Leading News highlights recent news about school leadership. To submit works for consideration in future editions of Leading News, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preparing to Lead: Lessons in Principal Development from High-Performing Education Systems
A new report from the Center on International Education Benchmarking at the National Center on Education and the Economy, NISL’s parent organization, looks at how top-performing education systems effectively identify, develop and continuously train school leaders. Unlike the United States, these leadership development systems identify highly capable educators and prepare them to lead high-performance school organizations centered on teacher professionalism and collaboration. Top-performing systems in the study drive the state, provincial or national agenda for school improvement through their system of leadership development. Current and aspiring leaders in these systems are provided with tailored initial training and continuing professional development that is highly contextualized and responsive to the real demands of their everyday work.
U.S. Teachers’ Support State Standards and Assessments
A report by RAND examines the implications of teachers’ perceptions of state standards and assessments for their future use and success. Findings drawn from the American Teacher Panel show that while a majority of U.S. mathematics and English language arts teachers support the use of state standards in instruction, a majority do not support the use of current state tests to measure mastery of those standards. The report also finds that among teachers who are critical of state standards, many also believe that the standards do not provide a manageable number of topics to address each year. The authors argue that teacher perceptions are important for district and school leaders to consider as they design professional development opportunities in support of standards implementation.
Leveraging ESSA: Shining a Spotlight on K-12 and Higher Ed Alignment
In this brief by the Education Strategy Group, Every Student Succeeds Act plans from all fifty states and the District of Columbia are compared in terms of how states are working to better align strategies between the K-12 and higher education sectors to make college and career readiness a priority in order for students to better transition to postsecondary education. The brief encourages school leaders to set college and career readiness goals and to monitor progress in order to make modifications to their targets if necessary.
The State of Public School Principals
This recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics looks closely at the characteristics of public school principals in the United States in the 2015-16 school year and the work that they do. According to the report, of the more than 90,000 principals surveyed, roughly 78 percent were white, while 11 percent were black and 8 percent were Hispanic. Over half of all principals were women and women were more likely to be elementary school principals than middle or high school principals. Little has changed in the past several years as the same survey found six years ago that 80 percent of sitting principals were white, 10 percent were black and 7 percent were Hispanic, with 52 percent being women. The 2017 report also details how, on average, principals spend their time. The survey found that 30 percent of principals’ time, on average, is spent on administrative tasks, 30 percent on curriculum and teaching-related tasks, 23 percent on student interactions, and 14 percent on parent interactions.