I spend a great deal of time reading, researching, and exploring new ways to integrate HR practices in schools. I have found that while there are numerous books written by human resource and talent management professionals, there are very few that focus specifically on HR in education. One of these books is "Strategic Management of Human Capital in Education: Improving Instructional Practice and Student Learning in Schools" by Dr. Allan Odden. I would encourage any K-12 talent manager to check it out. I have never met Dr. Odden, but his reputation in education precedes him. He has published research on ...


I had a fantastic middle school science teacher, Mrs. McLean, who retired last year after nearly 30 years in the classroom. (Such a shame for the district, but well deserved!) She was not afraid to go outside the box and get messy to enhance the learning experience for her students. She blew things up during class experiments and dropped objects off the school roof to make her lessons more engaging. She took us on field trips and supported her students in extracurricular activities. She also gave students compliments in class and pulled them aside to offer encouragement if she thought ...


Today, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released, "Gathering Feedback for Teaching: Combining High-Quality Observations with Student Survey and Achievement Gains," which summarizes the most recent findings from the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project. MET, funded by Gates Foundation, is a partnership of more than 3,000 public school teachers and independent research partners working to investigate "better ways to identify and develop effective teaching" to help improve educator evaluation, feedback, and professional development. This research group includes Teachscape, the National Board for Professional Teaching, Westat, the American Institutes for Research, RAND, the National Math and Science Initiative, Educational Testing ...


One area of talent management that piques my interest (and an issue that I spend a great amount of time working on with districts across the country) is compensation. On December 31, 2011, the New York Times published an article, "In Washington, Large Rewards in Teacher Pay." It highlights the work of one of Washington, D.C.'s finest educators, Tiffany Johnson, but also compares "merit pay systems" in four districts across the country: District of Columbia Public Schools, Denver Public Schools, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and the Houston Independent School District. There are more and more articles being written ...


While I've said this in previous posts, anyone at any level can be a manager of talent. We know that superintendents, HR directors, principals, and mentors are all talent managers in education. But, so are professional association representatives, education reform groups, public officials, and education leadership organizations. December 2011 has been a busy month in the national conversation about educator effectiveness, and talent managers at all levels have been involved in the discussion. Below are five examples of various groups thinking on this issue. I recommend that all talent managers, education reformers, and policymakers read what these groups have to ...


I'll never forget when I was a young child my father taking phone call after phone call to assist his customers during our family vacations. I also remember as a teenager my mother answering our home phone at 4 a.m. some mornings to help resolve disputes between her employees. At the time, I wondered why my dad didn't just let those calls go to voicemail, or why the ADULTS at my mom's office couldn't just "get along." Now, after years as a human resource professional, I know that sometimes colleagues don't see eye to eye (and never will), important ...


There is a debate in the education community about whether school districts have "customers" or "stakeholders." Many people think these two words are interchangeable and favor using "stakeholder" as the friendlier term to describe parents, teachers, students and others in the community. In reality, these two terms mean two different things. A stakeholder is an individual, group, or organization who is affected by the outcome of a product or service and possibly involved in doing the work. Anyone associated with the project either directly or indirectly can consider themselves a stakeholder. Not all stakeholders are created equal and different stakeholders ...


Here's a short and simple question: Does your school district have a program to onboard new employees? I frequently ask this question to groups of educators, and more often than not, I get a puzzled look in return. Then, our conversation generally goes as follows: Me: "When a new teacher or other staff member is brought into your district, do they walk in the first day knowing the culture of their building, safety rules, health insurance or emergency procedure information, how to access their email, who their mentor is, important internal processes, what the goals and strategy of the district ...


I'm not one of those people who think all school district functions should be run like a business. (So don't shoot me yet!) The superintendent of a 10,000-student district and the CEO of a Fortune 500 company face very different challenges that can't all be addressed with the same strategies or tools. However, I do believe there are some important lessons and practices around management, customer service, and efficiency from the business world that can be successfully replicated in education. Businesses try new things and succeed daily. Businesses also try new things and fail daily. The same thing goes ...


Last week, I had a very interesting conversation with a friend who is in the process of looking for a new job. She shared that she is not only interested in working for an organization with a good reputation but one that is part of a strong community. While she has had success in finding job openings in several states that offer competitive pay, benefits, and opportunities for growth, she has run into trouble trying to find information about the specific characteristics of each community. My friend asked me, "Why don't organizations do a better job of communicating information about ...


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  • Brian Hansen: Great explanation of the flipped classroom! I'm starting to flip read more
  • Donte Kiryakoza: As usual, another great write up. Keep up the good read more
  • Leoma Dastrup: I don't actually concur with you on this, but still read more
  • Joshua: So, what are the solutions? I often see people decry read more
  • Jules Witherite: Great Job. fantasticread keep up the great work :) read more