Leading News Vol. 2 - The Latest in School Leadership

June 5, 2017 • Volume #2: On Leadership

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Leading News highlights recent news about school leadership. To submit works for consideration in future editions of Leading News, please email info@nisl.org.

Empowered Educators: An Unparalleled View of Teaching Quality Around the World from Linda Darling-Hammond
Funded and supported by the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), NISL’s parent organization, leading education researcher Linda Darling-Hammond’s new book Empowered Educators gives groundbreaking insights into how seven high-performing jurisdictions across four continents constructed coherent systems to recruit, develop and support high-quality teachers. The world-class research team behind Empowered Educators found that these high-performing systems are succeeding in building a new profession of teaching in a way that the United States has not. Registration for the June 6, 2017 Empowered Educators national meeting in Washington, DC and a schedule of related webinars are available on the Empowered Educators website.

Supporting Principal’s Learning: Key Features of Effective Programs
In a new report, the Learning Policy Institute examines the preparation and professional development necessary for principals to build their capacity and lead successfully. The report evaluates key factors of preparation and development programs such as strong organizational partnerships, support for learning, authentic learning opportunities, and learning opportunities focused on improving instruction and creating school environments of continual learning and improvement.

Evidence and Funding: Connecting the Dots
Chiefs for Change published a report on strategies for taking advantage of additional federal funding flexibility under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The report summarizes previous reports on ESSA changes and recommends that state leaders be strategic in aligning resources with their state’s overall vision and priorities, and that state leaders should advocate that funds be spent on evidence-based activities to be most effective.

First Wave of ESSA Plans Gives Early Look at State Priorities
Education Week has summarized plans from twelve of the sixteen states that submitted their plans in April. The article breaks down how the different states have responded to changes, such as new requirements for indicators of school quality and student success, as well as how they address and measure school improvement. For more on how the submitted state ESSA plans focus on investing in school leadership, read our accompanying piece by Robert Rothman.

Curriculum Research: What We Know and Where We Need to Go
A report by StandardsWork reviews the impact curriculum has on student academic success. As ESSA requires states to focus on evidence-based practices, state education agencies and school districts must make important evidence-based curricular choices. The report analyzes challenges plaguing the study of curriula, including variations in how curriculum is defined, accounting for differences in district versus teacher-selected curriculum, and the lack of clear standards used by researchers to evaluate the fidelity of curriculum implementation.

How to be an Inspiring Leader
In an article published in the Harvard Business Review, Bain & Company partner Eric Garton  explores how inspiring leaders can lead to transformational change in their organizations. According to Garton, however, research from Bain shows that only about half of employees believe their leaders were inspiring or unlocking their potential.  Garton argues that inspiration alone is not enough to change an organization’s performance; proper motivation is also essential for empowering higher performance and better results.