Instructional Leadership in Action

Anneke Markholt

Dr. Anneke Markholt is an associate director with the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL), and affiliate faculty of educational leadership and policy studies in the University of Washington College of Education. Dr. Markholt designs and directs the Center's partnerships focused on developing teaching effectiveness and instructional leadership. She is particularly interested in the intersection of teaching, learning and the leadership capacity necessary for school systems to engage in instructional improvement, especially for linguistically diverse students. Prior to her work with CEL, Dr. Markholt spent five years as an associate researcher for the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy at the University of Washington. She began her career as an English as a second language specialist for Tacoma Public Schools where she taught for ten years. Dr. Markholt is the co-author of "Leading for Instructional Improvement: How Successful Leaders Develop Teaching and Learning Expertise."

Recent Posts

Florida school leaders use job-embedded PD for real learning and growth

by Anneke Markholt Nov 8, 2016

When Catherine G. Atria, the principal of P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School in Florida, observed her teachers at work this year, it was with a new lens.

Watching teachers in action, Atria carefully collected data on everything from how many students asked questions or closely read the text of a book, to the number of closed or open-ended questions a teacher asked. Atria didn’t opine on whether students were engaged or not, or note techniques a teacher could have used, but didn’t.

And when meeting with a teacher afterward, Atria didn’t list a prescription for improvement. Instead, she presented the factual data and asked careful questions about why the teacher took a particular approach. Then she asked the teacher to think about ways to make small improvements to boost existing strengths.

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Teton Tackles Achievement Gap

by Anneke Markholt Jan 14, 2014

The Big “Aha”: CEL Brings Equitable Learning Strategies to Small District With Stark Gap

As she scans student faces during classroom discussions, Michelle Rooks constantly asks herself “Who is being left behind? Who needs support to access the conversation?” The middle school instructional coach describes these as “gut questions” – questions planted by University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) experts who, over the past three years, have brought powerful equity-driven instructional and leadership strategies to a Wyoming school district with a stark and striking achievement gap.

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Flipping the Old Approach to Teacher Evaluation

by Anneke Markholt Jan 14, 2013

As a district or school leader, how do you take the opportunity presented by a new teacher evaluation model to truly marry growth with accountability in teacher practice? We believe by taking the old notion of teacher evaluation and flipping it 180 degrees.

Unlike the traditional evaluation process where principals may only evaluate teachers once a year or in some cases every couple of years, with very little feedback on practice between evaluation points, today’s evaluation means all day, every day.

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Anacortes Transforms Teacher Evaluation

by Anneke Markholt Sep 1, 2011

Beyond 'Satisfactory': A Teacher Evaluation Pilot Focused on Professional Growth

Evaluations that tell teachers “You’re OK” or “You’re good enough” say little about actual  classroom practice and provide no targets for professional growth.  But that’s the evaluation system that pervades Washington State education – a system that the Center for Educational Leadership, in partnership with the Anacortes School District, is working hard to overhaul.

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The Power of Partnership

by Anneke Markholt Dec 1, 2007

Although CEL has worked in partnership with school districts around the nation, until this fall the Center had never begun a partnership with a salmon bake, campfire, and singing in the middle of the desert. But that is just how CEL’s partnership with the Portland School District got underway.  
 
In early October, central office administrators, principals and teachers from 23 Portland schools gathered in Warm Springs, Oregon, with the shared mission of increasing student achievement by improving district instructional and leadership practices.  Not only did this group have fun on the retreat, but more importantly, the time away provided an opportunity for these Pre K-8 school and district educators to establish a clear and specific focus for their school year.   

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CEL Partnership Making Gains for Wyoming Students

by Anneke Markholt Sep 1, 2007

It was during the 2006 Summer Leadership Institute that James Bailey, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction of Uinta County School District #1, became intrigued by the opportunity to partner with CEL.  Now, a year later, the Wyoming school district is celebrating the gains made as a result of its first year of partnership and is ready to begin year two with a continued focus on the mathematics achievement of all students in their diverse community.  

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Working Together to Improve Learning

by Anneke Markholt Jun 1, 2007

Walk into a school district boardroom and you’re likely to find artwork and school projects highlighting student learning.  The boardroom walls of the Marysville School District are similarly plastered with posters and paperwork depicting learning—only this time the names on the papers are those of teachers, principals, and central office staff.   Also displayed is a large sign: “OUR VISION:  Marysville students, families, staff, and community are committed to working together to achieve academic excellence.” That phrase, “committed to working together,” is significant, as this is the same district that a mere three years ago experienced the longest teacher strike in Washington state history—49 days.  Yet today there is no evidence of this past strife in relationships between the teachers’ union and the district management, nor between teachers and administrators.  No one would disagree that the district is in a very different place today.

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