Instructional Leadership in Action

Shelby County ILD Initiative Featured in the News

by Max Silverman Nov 8, 2013

In Memphis, Principals Are Being Coached Like Executives

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Principal James Shaw is in the fight of his career at A.B. Hill Elementary. Last spring, two years after he arrived, test scores at the South Memphis school dropped. And this fall, just before the first nine-week report card, he got word that nearly half the fifth-graders had failed math.

The era when grades were a teacher’s problem is over. In the data-driven accountability that now rules in public schools, principals are responsible for grades, plus they are expected to have enough tricks up their sleeves to help every teacher improve.

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Principal Support Framework Action Area Resources and Tools

by Max Silverman Nov 6, 2013

This collection of conceptual and practical resources and tools is intended to help districts and CMOs as they use the Principal Support Framework (PSF) and the PSF District Self-Assessment and Planning Template to implement new systems and practices that support principals as instructional leaders.  Contributed by the Partnership Sites to Empower Effective Teaching and supplemented with tools from the Center for Educational Leadership and Break the Curve Consulting, these materials represent the current state of practice and were selected for their value in helping sites conceptualize, design, problem solve, and/or align the work of selecting and supporting principals as instructional leaders.  You'll find helpful examples of instructional leadership frameworks, templates for job descriptions, an extensive set of tools for principal hiring and instructional leadership planning, principal effectiveness scorecards, tools for teacher leader development, and many other resources that support critical aspects of the process.
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Leading for Effective Teaching: How School Systems Can Support Principal Success

by Max Silverman Nov 1, 2013

This report, written by Craig Jerald of Break the Curve Consulting, describes how the principalship is changing in school districts and CMOs that have adopted sophisticated new teacher development and evaluation systems. The report also highlights emerging strategies used in partnership sites and several other systems for better supporting principals as instructional leaders and human capital managers. The report focuses on three broad action areas that show considerable promise for helping principals meet new expectations: (1) clarifying the principal’s role as an instructional leader by specifying the high-impact practices for which principals will be accountable; (2) developing principals’ instructional leadership practices through job-embedded supports that build expertise; and (3) enabling principals to succeed as instructional leaders by providing sufficient time and strategic supports to perform the job well. By highlighting experiences across a group of school systems, the report can inform similar conversations about school leadership taking place in local communities and states around the country.
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In Memphis, principals are being coached like executives

by Max Silverman Oct 30, 2013

Photo: A.B. Hill Elementary School principal James Shaw (left) talks with Angela Whitelaw about strategies to improve teaching and student performance outcomes at A.B. Hill. Whitelaw is one of 10 coaches hired this year by Shelby County Schools to assist principals in improving their schools. (Brandon Dill/Special to The Commercial Appeal)

Copyright 2013 The Commercial Appeal. As first appeared Sunday, October 27, 2013. Posted with permission.

By Jane Roberts

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Principal James Shaw is in the fight of his career at A.B. Hill Elementary. Last spring, two years after he arrived, test scores at the South Memphis school dropped. And this fall, just before the first nine-week report card, he got word that nearly half the fifth-graders had failed math.

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Principal Support Framework

by Max Silverman Oct 17, 2013

The Principal Support Framework represents the best thinking of educators and other staff in the partnership sites about the support that is essential to principals if they are indeed to serve as instructional leaders in their schools. Grounded in the findings of Leading for Effective Teaching and other key research, particularly the work of  Meredith Honig and colleagues at the University of Washington on central office transformation for district-wide teaching and learning improvement, the framework addresses three action areas:
  • A Shared Vision of Principals as Instructional Leaders
  • A System of Support for Developing Principals as Instructional Leaders
  • Making It Possible for Principals to Be Instructional Leaders

Each action area highlights several key ideas that make up the vision for that area, with statements that provide possible evidence that would show a school system is fulfilling those ideas. School system leaders can use this framework, and the related self-assessment tool, to guide an inquiry into where they stand on the key dimensions of successful support for principals.

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Building on the Principal Support Framework: District Self-Assessment and Planning Template

by Max Silverman Oct 17, 2013

This planning tool builds on the Principal Support Framework. The interactive PDF template leads users through the key ideas in each of the framework’s three action areas and helps them (1) assess how well they currently support their principals as instructional leaders in each area, (2) identify evidence to support their assessment, and (3) prioritize next steps in each action area.
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Two Powerful Sessions for Superintendents and School Leaders

by UWCEL Nov 29, 2012

The Center for Educational Leadership presented two sessions at the Learning Forward Annual Conference in Boston, held December 1-5, 2012. Max Silverman and CEL faculty partner Meredith Honig presented "Central Office as Leaders of Principal Professional Development," and Anneke Markholt and Jennifer McDermott presented "Knowing Strong Instruction When You See It." In addition, CEL staff hosted a booth in the exhibit hall to help attendees learn about CEL resources and services supporting instructional leadership and teacher effectiveness.

Learn more about services for District Leadership.

Learn more about services for Teacher Evaluation.

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CEL, Minneapolis and Seattle Public Schools head to Council of the Great City Schools

by UWCEL Oct 15, 2012

The Center for Educational Leadership is pleased to join Minneapolis Public Schools and Seattle Public Schools at the Council of the Great City Schools Annual Fall Conference in Indianapolis, October 17-21, 2012. CEL Executive Director Stephen Fink, CEL Associate Director Max Silverman and leaders from two of our partner school districts will share strategies for building districtwide instructional leadership capacity.

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Powerful Learning at the CEL Summer Leadership Institute

by UWCEL Jul 16, 2012

A theory of action. A framework for teaching and learning. Strategies for providing feedback to teachers. These were just a few of the “take aways” for more than 180 educators and administrators who convened for the UW Center for Educational Leadership’s Summer Leadership Institute, held July 9-12, 2012.

Attendees came to Seattle from across the U.S. and abroad, representing more than 35 school districts, universities and education organizations. After four days of intensive interactions focused on developing greater expertise in leading for instructional improvement, they returned to the students that they serve with the inspiration, knowledge and energy that could make a difference for the whole school year and beyond.

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How Central Office Administrators Can Support Principal Leadership

by UWCEL May 7, 2012

A new study from University of Washington researcher Meredith Honig identifies central office practices that help principals learn to strengthen their instructional leadership. The findings come from an in-depth comparative case study of the work practices of executive-level central office staff in three districts. Dr. Honig's study (available online) is published in the April 2012 edition ofEducational Administration Quarterly.

Read a summary in Education Week

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