Instructional Leadership in Action

Inspiring growth — Academy gives Florida's educational leaders a safe and supportive learning space

by UWCEL Jul 26, 2017

What does it mean for a school system to cultivate or build instructional leadership at scale? In the June 2017 issue of Learning Forward's journal, The Learning Professional, CEL's Stephen Fink and Anneke Markholt describe a research-based curriculum that is setting a new standard for school leadership professional development.

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A look inside Central Louisiana's successful school leadership development model

by UWCEL Jun 19, 2017

Twenty-two Central Louisiana educators are fully prepared for instructional leadership positions after completing a three-year training that is designed to ultimately impact student achievement. Aspiring Leaders is a leadership institute administered by The Orchard Foundation and funded under The Rapides Foundation’s Education Initiative. The Aspiring Leaders curriculum was developed specifically for Central Louisiana by the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership.

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CCSSO puts a spotlight on the Commissioner's Leadership Academy in Florida

by UWCEL Jan 4, 2017


The Council of Chief State School Officers produced a three-minute video showing how Florida better prepares school leaders through the Commissioner's Leadership Academy. The yearlong professional development program  was designed by the Center for Educational Leadership to help principals, principal supervisors and education leaders to become stronger and more effective instructional leaders. Based on widespread acclaim for the program in Florida, CEL is now offering this professional learning program directly to school districts and states across the country.

School districts and states interested in bringing the Instructional Leadership Academy to their system can contact CEL by going to the Academy website and filling out the free estimate form.

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CEL launches new Instructional Leadership Academy

by UWCEL Nov 8, 2016

The Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) is launching the Instructional Leadership Academy, a yearlong professional development program that CEL delivers directly within a school district. Through the academy, a school district’s principals, instructional coaches, teacher leaders, and central office leaders become stronger and more effective instructional leaders.

Based on the CEL-led Florida Commissioner's Leadership Academy, the in-district leadership and learning community has received positive reviews from participants and is now available nationwide. “I have been in education 24 years, and this is probably the best PD I have ever done. It’s not just another professional development that you go to ... I really believe in this program,” said Lori Duckstein, a principal with the Hendry County District Schools.

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Want to become an expert school leader? Ask more questions.

by Sheeba Jacob Aug 30, 2016

Why should you be stuck without a bed if I’ve got an extra air mattress? Today, the answer to this question is worth $30 billion.

The meteoric rise of home-sharing site AirBnB is driven by many factors, but it started with the founders Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky asking a series of questions that helped them uncover new opportunities.

In A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas, Warren Berger takes an in-depth look at how asking ‘why’, ‘what if’ and ‘how’ drove the early success of famous tech start-ups like AirBnb or Netflix. His insight: We are all born with a billion-dollar app — our aptitude to ask questions.

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Build a roadmap to support great teaching with new School Leadership Institute

by UWCEL May 27, 2016

Creating a plan for the year to support teachers can be daunting. School leaders need to answer many important questions: What are specific ways to support teachers? How can they provide professional learning opportunities that go beyond ratings and checklists? What's the best way to set up an environment that is supportive and conducive to performance improvement?

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5 tips for setting up and sustaining coaching in your district

by Joanna Michelson Apr 28, 2016

I recently visited two elementary school instructional coaches in a district where we are providing support to all K-12 coaches. Rebecca used to be a teacher at the school and is now in her first year as a full-time coach. Cheryl is in her second year as a district-based coach and spends a week a month at the school.

"I work here all the time and I know these teachers so well, I think I am overly casual sometimes," Rebecca described her main challenge. "I don’t want to be too pushy but I do want to do more coaching. How do I strike that balance?"

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Get specific in improving instructional practice with the new 4D™ Instructional Leadership Growth Continuum

by June Rimmer Apr 4, 2016

Over the years, I have worked with a lot of principals and their supervisors with the goal of improving the principals' instructional leadership practice. There is one issue that comes up often: Supervisors are not specific enough in telling principals what they should do to get better.

For example, a coach, supervisor or consultant might say, "You're doing a really good job with collecting evidence of classroom instruction, but an area you might focus on is the way you give feedback to teachers." And that's all they say.

As a principal getting this feedback, I don't necessarily know what I should do next. I just know I'm not doing it right.

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New 4D™ Instructional Leadership Growth Continuum describes leadership behavior by skill levels

by UWCEL Apr 1, 2016

The work of the instructional leader is to ensure that every day, in every classroom, every student has a powerful learning experience. To do this, leaders need to know the most essential aspects of instructional leadership as described in the Center for Educational Leadership's 4 Dimensions of Instructional Leadership. Now, CEL is introducing a companion resource to the 4D™ framework — the 4D Instructional Leadership Growth Continuum.

This new tool describes growth in leadership behavior at various levels of expertise ranging from novice to expert. It can be used for self-assessment, personal reflection, goal setting, leadership coaching, and professional learning.

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Closing the Achievement Gap Requires Closing the Gap Between Schools and Central Offices

by Max Silverman Mar 9, 2016

In many ways the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) marks a departure from No Child Left Behind (NCLB). But at least in one way it stays the course: the notion of school turnaround is alive and well.

Under ESSA, the federal government still requires states to identify their worst-performing schools and come up with a plan to make them better. If ESSA plays out like NCLB, then schools and districts will be working mightily to stay just above the line that triggers a turnaround — an aspirational low bar for sure.

As part of these efforts, schools and districts will be reaching out for the helping hands of a variety of newly minted — or as is often the case, re-minted — programs and solutions.

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