Of the 18 states of mind in the chart, it came as no surprise that 94% of respondents reported that Calm, Happy and Energized (CHE) are the three that drive the greatest levels of effectiveness and performance. As Giglio Del Borgo, a country manager at Experian explains: “If you are energized, without being necessarily too excited about things or euphoric, that energy will transmit into the people working around you.”
"Go and find a way to assess what great teaching is for your school or your city or your nation, make it as rigorous and objective as you can and then and then identify your best, study them and set out to replicate what they do."
Mel Riddile's insight:
Questions for school leaders who want to be referred to as instructional leaders:
Do you have a school wide instructional framework?
Do you have a common language around teaching and learning?
Have you defined what good teaching looks like?
Do you have a set of defined instructional practices?
Are your expectations crystal clear to all teachers?
Are expectations for students consistent in every classroom throughout the school?
Do you consistently monitor and provide feedback to teachers?
Have you identified your "bright spots?"
Are your teachers leading professional development?
This final installment in my four-part series on student engagement includes guest responses from Jennifer Fredricks, Aubrie Rojee, April Baker, Beth Donofrio, and Louis Cozolino. In addition, I share comments from readers.
"The report was compiled by two statewide math educator groups, as well as the Gordon A. Cain Center for STEM Literacy at Louisiana State University.
According to statistics provided in the report, about 42 percent of fourth-grade students, and 34 percent of eighth-grade students in the United States, are considered proficient in math based on standardized tests. In Louisiana, the figures are even lower — 27 percent of fourth-graders, and 21 percent of eighth-graders — were categorized as proficient.
In addition, only about half of high school students in Louisiana have mastered all of the skill areas in algebra and geometry, according to end-of-course data in the report."
By regrouping students for certain lessons, schools can leverage the instructional expertise of their teachers. See how one school builds differentiated instruction and regrouping students into their science program.
Make it a priority to develop your current leaders, nurture your future leaders, and hire great leaders. "Strong leadership is one of the key pillars of success at any organization. People aren't necessarily born with great leadership skills. As such, organizations can't just sit back and hope people will be great leaders. Leaders need to be shaped and molded. And by leaders, I don't just mean executives--I mean managers at every level of the organization. Too often frontline managers are overlooked when it comes to leadership development, when the reality is that 70 percent to 80 percent of the workforce reports to frontline managers. The results of a study we did with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services reveals 79 percent of global executives believe lack of frontline leadership capability negatively impacts company performance. As such, it's critical to the success of any organization that these people be given the tools, resources, and development to succeed."
The Provo (UT) Daily Herald (12/12) reports that as research shows missing even two days of school a month in first and second grades impacts test scores later on, schools are trying to understand and prevent children missing school rather than punishing “truancy.” UC Santa Barbara education economist Michael Gottfried said that “Missing even a few days a month can add up to a month of missed school over a school year and significantly undermine performance.” He has found that “strong chronic absence,” or missing 18 or more days a year, in kindergarten lowered their math and reading test scores, particularly among low-income students, and a 2011 study by Attendance Works found only 13 percent of chronically absent students performed at grade level.
Published on Dec 17, 2014 Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain's capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet? A great introduction to this influential field.
TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
"Faced with this question, most of us know the “correct” answer (especially in a job interview): instructional leader, of course.
But do we really have a choice? Can you choose to be an instructional leader and not a building manager?
Instructional leadership involves creating the conditions for instruction, not just directly supervising it."
Mel Riddile's insight:
Instructional Quality is a function of the following:
Leaders can work to improve teacher skills, but if they neglect the context, no learning will take place. Attendance impacts teachers. Behavior impacts teaching and learning. Unless school leaders create a safe, orderly, and inviting school environment, and provide the resources teachers need, learning will not take place.
As one national leader said to me 'We did a great job teaching our principals to work with teachers, but we forgot to teach them how to prevent fires in the bathrooms.'
Principals have to work on the three factors--teacher skill, student readiness, and context--all at once.
"while efficiency is critical and often a competitive advantage, it is a problem when it becomes a mindset that is applied to everything we do; when it becomes an excuse for our lack of real connection. Faster and easier is not always better. As leaders, we have to know the difference. Some things are better over time. There is no such thing as efficient leadership. If efficiency is digital, leadership is analog.
Leadership is about influence and mobilizing people to achieve a common goal. This is done through relationships. Relationships do not benefit from efficiency."
The system was created to make it easier to identify which teachers performed the best so their methods could be replicated, and which performed the worst, so they could be fired.
Most New York City Teachers Score Well On New Assessments.
The New York Times (12/17, Taylor, Subscription Publication) reports that New York education officials released new information Tuesday showing that 90% of “New York City teachers received one of the top two rankings in the first year of a new evaluation system that was hailed as a better way of assessing how they perform.” Noting that the system was envisioned as a way to identify successful teachers’ best practices and to eliminate ineffective teachers, the Times reports that “state officials and education experts said the city appeared to be doing a better job of evaluating its teachers than the rest of New York State.”
The AP (12/17, Thompson) reports that some education leaders said that the high pass rate of the evaluations may mean that it needs to be improved, noting that this is “the second consecutive year that evaluations gave high scores to the vast majority of teachers while only about a third of students” scored well on statewide tests. Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said, “The ratings show there’s much more work to do to strengthen the evaluation system.” Meanwhile, the AP quotes outgoing Education Commissioner John King Jr. saying, “I’m concerned that in some districts, there’s a tendency to blanket everyone with the same rating. That defeats the purpose of the observations and the evaluations, and we have to work to fix that.”
More than 40 percent of American students who start at four-year colleges haven’t earned a degree after six years. If you include community-college students in the tabulation, the dropout rate is more than half, worse than any other country except Hungary.
Rich kids graduate; poor and working-class kids don’t. Or to put it more statistically: About a quarter of college freshmen born into the bottom half of the income distribution will manage to collect a bachelor’s degree by age 24, while almost 90 percent of freshmen born into families in the top income quartile will go on to finish their degree."
If you compare college students with the same standardized-test scores who come from different family backgrounds, you find that their educational outcomes reflect their parents’ income, not their test scores.
Mel Riddile's insight:
I don't often use the term 'must read', but this article fills the bill.
Education for upward mobility starts with building low-income students’ vocabulary.
by Robert Pondiscio
To grow up as the child of well-educated parents in an affluent American home is to hit the verbal lottery. From their earliest days, these children reap the benefits of parents who speak in complete sentences, engage them in rich dinner table conversation, and read them to sleep at bedtime. Verbal parents chatter incessantly, offering a running commentary on vegetable options in the produce aisle, pointing out letters and words in storefronts and street signs. Parents proceed, as Ginia Bellafante of the New York Times once put it, “in a near constant mode of annotation.”
Math anxiety means, unsurprisingly, that one feels tension and apprehension in situations involving math. What is surprising is the frequency of the problem, and the young age at which it can start. Fully half of first and second graders feel moderate to severe math anxiety. And many children do not outgrow it; about 25 percent of students attending a four-year college suffer from math anxiety. Among community college students, the figure is 80 percent.
Moving to a focus on evidence-based reform will not solve all of the contentious issues about accountability, but it could help us focus the reform conversation on how to move forward the top 95% of teachers and schools -- the ones who teach 95% of o...
Yet another state tries to hammer out a new way of judging schools that doesn't rely so heavily on test scores.
Connecticut Joins States Preparing New Accountability Measures.
In a blog for Education Week (12/12) Catherine Gewertz writes that Connecticut is adding civics, arts, physical fitness, college readiness, attendance, and “student persistence and personal development” to its current list of criteria, primarily math and English/language arts scores, used to measure school effectiveness. Connecticut is preparing to present the system to the US Department of Education as part of its No Child Left Behind waiver renewal in the hopes of implementing the standards in June, and is one of a dozen states preparing new accountability measures. Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor told the state board the plan is to “aim for less testing and more instruction in our schools.” State efforts to incorporate more difficult to measure benchmarks are in many cases still in the early stages, and the author suggests watching those efforts over the next year.