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

Examine the potential in funding building manager or “Co-Principal” positions for every school. Create teacher leadership positions designed to ease time constraints on administrators.

My Mentor, Myself
Kellaher, A., and Maher, J.  (2003, Fall). Journal of Staff Development, 24(4).
It is critical that schools and districts develop effective mentor programs to provide support to teachers new to the profession.  Monitoring the effectiveness of mentor programs is often difficult.  In most programs, mentors are classroom teachers who take on protégés with little additional time or salary stipend.  As a result, the quality of the mentoring experience can be questionable. This article outlines the efforts of the Prince George’s County Public Schools to provide mentors to their new teachers.  Mentors are experienced teachers who serve as full time coaches for a cohort of 10-15 new teachers.  Mentors provide support through model teaching, assisting with planning, and providing advice.  Mentors meet regularly with one another and with their protégés, focusing on issues of immediate concern.  This program could be adapted by any county looking to provide alternate career paths for experienced teachers.

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.

Lost Luster:  Redesigning the Principalship Could Have a Positive Impact on the Pipeline Supply
Pounder, D.G., and Merrill, J.  (2001, November). The School Administrator
The demands of leading a school are taking a toll on the pool of qualified candidates interested in seeking a principalship.  This article from the American Association of School Administrators examines the concerns most frequently mentioned by administrative candidates and provides suggestions for redesigning the work of a principal to make the role more manageable and appealing.  Specifically addressed are the issues of time, accountability and shared leadership.

‘Making Our Own Road:’ The Emergence of School-Based Staff Developers in America’s Public Schools
Richard, A.  (2003, May). The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
School-based staff developers are becoming increasingly common in America’s public schools.  These professionals, often former teachers looking for an opportunity to advance within teaching, are charged with serving as instructional leaders within their buildings.  This guide from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation outlines the role of school-based staff developers.  It provides an overview of the need for such positions, a description of the kinds of people filling school-based staff development jobs, several suggestions about the types of roles that school-based staff developers can fill within a school, and an examination of the benefits of school-based staff 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.

Rethinking the Principalship.
Lashway, L.  (2002, Spring). Research Roundup, 18(3).
This research brief outlines the changing understanding of the principalship.  It describes and provides links to five current studies/articles on the role of the principal that emphasize redefining that work.

The Teacher Leaders Network
The Southeast Center for Teaching Quality
This website, an initiative of the Southeast Center for Teaching Quality, provides an electronic home for educators interested in leadership.  Providing resources in areas from coaching and mentoring to NCLB and action research, this link can connect teachers to a wealth of professional resources that empower them to act as leaders in their schools.

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.

Design a set of standards for school improvement that define actions of schools focused on student achievement.

Standards and Rubrics for School Improvement
Arizona Department of Education.  (2003).
The State of Arizona’s Department of Education has created a detailed set of rubrics that schools and communities must use to examine their improvement efforts.  These rubrics cover four standards of school improvement:  School and District Leadership, Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development, Classroom and School Assessment, and School Culture, Climate and Communication.  Also included is an evaluation record and an action plan template.  While oriented towards Arizona’s school improvement program, these rubrics would be of value to any community interested in evaluating the improvement efforts of their schools.

Use data to set clear expectations and benchmarks for student achievement.

Improving School Board Decision Making: The Data Connection
Linda Dawson
This site contains training tools, PowerPoint presentations, and quizzes designed to introduce school board members to using data to make good decisions. The site also highlights the activities of school boards in specific communities and provides links to additional resources on how to use data effectively.

Data-Driven Schools Create Their Own Accountability
Working Toward Excellence (2002, Summer) The Alabama Best Practices Center.
This article outlines the importance of using data to drive school reform efforts and provides case studies of two schools who have made data analysis a part of their school culture.  It also includes a visual representation of how data-driven schools function and several web links to valuable resources related to the topic of data driven instruction.

Engage in facilitated conversations with the community that examine the work of the principal.

Making the Connection:  A Policymaker’s Guide to Participating in a Community Dialogue on Education
Guzman, J., Mutchler, S., Pan, D., and Pollard, J.  (2000). Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.
This guide describes the purpose of community dialogues about education and the unique benefits of such discussion for policymakers and the community.  The authors provide a description of different roles for participants, discussion ground rules, and advice on how to make the most of participation both during and after the dialogue.

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.

If you have other resources to add or thoughts to share,
please email us at

data analysis | time | leadership | Empowerment | prof development | facilities & resource