Recommendation Two:
Reexamine and modify the work of principals allowing them sufficient time for effective and ongoing communication with teachers. Communication should include a shared vision for success, clear performance expectations of the school community and regular updates on emerging policies and initiatives shaping education.


Role Group Strategies:

Promote an awareness of the increasingly complex role of school administrators.

Instructional Module:  View of the Principal and the Job
The George Lucas Educational Foundation. (2004).
This module outlines the various job responsibilities of a principal for those outside of or thinking of joining the profession.  The contents focus on professional development and mentoring and profile three innovative leaders in different school settings.

Poll Finds Differing Views of School Leaders’ Main Tasks
Reid, K.S. (2004, February 11).
Education Week.
Results of the 2003 “MetLife Survey of the American Teacher,” which polled principals, teachers, and parents, showed that principals generally perceive their leadership abilities more positively than teachers and the public do.  This article addresses this discrepancy and allows communities to begin to understand the complex role of the principal.

Principals:  So Much to Do, So Little Time 
Archer, J. (2002, April 17).Education Week.
This article highlights a discussion about the expanding role of the principal that took place at the annual convention of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.   Principals discuss the increasing services schools offer to their communities, the challenges of meeting the needs of special education students and those who do not come to school prepared to learn, and the difficulty of finding time for professional development.

Rolling Up Their Sleeves:  Superintendents and Principals Talk About What’s Needed to Fix Public Schools
Public Agenda.  (2003).
This report from Public Agenda and the Wallace Foundation surveyed school leaders about the challenges they face in their jobs.  The site describes eight findings on topics ranging from NCLB to the importance of highly qualified school leaders and offers a forum for readers to engage in discussion about the findings.

Taking the Lead:  The Role of the Principal in School Reform
Trail, K. (2000). CSRD Connections, 1(4). Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
This article outlines 11 roles that principals are expected to fill ranging from psychologist and philosopher to police officer and facilities manager.  It provides a helpful introduction to the complex task of school leadership and emphasizes the need for shared leadership among teachers, administrators, students, parents, and community members..

Engage policymakers in conversations related to re-defining the role of school principals. 

Interactive Case Study:  System Wide Change
The George Lucas Educational Foundation.  (2003).
This site provides an in-depth look at the successful school reform efforts of Union City Public Schools in New Jersey.  The contents are organized around five key factors in reform: leadership, curriculum/assessment, professional development, technology, and community.  Under leadership, the authors explain how the district assessed and addressed their unique needs, in addition to describing the new curricula written by a teacher and the importance of empowering teachers and district administrators.

ASCD Capwiz Advocacy Toolkit
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (2004).
These pages help those interested in education reform become involved in the policy-making process. The site provides links to elected officials, tracks current issues and legislation, and highlights important elections and candidates.  It also includes a feature that identifies the major media outlets serving every zip code and allows users to send an advocacy email directly from this site.

Making the Connection: A Guide to Involving Policymakers in a Community Dialogue on Education
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
Engaging policymakers in dialogue on education is a practical action step that communities can take to influence school reform.  This resource provides step by step instructions on engaging policymakers in dialogue on education issues.  The authors provide a description of different roles for participants, advice on how to make the most of participation both during and after the dialogue, and a recruiting planner to assist in inviting policymakers to the discussion.

Calling the Role:  Study Circles for Better Schools
Pan, D.T. and Mutchler, S.E. (2000). 
The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
Engaging policymakers in conversations with community members related to school issues is critical for communities interested in school reform.  Many have advocated for the implementation of community study circles as a strategy for engagement.  This policy research report released by SEDL in 2000 discusses the potential of the study circles method to enhance communication between policymakers and the community.  The authors describe SEDL's implementation of the study circles model in their "Calling the Role" program, review literature pertaining to deliberative dialogues, and discuss policymakers' perceptions of the process.

Advocate for opportunities that allow teachers to fill leadership roles in schools.

Redefining the Teacher as Leader
Usdan, M., McCloud, B., and Podmostko, M. (2001). Institute for Educational Leadership.
This report examines the potential power in enabling and encouraging teacher leadership.  It discusses roadblocks to teacher leadership, shares promising practices from districts around the country, and provides a list of “Suggested Questions” that communities can use to start discussions related to teacher leadership within their districts.

Coaching Moves Beyond the Gym:  Successful Site-Based Coaching Offers Lessons
Galm, R., and Penny, G.S. (2004, Spring). Journal of Staff Development, 25(2).
This article from the Journal of Staff Development outlines the growing practice of using teacher-leaders within a building to provide on-going professional development and support to teachers and highlights the benefits of coaching on student achievement.  A description of five keys to developing quality coaching programs provides communities with a starting point for establishing their own site-based professional development programs.

Principals’ Readiness for Reform:  A Comprehensive Approach
Schiff, T.  (2002, February 29). Milken Family Foundation
While much recent discussion has focused on the importance of principals serving as instructional leaders, a survey conducted in the fall of 2000 by the Milken Family Foundation and the National Association of Secondary School Principals revealed that principals spend less than 30% of their work week addressing the curriculum or learning environment of their schools.  The majority of their time was spent on issues related to discipline, community relations and school management.  The Milken Family Foundation sees this as an opportunity to create leadership positions for teachers interested in remaining in the classroom, but hoping for more responsibility.  This article, originally printed in the January, 2002 issue of Principal Leadership, discusses how principals can benefit by sharing responsibilities with teacher-leaders through the Teacher Advancement Program.

What is the Teacher Advancement Program
Milken Family Foundation
Recognizing that American schools were failing to attract and retain highly qualified teachers to their classrooms, the Milken Family Foundation developed a program known as the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) to increase teaching quality in schools.  The program outlines three career positions teachers advance through while staying in the classroom: career, mentor, and master teacher.  It restructures the school day to provide teachers time for professional learning and collaboration and rewards teachers with a performance-based compensation system.  The website also lists states with TAP schools and provides answers to frequently asked questions about the program.

Participate in school-wide planning meetings or join school-based improvement teams to promote the creation of Professional Learning Communities.

Creating a Professional Learning Community: Cottonwood Creek School
Hoard, S.M. and Rutherford, W.L. (2001). Issues about Change, 6(2).
Cottonwood Creek Elementary School is a K-5 building located in the Southwest.  In the late 1990’s, Cottonwood Creek began to move towards establishing itself as a professional learning community by partnering with a local university to create a community of learners with a shared vision.  This case study, based on interviews with teachers, administrators, school leaders and community members, documents Cottonwood’s efforts and provides valuable insight into the process of creating a professional learning community. 

Sustaining School Improvement:  Professional Learning Communities
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.  (2003).

This article describes the shared vision, shared leadership, and collaborative activity of professional learning communities.  The authors rate the relative effectiveness of different strategies and highlight the efforts of Lewis and Clark Middle School, in Jefferson, Missouri, to increase the level of active teaching and learning at their school.

Helping Every Student Succeed: Schools and Communities Working Together
Study Circles Resources Center (2002).
This tool explains how study circles engage community members in school improvement efforts and provides the discussion materials necessary for a series of four study groups. Group discussions begin with consideration of what each participant considers a “good education” and progresses to deciding upon specific actions for change.

Reinventing Education Change Toolkit
IBM (2002).
This toolkit, provided free of charge to anyone working in K-12 education, is designed to help school and district leaders to guide the school reform process.  The toolkit can be used to diagnose an environment for change, collaborate with members of a school change team, read real-life vignettes from education colleagues, plan a change initiative, and connect with educators worldwide.

Multiple Mirrors:  Reflections on the Creation of Professional Learning Communities
Hoard, S.M. (2000). Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.
This website shares seven “stories” from administrators and teacher leaders related to the creation of professional learning communities in schools across the Southwest.

Evaluate and actively work to create/strengthen community-school partnerships.

Broad Creek Middle School, Carteret, NC
The Real D.E.A.L. Schools
Broad Creek Middle School is one of eight schools honored by North Carolina Governor Mike Easley as a school that leads the state in both student achievement and teacher working conditions. Parental involvement and volunteers are an integral part of the school’s success. Volunteer programs include tutoring, mentoring and a partnership with a group of local marines.

Developing Effective Partnerships to Support Local Education
School Communities that Work: A National Taskforce on the
Future of Urban Districts (2002).
This paper describes design and operating principles used in effective education and community partnerships. The authors emphasize that partnerships should focus on equity in addition to results and aim to affect youth engagement and development.

What do we mean by “family and community connections with schools? 
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL).  (2002, November). Research Brief.
This short brief explains that there are many different forms of school-community involvement and emphasizes the need to clarify each group’s understanding of and expectations for such partnerships.  It includes a series of guiding questions to help schools, parents, and community groups decide which type of partnerships to pursue and provides additional references for related research.

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