Instructional Leadership in Action

Max Silverman named executive director of UW Center for Educational Leadership

by UWCEL Jun 28, 2018

Max Silverman, a nationally recognized leader with expertise in improving instructional leadership systems focused on equitable outcomes for students, has been named executive director of the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership.

Silverman, who assumes his duties on July 1, 2018, has served in a variety of leadership positions throughout his career including school principal, central office leader, and most recently as deputy director of the Center for Educational Leadership.

During his 25 years in education, he has led national projects to implement new systems to measure and improve leadership effectiveness, and he has worked closely with individual school districts to improve leadership support systems at scale. Over his time at CEL, Max led the development of CEL’s central office redesign programs and services. These efforts helped CEL develop a reputation as a leader in rethinking the role of school system central offices in supporting the work of schools.

[Continue Reading]

A retrospective interview with Stephen Fink on teaching, leadership, and lessons for eliminating the achievement gap

by Stephen Fink Jun 18, 2018

On June 30, 2018, Dr. Stephen Fink, executive director of the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL), transitions leadership of the Center to Max Silverman, currently the organization’s deputy director. In this interview, Dr. Fink reflects on the past 17 years and the continuing mission of teachers and leaders everywhere to eliminate the achievement gap.

[Continue Reading]

What we are reading this spring

by UWCEL Mar 30, 2017

Spring break is upon us. For some that means a final chance to enjoy the lingering holdovers of winter, and others a chance to seek out the sun. For us its an opportunity to take in the annual magic of cherry blossoms on the University of Washington campus. It's also a great time to catch up on reading!

Here is a list of three books that our CEL faculty think might inspire you as you head into the final leg of the school year:

[Continue Reading]

What we are reading this summer

by UWCEL Aug 2, 2016

Photo by .christoph.G. / CC BY-ND 2.0

It's the time of the year when we are still in summer break mode but coming to grips with the idea of school starting back up soon. And while some of us might still have a beach read on the nightstand, it's a good time to dive back into important education topics like equity, teaching, learning and workload management.

Here is a list of four books that inspired our CEL experts and might inspire you as you get ready for a new school year:

[Continue Reading]

Could common core save our democracy?

by Stephen Fink Mar 22, 2016

You might have noticed that that there is an election going on. So far, it has been surprising, convention-defying, outrageous, at times downright mean — but above all, it has been a spectacle full of dubious declarations and light on real world compatible policy proposals.

I’m a lifelong political observer and I think I have a good grasp of the state of education in this country.

After hearing so many patently false statements on the campaign trail, I wonder if we, as citizens, are able to evaluate the credibility of claims so that we can make an informed decision at the ballot box. And, do we even care to?

[Continue Reading]

Common Core: An Obituary

by Stephen Fink Feb 2, 2016

When the scathing opinion pieces started rolling in, and the angry protest signs went up, Common Core, at first, couldn’t understand the fuss. Why should kids not achieve at higher levels? And who could deny the fact that the previous system of 50 different standards for what students should learn in school left many kids behind and put the United States on rank 35 (out of 57) in mathematics in the 2006 PISA tests?

Used to being an applause line in speeches, Common Core now found itself at the end of angry complaints and partisan sniping. Something had changed — and the life of Common Core was never going to be the same again.

[Continue Reading]

Celebrating 15 Years of Making Great Teachers, Principals and District Leaders

by UWCEL Jan 4, 2016

In 2016 the Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) celebrates another milestone — our 15th anniversary. Founded in 2001 as a nonprofit service arm of the University of Washington College of Education, we continue to be dedicated to eliminating the achievement gap that divides our nation’s children along the lines of race, class, language and disability.

To mark the occasion and take a moment to look back, we worked with graphic artist (and teacher) Taryl Hansen to create a visual overview of CEL's last 15 years (see image above). 

Explore the graphic and watch a short video slideshow

[Continue Reading]

Our 5 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2015

by UWCEL Dec 30, 2015

As we gather the files and clean up the hard drive for 2015, we like to take a moment and look back on what topics we tackled on this blog and what our readers found most interesting and valuable for their practice.

One of our top priorities at the Center for Educational Leadership is to help district leaders, principals and teachers improve instruction in every classroom. Drawn from our experiences in the field, we hope these posts (along with our tools and services) give educators the knowledge and motivation to grow their practice and help all students succeed.

So, without further ado, here are our top five most popular blog posts for 2015 (click on each title to view the post):

[Continue Reading]

One Key Ingredient For Successful Content Area PD: Include Instructional Leaders

by Joanna Michelson Nov 30, 2015

It’s a familiar professional development experience for many educators: Seven middle school math teachers gather around student work and content area standards in preparation to observe an experienced consultant teach a group of eighth graders how to talk about their own learning, which today includes how to graph on a coordinate plane.

The teachers are eager to hear their students talk about their learning in the classroom. They are also eager to try out some different instructional strategies to support math discourse. By the end of the day, they leave the session excited to take their learning back to their classrooms.

[Continue Reading]

3 Important Ways to Connect Teaching Practice to Student Learning

by Jennifer McDermott Oct 13, 2015

Raise your hand if you think you’re keeping students at the center of your work.

We all do. It’s why many of us went into education and it’s what motivates us to do the best we can every day. In my 23 years as a teacher, instructional coach and educational consultant, I have not met an educator who didn’t want their work to ultimately help students.

Unfortunately, we often lose sight of the student. Caught up in our day-to-day work, we assume that programs, initiatives and curriculum will result in student learning, but that is not always true. Sometimes we get so focused on implementation that we forget to see if the result is helping our students learn.

How does this happen? Let’s look at an example.

[Continue Reading]

Subscribe to CEL's blog