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Leading Schools
Improving Schools Through Enhanced Leadership
Curated by Mel Riddile
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A therapist goes to middle school and tries to sit still and focus. She can’t. Neither can the kids.

A therapist goes to middle school and tries to sit still and focus. She can’t. Neither can the kids. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
A pediatric occupational therapist spends time in a middle school and watches kids struggle to sit still.
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International baccalaureate programs grow

The number of international baccalaureate programs in Michigan has nearly tripled in five years as parents and school districts scramble for challenging curricula to help boost student college applications and prepare students to compete globally.
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Student Engagement: Educating for Change

Student Engagement: Educating for Change | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

What educational approach will work for this world?


"One in which students are actively involved in their education. Knowledge is not something to be passively received and codified; it is to be sought out, questioned, created, and investigated. Students need to be engaged in the processes of asking, acquiring, analyzing, and adding to knowledge. What one needs to know is subject to a rapidly changing world, but the "how" and the "why"--the core skills needed to acquire, evaluate, and add to knowledge--once instilled become the basis for creative engagement with the world. Don't just sit there: Ask, question, explore, rethink, argue--learn the process of learning!"

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The 'Secret Sauce' Of Formative Assessment

The 'Secret Sauce' Of Formative Assessment | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The final post in a two-part series on formative assessment includes contributions from Libby Woodfin, Tony Frontier, Laura Cabrera and Alice Mercer.
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Shell Game: Colleges "artificially depress their acceptance rates" to get higher ratings

Shell Game: Colleges "artificially depress their acceptance rates" to get higher ratings | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Colleges aren't actually becoming more selective. They're just finding ways of getting more people to apply.


College Still Easy To Get Into For Qualified Candidates, Despite Low Acceptance Rates.

The Washington Post (12/1, Ehrenfreund) “Wonkblog” reports universities “waste everyone’s time and money in the process” when they try to artificially depress their acceptance rates. Data shows that students who are qualified can still expect to get into elite schools as schools are making “themselves seem more popular by encouraging even unqualified applicants to apply.” The “shell game” that schools play adds to the calls for a formal ranking system from the government despite the protests of university officials.

        The Slate Magazine (12/1, Weissman) “Moneybox” blog reports that the college admissions game “isn’t nearly so vicious as the people who profit from it would have you believe” since admission rates are “misleading.” One factor driving down the admissions statistic is that many of the kids applying to top institutions “aren’t qualified” and are therefore not making the process more competitive for students with high grades and SAT scores.


Mel Riddile's insight:

There is another longer-running shell game--admitting students that colleges know have little chance of graduating, thus undermining the efforts of principals and teachers to raise the rigor of high school instruction.

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More "disapproval of test scores as a metric of teacher performance"

More "disapproval of test scores as a metric of teacher performance" | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Survey Shows Indiana Teachers Skeptical Of Evaluations.

The Indianapolis Star (12/1) reports that a new Indiana University survey “yielded perhaps unsurprising results on educators’ sentiments about controversial teacher evaluations,” showing that Indiana “teachers are far more skeptical of the merits of teacher evaluations than superintendents and principals are.” The article concludes that ED recently reviewed Indiana’s NCLB waiver, and found that “the state’s teacher evaluations had relied less on student test scores than what had been originally promised.”

Mel Riddile's insight:

See NASSP's New Position Statement


Value-added Measures in Teacher Evaluation

http://www.nassp.org/tabid/3788/default.aspx?topic=Value_Added_Measures_in_Teacher_Evaluation


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Ed. Dept. Puts Spotlight on Principals' Central Role

Ed. Dept. Puts Spotlight on Principals' Central Role | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

ED Focusing Increasingly On Principals’ Role.

Education Week (12/1, Superville) reports that ED has recently “trained its efforts on principals by rolling out a series of initiatives that build on the growing body of research underscoring the role they play in schools’ success.” The article paints this as “a departure” for Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s focus during President Obama’s first term, and notes that ED’s programs “focus primarily on school improvement and professional development and training for selected principals.” The piece notes that the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals “say the new focus is heartening, but more action is needed,” noting that both associations “have asked for more funding for the School Leadership Program.” The article adds that some observers see the appointment of Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Deborah Delisle “as the pivotal moment for the department’s emphasis on principals,” and quotes her saying, “I am very aware that while a school or a school district may adopt higher standards, for example, that unless there is a school culture in which the principal and teachers share a common vision that all students can succeed, then the standards won’t really mean anything at all. It’s not just to have an awesome staff, but it’s certainly to have a visionary, courageous leader at the helm.”

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Bradley Gomoluch's curator insight, July 31, 2015 3:40 PM

Leadership programs are great tools. They help develop leaders that know how to  influence and impact the climate and culture of a school. If you have a leader that fosters collaboration, communication, in a positive environment change will happen.     

Jennifer McGuff's curator insight, August 1, 2015 1:09 PM

I chose this article because is is about  the U.S. Department of Education and how it has focuses its efforts on principals by rolling out  initiatives that build on the growing body of research underscoring the role they play in schools' success.

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Three lessons from data on children’s reading habits

Three lessons from data on children’s reading habits | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Data on reading instruction


Girls read 800,000 more words 

Girls read more books than boys do, in every grade, but boys aren’t that far behind girls from kindergarten through third grade. It’s beginning in fourth grade that reading habits really diverge by gender.

Starting in fourth grade, girls read, on average, 100,000 more words per year than boys do. Over the course of a child’s elementary, middle and high school education, that adds up to an almost 800,000-word difference (3.8 million words for girls vs. 3 million words for boys). The chart above shows the number of words that boys and girls, on average, read in each grade.

“It’s striking,” said Stickney, the research director at Renaissance. “It’s hard to learn new words when you’re not exposed to them, and girls are getting exposed to a lot more words.”

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Laura Ellen G's curator insight, June 10, 11:04 PM

Good reading on reading habits among children.

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Doug Lemov: 'Great teachers experience the classroom through students' eyes'

Doug Lemov: 'Great teachers experience the classroom through students' eyes' | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Breaking education news about schools and further education. Find leading opinion, podcasts, comment and analysis on education from TES News
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Louise Robinson-Lay's curator insight, December 18, 2015 3:29 PM
What does the classroom look like from that perspective?
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Students “transfer” knowledge rather than just memorize it. - Deeper Learning

Students “transfer” knowledge rather than just memorize it. - Deeper Learning | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Students “transfer” knowledge rather than just memorize it.


"The focus on memorization, fueled by standardized testing, has obstructed learning, according to Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University, who argues that students have been losing or squandering most of the information they acquire in school.

But if that information is applied or actually used to solve problems, students will leave school with a much richer education. Enter “deeper learning” – the process of fusing content knowledge with real-world situations. Students “transfer” knowledge rather than just memorize it. The benefits of deeper learning, says Darling-Hammond, can’t be overstated."

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Literacy Leadership: 'teach students to annotate texts before reading the text with the whole class'

Literacy Leadership: 'teach students to annotate texts before reading the text with the whole class' | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

One solution I proposed was to help all teachers intentionally teach students to annotate texts before discussing/reading the text with the whole class. To facilitate this, I met with the math, science, and social studies department leads to share how to annotate texts to improve the school-wide literacy instructional program and our practice of literacy instruction. I asked my colleagues to model their annotation instruction in department meetings in order to improve literacy instruction and the overall attitude towards it throughout our school. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and student work and classroom observations showed students annotating in all content areas.


- See more at: http://teachtolead.org/literacy-leadership-across-curriculum/#sthash.VhevmjlP.yRil3sXD.dpuf

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7 Real Solutions to "Fix Education"

7 Real Solutions to "Fix Education" | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
We’re spending way too much time focusing on who is ‘winning’ and ‘losing’ debates over education, and not enough on implementing proven solutions.
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The Testing Effect: Studying for the Test by Taking It

The Testing Effect: Studying for the Test by Taking It | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The process of testing can deepen learning.
Mel Riddile's insight:

The "brain doesn’t listen to what you say; it watches what you do."

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Is the Feedback You’re Giving Students Helping or Hindering? | Learning Sciences Dylan Wiliam Center

Is the Feedback You’re Giving Students Helping or Hindering? | Learning Sciences Dylan Wiliam Center | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Dylan Wiliam and Learning Sciences International provide professional development to help schools increase student achievement through TLCs, programs, technology, and embedded formative assessment.
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Principals reject ‘value-added’ assessment that links test scores to educators’ jobs

Principals reject ‘value-added’ assessment that links test scores to educators’ jobs | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The Obama administration supports it -- despite warnings from assessment experts.


"Last April, the  Statistical Association, the largest organization in the United States representing statisticians and related professionals, said in a report that value-added scores “do not directly measure potential teacher contributions toward other student outcomes” and that they “typically measure correlation, not causation,” noting that “effects — positive or negative — attributed to a teacher may actually be caused by other factors that are not captured in the model.” After the report’s release, I asked the Education Department if Education Secretary Arne Duncan was reconsidering his support for value-added measures, and the answer was no."

Mel Riddile's insight:

The NASSP issued a release saying that its governing body has given preliminary approval and that the organization will meet early next to finalize the decision.  That release quotes Mel Riddile, a former National Principal of the Year and chief architect of the NASSP statement, as saying:

“We are using value-added measurement in a way that the science does not yet support. We have to make it very clear to policymakers that using a flawed measurement both misrepresents student growth and does a disservice to the educators who live the work each day.”

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How will my students succeed in college if they can’t understand what they read?

How will my students succeed in college if they can’t understand what they read? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Ninety-eight percent of the people who work in my occupation are different than me: I fall in the less than 2 percent of teachers who are black males. I am from Mississippi, a state perpetually plagued by its scholastic underperformance, where I recently graduated from the University of Mississippi and was accepted into Teach For …
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This Will Revolutionize Education

Many technologies have promised to revolutionize education, but so far none has. With that in mind, what could revolutionize education?

My view is that it won't, for two reasons:

1. Technology is not inherently superior, animations over static graphics, videoed presentations over live lectures etc.

2. Learning is inherently a social activity, motivated and encouraged by interactions with others.

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Only 19 percent of students graduate college in four years

Only 19 percent of students graduate college in four years | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
A new report says that only 19 percent of students graduated in four years from most public universities and that only 50 of 580 public universities graduated a majority of their full-time students at the four-year mark.


Study Shows Most Students Don’t Earn A College Degree In Four Years.

The New York Times (12/2, Lewin, Subscription Publication) reports the nonprofit group Complete College America released a report saying that at most American public colleges, only 19 percent of full-time students earn a bachelor’s degree in four years. The report also found that only 50 of 580 institutions graduate a majority of students on time and that the problem is even more pronounced at community colleges where only 5 percent of students earn their associates degree within two years. The report cites the inability to register for required courses, credits lost in college transfers, and remediation sequences “that do not work” as contributing factors to the prolonged attendance at universities.

        The Cleveland Plain Dealer (12/2, Farkas) reports that the inability to graduate on time costs families “tens of thousands of dollars in extra college-related expenses, as well as lost wages from delaying entry into the workforce” and that to combat this students should be given “pathways” to a degree. The pathways would give students a structured schedule of courses and electives on a semester-by-semester basis that would lead to an on-time completion of a degree.

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Espen H.'s curator insight, December 4, 2014 1:51 PM

This is kind of a scary fact, but for the school I am looking at CWU, and they report that 51% of students graduate within 6 years.

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What's wrong with using data to grade teachers?

What's wrong with using data to grade teachers? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Ill-conceived ratings systems can wreak havoc on educators' careers


New York Lawsuits Draw Attention To Student-Based Teacher Evaluation Debate.

An Al Jazeera America (12/2) analysis reports that teachers in New York have filed lawsuits to overturn “the state’s controversial teacher evaluation system,” noting that the complaints “converge on the issue of whether teachers should be judged on the basis of student test scores, and New York state is poised to set a nationwide precedent on the use of value-added testing data in teacher evaluations.” The piece notes that Education Secretary Arne Duncan has praised value-added models, but notes that the American Statistical Association has “denounced” such methodology as “wrongly measuring ‘correlation, not causation.’”

Mel Riddile's insight:

Seen NASSP's New Position Statement 


Value-Added Measures in Teacher Evaluation

http://www.nassp.org/tabid/3788/default.aspx?topic=Value_Added_Measures_in_Teacher_Evaluation


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3 Ways to Create More Teacher Time

3 Ways to Create More Teacher Time | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Education leaders in Kentucky discuss ways to increase teacher time, potentially improving teaching and learning for all education shareholders.
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Principals vs. VAM

Principals vs. VAM | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
If you are looking for a clear-headed professional take-down of the idea that VAM should be used for personnel decisions by the people who have to help make those decisions. As many reformsters on the TNTP-Fordham-Bellwether axis of reformdom bemoan the fact that school leaders don't use data to inform their personnel decisions, here is an actual national association of actual school leaders saying why they prefer not to use VAM data to make personnel decisions. Now if only reformsters and policy makers will actually pay attention to the school leaders on the front lines.
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Mistakes are a springboard for learning: What Not to Say to Students

Mistakes are a springboard for learning: What Not to Say to Students | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
  1. The type of incorrect answer may help or hurt the learner's ability to remember the correct answer. 
  2. "We are designed for mistakes" in order to suggest that mistakes are natural and normal for everyone
  3. one factor important to performance was the development of specific goals in responding to mistakes.
  4. Teachers must help students understand that lessons from mistakes "go beyond you" and have implications that are long lasting.
  5. Amplifying errors allows the learner to see and remember"what is not-to-be-done". 
Mel Riddile's insight:

People who learn from mistakes learn faster!

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What's In, What's Out in Professional Development

What's In, What's Out in Professional Development | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Mel Riddile's insight:

Schools today rely on the ability to improve the collective capacity of the entire teaching staff.

The amount of direction from experts and leaders should be inversely proportional to the degree of experience and skill of the teacher. Therefore, once the school has an agreed-upon instructional framework and an accompanying common language, more and more teacher learning should be self-directed.

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"Departure from Common Core Standards could disengage teachers"

"Departure from Common Core Standards could disengage teachers" | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

A complete departure from Common Core standards could disengage teachers, who are already struggling to navigate the standards gauntlet, as well as embolden other states that are toying with the idea of rolling back their standards. Throughout the year, we'll be following this issue through the lens of its effects on Kingsport's teachers.

The backtracking puts teachers in a precarious position. Teaching to a new set of more difficult standards is tough enough. But in Tennessee, where an educator's evaluation, and in some cases compensation, is based on student test scores, teaching to Common Core while not aligning tests to those standards is problematic."

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Teacher Experience Matters

Teacher Experience Matters | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Returns to Teacher Experience: Student Achievement and Motivation in Middle School is the title of a new study at The National Center For Analysis Of Longitudinal Data In Education Research. Here's...
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Maria Victoria Tax's curator insight, February 3, 2015 11:44 PM

Teachers who have more experience being a teacher is better for the students, because it increases the test scores of the students.