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The Most Important Job of a School Leader | Barbara Blackburn

The Most Important Job of a School Leader | Barbara Blackburn | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

"What do you think is the most important job of a school leader?"  That one is easy--it's to remove barriers to student learning.  In other words, think from a perspective of "How would xxx positively impact student learning?"  If you take that perspective, how would it change what you are doing today?"

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Leading Schools
Improving Schools Through Enhanced Leadership
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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, 6:53 AM

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

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Not Teacher Quality, but Quality Teaching - Education Next

Not Teacher Quality, but Quality Teaching - Education Next | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Any pedagogy, curriculum, approach, or technology has to be within the skills of ordinary teachers to implement well and effectively. If it takes a superstar teacher it's a nonstarter.
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98% of US districts unable to make student data "usable information for educators.”

98% of US districts unable to make student data "usable information for educators.” | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

98% of US districts lack the “capacity and resources” to turn the “mountains of student data” they collect “into real, usable information for educators.” NCES says that most student data “sit unused in state warehouses.”

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STEM: Shortage of workers is a myth

STEM: Shortage of workers is a myth | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Silicon Valley has created an imaginary staffing shortage.


"As longtime researchers of the STEM workforce and immigration who have separately done in-depth analyses on these issues, and having no self-interest in the outcomes of the legislative debate, we feel compelled to report that none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry's assertions of labor shortages."

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How one state calculates its student growth measure

How one state calculates its student growth measure | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The student growth metric released by the state Department of Education is intended to give the public a new look at how Georgia schools are performing.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Questions:

What about out-of-school factors?

How are teachers who do not teach tested subjects evaluated?

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Mike Roberts's comment, July 27, 5:11 AM
Teachers of non-tested subjects use a pre-test/post-test measure called a Student Learning Objective. They must show a significant amount of growth from pre-test to post-test.
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Technology Is Making Achievement Gaps Even Bigger

Technology Is Making Achievement Gaps Even Bigger | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The local name for the Philadelphia neighborhood of Kensington is “the Badlands,” and with good reason. Pockmarked with empty lots and burned-out row houses, the area has an unemployment rate of 29 percent and a poverty rate of 90 percent. Just a few miles to the northwest, the genteel neighborhood...
Mel Riddile's insight:
"researchers are beginning to document a digital Matthew Effect, in which the already advantaged gain more from technology than do the less fortunate. As with books and reading, the most-knowledgeable, most-experienced, and most-supported students are those in the best position to use computers to leap further ahead."
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Mel Riddile's curator insight, July 6, 4:52 PM

"researchers are beginning to document a digital Matthew Effect, in which the already advantaged gain more from technology than do the less fortunate. As with books and reading, the most-knowledgeable, most-experienced, and most-supported students are those in the best position to use computers to leap further ahead."

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Metacognition: ask, not only ‘What are you learning?’ but ‘How are you learning?’

Metacognition: ask, not only ‘What are you learning?’ but ‘How are you learning?’ | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Vanderbilt University


"Metacognition is, put simply, thinking about one’s thinking.  More precisely, it refers to the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess one’s understanding and performance. Metacognition includes a critical awareness of a) one’s thinking and learning and b) oneself as a thinker and learner.


Metacognitive practices increase students’ abilities to transfer or adapt their learning to new contexts and tasks."

Mel Riddile's insight:

Four assignments for explicit instruction:


  1. Preassessments—Encouraging Students to Examine Their Current Thinking
  2. The Muddiest Point—Giving Students Practice in Identifying Confusions
  3. Retrospective Postassessments—Pushing Students to Recognize Conceptual Change
  4. Reflective Journals—Providing a Forum in Which Students Monitor Their Own Thinking

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, July 25, 4:05 PM

Emotional intelligence and learning how to learn might be the two most important teaching work we do for children. It is about connecting with what is important in healthy ways and understanding learning more completely. We can never do this completely, but we should make the effort.

Nicola Parkin's curator insight, July 28, 4:35 PM

Nice! 4 strategies for helping learner learn to learn.

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Learning to Read Does Not End in Fourth Grade

Learning to Read Does Not End in Fourth Grade | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Word-processing skills develop even past fifth grade


A new study published in the journal Developmental Science questions that assumption, showing that children are still learning to read past fourth and even fifth grade.


The shift to automatic word-processing, in which the brain recognizes whether a group of symbols constitutes a word within milliseconds, allowing fluid reading that helps the reader focus on the content of the text rather than on the words, may occur later than previously thought.

Mel Riddile's insight:

"So if fourth-graders aren’t quite reading to learn, then when does the shift toward more complete automatic word-processing occur? According to Coch, that probably happens some time between fifth grade and college—a period she says that hasn’t been studied.


For now, the results strongly suggest that reading skills need to continue to be nurtured during that period. “


This certainly does suggest that teachers beyond fourth grade are still teachers of reading,” says Coch.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, July 24, 7:09 PM

It might be that learning reading is a life-long learning and becomes more automatic as we practice, but readers never stop learning.

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Principal Turnover Remains a Problem

Principal Turnover Remains a Problem | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
A federal report looks at mobility and retention among principals in the nation's public and private schools.
Mel Riddile's insight:

What the survey reveals about principal turnover over the last year:

  • 22% left and 78% remained in their schools.
  • 38% of those who left retired.
  • Rural principals had the highest turnover.
  • High school principals were more likely to leave their schools. 
Why we should be concerned: Principal turnover relates to teacher turnover which relates to lower student achievement.
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only 10% of students from low-income communities across the country who enroll in college are earning a degree

only 10% of students from low-income communities across the country who enroll in college are earning a degree | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
At a time when a college diploma is more important than ever to compete in the global economy, only 10% of students from low-income communities across the country who enroll in college are earning a degree. Pair that with the fact that the majority of African American and Latino students graduating high school don’t meet …
Mel Riddile's insight:

"There are social, emotional and financial barriers that students from low income communities have to overcome. While schools are increasingly creating a “college prep” mentality, many students have no personal experience on which to draw" and no support system to ease their transition to postsecondary education and training.

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"Sustained engagement with challenging content": The most important factor in raising student achievement.

"Sustained engagement with challenging content": The most important factor in raising student achievement. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

by Daniel Willingham


"researchers saw puny effects because they had to skimp on the most important factor: sustained engagement with challenging academic content."


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Up To 50 Percent Of Teachers Quit Within Five Years, Says Report

Up To 50 Percent Of Teachers Quit Within Five Years, Says Report | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Amid intense debate about new education standards, and teacher tenure and pay, the Alliance for Excellent Education has turned the focus to new teachers -– and their tendency to quit.

A new report, published by the Alliance in collaboration ...
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America’s schools are losing too many of their best teachers.

America’s schools are losing too many of their best teachers. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

To combat the real retention crisis and create the profession that teachers deserve, we offer two major recommendations for education leaders: make retention of Irreplaceables a top priority, and strengthen the teaching profession with higher expectations.
 

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5 Ways to Improve Reading Comprehension

5 Ways to Improve Reading Comprehension | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
I received a free online access from SNAP! Learning and was compensated for my time. All opinions expressed are my own.  What is reading comprehension? Why is it important? I know I’ve said it before, but it’s my favorite way to put it. Reading equals thinking. In order to truly read, a reader must also be thinking about the …
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Why Breakfast Is Important For Teenagers: The Best Resources

Why Breakfast Is Important For Teenagers: The Best Resources | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
I'm preparing some new lessons for this year, and one will be on the importance of breakfast. I'm adding this list to The Best Resources To Help Promote A Physically Healthy Lifestyle For Our Stude...
Mel Riddile's insight:

Building willpower and self-control consumes enormous amounts of energy, which means that students’ brains need nourishment. Roy Baumeister’s book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength is another valuable resource for teachers and educators.

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Shootings Redefine Role of School Resource Officers (SRO)

Shootings Redefine Role of School Resource Officers (SRO) | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Radical shifts in tactics have swept the field — even calling on officers to rush toward shooters without backup.
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The Educator and the Growth Mindset | Infographic and Slides

The Educator and the Growth Mindset | Infographic and Slides | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
I am facilitating an in-service on Growth Mindsets for Educators.  I created an infographic, Thinglink, and Slide Presentation of resources that I am sharing below: Thinglink that contains links to...
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Tony Meehan's curator insight, July 27, 2:38 PM

Comprehensive and ready-to-use  presentation for Growth Mindsets aimed at educators. Gratefully received.

Lisa Sayles Kraiza's curator insight, July 28, 1:37 PM

Interesting concept...#OPSWI14

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"Homework given to keep students busy...is irresponsible." Rick Wormeli

"Homework given to keep students busy...is irresponsible." Rick Wormeli | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Homework can be an exciting aspect of teaching middle school, says teaching expert Rick Wormeli if we're smart about its structure, assignment, and assessment.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Homework is independent practice--the application of previously learned content--and should only be assigned after the teacher has conducted guided practice in the classroom. 

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Great teachers want to work for great school leaders.

Great teachers want to work for great school leaders. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Research indicates that students’ race and family income often predict their access to excellent educators. Low-income students and high-need schools tend to have teachers who are less experienced, have fewer credentials and do not demonstrate a track record of success.


"Our research shows that schools with great principals, who build strong, supportive instructional cultures for their teachers and hold teachers and students to high expectations, do a better job of retaining high-performing teachers, regardless of student demographics. So it stands to reason that great principals can also be a critical incentive to attract top teachers to hard-to-staff schools."

Mel Riddile's insight:

"Terry Grier, Superintendent of Houston Independent School District, describe how HISD has had some success using financial incentives to bring great teachers to their underperforming schools, but that the best incentive has proven to be an effective leader."

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12th Graders to take TIMSS Advanced Global Exam on High-Level Math and Physics

The Education Department is planning for U.S. participation next year in the TIMSS Advanced global exam on high-level math and physics, according to a notice published today in the Federal Register.


The U.S. does participate regularly in the basic TIMSS test, the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study. That exam is given every four years to fourth and eighth graders around the world. U.S. students in both grades topped the international average in both math and science on the most recent test, in 2011, with fourth graders performing especially well.

Mel Riddile's insight:

Because of the over-testing of students in the U.S., testing seniors is a really bad idea. By the time our students reach 12th grade, they have been tested repeatedly throughout the grades and have never received any feedback and no consequences. As a result, they consistently engage in what teachers refer to as “Christmas-treeing” tests. They simply fill in the dots and go through the motions. I would not want my career riding on the performance of a 12th grader on yet another meaningless test.

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"The public and teachers are more divided than Democrats and Republicans."

When it comes to what constitutes a superb education in America, the general public and teachers have vastly different views, say Peterson, Henderson, and West in this book, a compilation of research reported originally in Education Next. Surveys fielded by over 5,000 teachers and members of the general public (2007–13) conclude that, overall, teachers and the public disagree most on issues pertaining to tenure, pensions, union efficacy, charter schools, school vouchers, and standardized testing.
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Principals stay when they have more impact!

Principals stay when they have more impact! | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Principals stay when they have more impact!Are successful principals school-hopping, or staying put?

Mel Riddile's insight:

"principals who feel they are able to get things done are much more frequently the ones who stay on, and those who felt they didn't accomplish much—or perhaps had less control over their budget or curriculum."

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Why is it tougher to move the needle on reading than on math?

Why is it tougher to move the needle on reading than on math? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

by Daniel Willingham


"In math, if you put a little extra time in, it’s at least obvious where that time should go. If kids are behind in mathematics, it’s not difficult to know what they need to work on.

Once kids reach upper elementary school, reading comprehension is driven primarily by background knowledge; knowing a bit about the topic of the text you’re reading confers a big advantage to comprehension. Kids from impoverished homes suffer primarily from a knowledge deficit (Hirsch, 2007).

So a bit of extra time, while better than nothing, is just a start at an attempt to build the knowledge needed for these students to make significant strides in reading comprehension. And in this particular intervention, no attempt was made to assess what knowledge was needed and to build it systematically.

This problem is not unique to Fryer’s intervention. As he notes, it’s always tougher to move the needle on reading than on math. That’s because experiences outside of the classroom make such an enormous contribution to reading ability.

Mel Riddile's insight:

While raising math achievement is extremely challenging (read The Algebra Miracle by Stuart A. Singer), improving reading and writing is a three to five year effort. In most cases, math teachers have the necessary knowledge of mathematics. Conversely, secondary teachers almost always never have the training or skills to integrate literacy into content instruction.

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"everything that happens in the school is ultimately the responsibility of the principal" - Four Frames for Principals

"everything that happens in the school is ultimately the responsibility of the principal" - Four Frames for Principals | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

"That overwhelming mandate contains a big piece of the truth: almost everything that happens in the school is ultimately the responsibility of the principal. What is equally valid is the reality that one person cannot know everything, be everywhere, prevent all problems, and fix everything.


One path through that psychosis-inducing dilemma is articulated in the excellent management book,Reframing Organizations (Bolman and Deal, 2003)."

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Teacher-Led Professional Learning

Teacher-Led Professional Learning | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

In most schools today, new and good, solid teachers are left to work largely alone, meet infrequently, and rarely get clarity about which teachers are achieving better student learning—and whose opinions and methods might best guide collaborative groups on strong instruction. Teachers working in schools without great leadership and without very strong professional learning communities are being robbed of the opportunity to achieve the higher level of success with students of which they are capable.

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Never Underestimate the Effect of Change

Never Underestimate the Effect of Change | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
I recently shared a laugh with a client - we’ll call him Jon - because as he so eloquently said, “You just can’t win.” Here’s what happened. Jon, by profession an accountant, is head of tax for a g...
Mel Riddile's insight:

Every change threatens the existing equilibrium state, which ensures that the change, no matter how positive, will upset someone.

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