mandates all the time, it doesn't get easier. 

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The Fallacy of ‘Balanced Literacy’

The Fallacy of ‘Balanced Literacy’ | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
My struggling students craved instruction far more than freedom.
Mel Riddile's insight:

"Expecting children to independently discover the rules of written language is like expecting them to independently discover the rules of differential calculus."


"The fatal flaw of balanced literacy is that it is least able to help students who most need it. It plays well in brownstone Brooklyn, where children have enrichment coming out of their noses, and may be more “ready” for balanced literacy than children without such advantages."

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My Ideal Teacher Bookshelf

My Ideal Teacher Bookshelf | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Sarah has built a professional learning bookshelf. See her recommendations and build your own.
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4 Belief Statements Underlying Student Performance | Academic Mindsets

4 Belief Statements Underlying Student Performance | Academic Mindsets | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
4 Belief Statements Underlying Student Performance
Mel Riddile's insight:

Dockterman outlined 4 belief statements that underlie student performance.

1. “I belong in this academic community.” Evolution left us with a strong drive for status and belonging. Dockterman said it was critical that we “help students self identify with a positive group.” Mixed ability groups have the potential to improve everyone’s performance but the key is helping students see themselves.

2. “My ability and competency grow with effort.” Docterman reminded us that “Everything is relative.” He said “We need to shift the student point of reference for struggle.” He made four specific suggestions:

  • Words matter, for example, rather than “Let’s start with an easy question,” which won’t be true for every student, David suggests, “This may take a few tries.”
  • Model failure: Let students see you struggle, let them know you fail sometimes.
  • Use stories of perseverance: Success is almost always the product of lots of practice, failure, and struggle.
  • Teach children about their brain: Brainology, from Mindset Works, is a great example.

3. “I can succeed.” David said human beings “love making progress.” Conversely, “shaky confidence + early failure = total shutdown.” Learners need to “build a history of success.” Good games do this well–they start easy and ramp up difficulty gradually on a reward pathway.

4. “This work has value for me.” There are two ways to create a learning value proposition: interest or long term value–Candy Crush is an example of the first, career preparation is an example of the second. Using either interest or future value, powerful learning experiences connect to what Dockterman calls “purpose beyond the problem.” He suggested tying a topic to a possible future–and it’s better to show teams succeeding rather than an individual outliers (as stated above, human beings like to belong to groups). Connecting problems with projects with social value is another powerful strategy, it gives learners the ability to contribute to something bigger than themselves.

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The Secret of Effective Motivation

The Secret of Effective Motivation | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Encourage people to do something for its own sake, not for its benefits.
Mel Riddile's insight:

"Helping people focus on the meaning and impact of their work, rather than on, say, the financial returns it will bring, may be the best way to improve not only the quality of their work."

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Modernizing E-Rate: Wi-Fi for U.S. Schools & Libraries

Modernizing E-Rate: Wi-Fi for U.S. Schools & Libraries | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Established in 1996, the FCC’s E-Rate program is the federal government’s largest educational technology program – supporting Internet connectivity and other communications services...
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Professional Development Insecurity

Professional Development Insecurity | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Where is your next professional development coming from? Our most fragile learners in school often face the day wondering where their next meal is coming from, how will they feed themselves to get through to the next day; we might see a shade of that same fragility in our teacher professional development system. The impact is not as high stakes, but it has long-term consequences. If you are a teacher, who is in charge of professionally developing you? What and who do we think of when we think of professional development? 

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To Close the Achievement Gap, We Need to Close the Teaching Gap

To Close the Achievement Gap, We Need to Close the Teaching Gap | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Ignored by our current education policies are the facts that one in four American children lives below the poverty line and a growing number are homeless, without regular access to food or health care, and stressed by violence and drug abuse around t...
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Teresa McDaniel's curator insight, July 2, 11:25 AM

District leaders must analyze budgets to find the funding to give teachers collaboration and professional learning time. Thank you to Huntsville City Schools for providing this time for my teachers this upcoming year!