It seems to me that if we're going to make systemic changes in how we deliver learning opportunities for our children, we're going to need to do a better job of creating the public's sense of urgency and the public will to provide support and political cover for our leaders who toil every day in their buildings and districts. Disruptive innovations of the sort made possible by technology are exciting and are providing evidence that there are ways to provide quality education that we heretofore have not even thought of, but how will they gain currency? The PDK poll results (my...


What does it take right now to register a student in your school and have them fully functional as a part of your learning community? Really think about it. They have to go to one office and register then that clerical staff will have to either walk or send, in some way, his/her information to probably four or five different offices at the very least. What if I were to tell you that my school district will have it down to one office in our school district by the beginning of next school year. What if I were to ...


in·no·va·tion (noun) 1: the introduction of something new; 2: a new idea, method, or device Merriam-Webster online The term innovation is becoming more and more prevalent in education-related discussions. Schools from coast to coast are adopting "innovative" models to address educational needs in local communities. The range of practice associated with these models is wide. Some models are prescribed programs with detailed requirements for professional development and implementation. Other models are more tailored to an individual community and somewhat less specific in structure and delivery. The development of these K-12 programs has been accompanied by university programs ...


If you have not read the McKinsey report - How the world's best performing school systems come out on top - you need to download and read it!!!! What you will find is a lot of influence from Michael Fullan and other international education thinkers. Bottom line - school outcomes will be no better than the quality of your teachers.The evidence on this has come from Boston, Dallas, Tennessee, Marzano's research, Sanders research, and from all OECD countries. Two consecutive years with a low quality teacher and it is almost impossible for children to recover. What are the three ...


My wife has told me many times I put my "rose colored contacts" in each morning before I go to school. I don't dispute my looking to the silver lining in things but have become a bit worried lately. I have struggled with how to address this post for a while now - so much so I have missed my publication date for the past two months (Sorry, Scott.) I might be taking some small steps down the path towards being a curmudgeon. I am far too optimistic to allow this to take place, but I am at the point ...


The Flip camera seems to be just about everywhere these days. The Flip makes it very easy to record and share video with other users, a fact which has not been overlooked by our hardworking teachers in the field. But, I feel that we should not overlook the potential of the flip in helping leaders help make us better teachers. Having conducted many an observation, and having many more conducted upon me, I know how difficult it is to visualize where my teaching could improve. The Flip has the potential to make to make visualizations unecessary. The video does not ...


Every semester I review (or create for the first time) the readings I require for the classes I teach. I am always thinking about a good blend of theoretical and pragmatic readings for my principal preparation courses. The polemic notions that programs either teach too much or too little theory bothers me. Ask a pre-service principal candidate if they should be reading Weber, Parsons, and Callahan and they will complain the preparation program is “out of touch” or does not understand what they will be asked to do as school leaders. On the other end of the spectrum are too ...


One of the criticisms I've come across about accountability measures based on standardized tests goes something like this: If we assess students based on standardized tests, teachers will "teach to the test", which when translated, means drill and kill, followed by rote memorization and robotic hypnosis while all creativity is thrown out the window. Here's another one of those false dichotomies that is propagated throughout the educational kingdom. When I think of creativity and flair on the basketball court, one of the first players that comes to mind is Pete Maravich. He was one of the most creative and flamboyant ...


Image Source: http://weblogs.cltv.com/news/opinion/mcclendon/reinvent.jpg "Yikes! I feel for Ms. Gerald," wrote one teacher in an online learning course of her principal, "being at work until 10:30 pm. On top of working, we all have our home lives too!" This comment was in the midst of an active online learning course where participants were online as late as midnight participating in the conversation, or up as early as 5:00 AM. Did they have to do this? No. They were engaged, excited about discovering each other online. The campus principal who learns online ...


Source: http://www.cold-moon.com/images/Motivators/motivators.htm Chatting with a friend about losses in staff in my own office spurred a return remark. "You think you got it bad?" asked a close friend, whom we'll call "James." He continued, "I've lost half my team and I'm in a bigger district than you that's growing!" In a relatively short time period, James, a fellow CTO, will have lost 6 staff members of his 10 member team. This constitutes half his highly specialized team, supporting special student information management systems that must work. Each staff member is in a highly ...


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