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Leadership in a New Era

A growing body of evidence has highlighted this basic fact: the presence of excellent teaching in excellent schools is always accompanied by excellent leadership – the kind that ensures that effective teaching practices don’t remain isolated and unshared in single classrooms, and ineffective ones don’t go unnoticed and unremedied. With our national commitment to make every single child a successful learner, the importance of having such a high-quality leader in every school is greater than ever.

Source: Wallace Foundation report Perspective: Leadership for Learning

Building Capacity in Challenging Times

The role of the leader is to enable, facilitate, and cause peers to interact in a focused manner. Peer interaction is the social glue of focus and cohesion.

Source: Motion Leadership: The Skinny on Becoming Change Savvy by Michael Fullan

When studying the specific leadership acts or behaviors rated as most valuable when turning around a school, the following three were seen as most valuable: providing resources; building a learning community or collaborative culture in the school; and ensuring adequate amounts and types of professional development.

Source: Learning about Leadership from School Turnaround Efforts by Kenneth Leithwood and Tiiu Strauss

Leading in Difficult Times: Doing More With Less

Leaders must be knowledgeable of those interventions that can change school culture by: providing community building retreats; focusing on staff morale by recognizing and rewarding those who make a difference; including popular culture in the classroom; and establishing after school and community projects and accelerated summer schools.

Source: Pedro Noguera, Presentation at New Jersey State Conference, 2009

It is of critical importance to create Professional Learning Communities(PLC) as a vehicle for establishing collegial relationships and for building capacity for change within a school when centered on optimal academic outcomes for all students.

Source: Synthesis of information from Dufour, Fullan, Hord, Senge

For the past couple of decades, school improvement has largely been driven by these two levers of change – capacity building and professional development tied to evidence-based practices and incentives.

Source: Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning by Louis, Leithwood, Wahlstrom and Anderson