If educators have not studied ethics, or at least done so as a personal journey, they will be ill prepared to handle these situations

As educational leaders we have a responsibility to be those models of moral integrity, of standing by our values and of making courageous decisions even when they are unpopular.

Principals have jobs that are rapidly changing and they have little control over the heart of the school...what is being taught and how and by whom. Even principals who have developed and support healthy, rich, nurturing, learning environments, know that they are chasing a moving target and tomorrow it might be different.

Our current professional development addresses the intellect but we do mighty little for the emotional or spiritual parts of our teachers and leaders. And these are the sources of morale.

No school or district can arrive at success without a talented leader who is able to coalesce energy of teachers around a powerful vision, then motivate, measure and improve along the way - all while building sustainability.

Tom Sobol gives us an unusual opportunity to not only look at what he dreamed and how he tried, but how he felt along the way. This book offers us a bold and heartfelt story, told by a man now confined to a wheelchair, of the long and winding road leaders walk.

Since the implementation process is well underway, what can we do to be the transformers? How can we use this debilitating opportunity to actually improve our principals and teachers? This is worth doing. If we begin a new process and simply skim over it without honoring its value, its introduction may be accepted, but not attended to. We have to push against our institutional habit of clinging to the old ways.

What is good about these successes is their unquestionable result - making things better for children. Sustainability is judged by a two-fold criterion: Will the change or program be sustained beyond the years of the leader who brought it about? Will it be flexible enough to morph into its next form when the need arises with or without the present leadership?

The collegiate response enabled us, in a clinical sense, to send our graduates along to college. It kept our graduation reports looking good. And it kept college enrollments up. As much bad press as the Common Core has received, it may very well be a beacon for us and help us return to deeper and more rigorous treatment of text in all subject areas.

Lincoln, Kearns Goodwin, and Spielberg have given us a magnificent opportunity to watch leadership in action and learn.


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