Instructional Leadership in Action

District Partnership Boosts Literacy

by Stephen Fink Apr 20, 2012

Leading for Literacy: CEL Partnership Helps District Smarten Up Practice System-Wide

The South Los Angeles County school district faced tremendous challenges. Less than one-third of its students read at proficiency level. Its high populations of English Language Learners and special education students were chronically underperforming: even those who could read words often had no idea what the words meant. Many of their teachers were convinced that some students just can’t learn. The teachers didn’t connect their own low expectations to the low literacy levels in their classrooms.

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Purposeful Instruction in Anchorage

by Max Silverman Apr 13, 2012

A Clear Focus: Leadership Lessons in Purposeful Instruction

What if all teachers knew how to plan purposeful, standards-based lessons and learning targets with all of their students in mind? More importantly, what if each of their students understood and could articulate the purpose of each and every lesson?

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CEL Leads for Instructional Improvement at ASCD Conference

by UWCEL Apr 3, 2012

At the 2012 ASCD annual conference and exhibit show in Philadelphia on March 24, more than 145 school district administrators, principals and educators from across North America gathered to hear a presentation by Dr. Stephen Fink, executive director of the UW Center for Educational Leadership.

His presentation, What Do Leaders Need to Know to Improve the Quality of Teaching?, provided new research illustrating the level of instructional expertise among school and district leaders. Fink discussed how improving student achievement rests on school leaders' abilities to develop the instructional expertise necessary to support teachers in the improvement of teaching.

Fink, who is the co-author of Leading for Instructional Improvement: How Successful Leaders Develop Teaching and Learning Expertise, provided participants with practical tools for observing and analyzing classroom teaching.

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Side by Side: Smart Strategies, Strong Support from Classroom Coaches

by Jennifer McDermott Mar 9, 2012

Learning curves have been steep in Carrie Howell’s classroom – for the students, for the teacher, and for the peers who have come to watch over the years as she worked side-by-side with Center for Educational Leadership coaches, tackling learning problems and trying on new instructional strategies.

“The coaches asked smart questions that pushed my thinking and really helped me to take risks,” says the language arts specialist at The Academy of Citizenship and Empowerment in SeaTac, Washington. “I had always been afraid to try on new things until I had mastered them as a teacher. But here, I had the support of the coaches and of my colleagues in the room and it felt safe to take risks as a teacher.”

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A Decade Dedicated to Closing the Gap

by Stephen Fink Mar 9, 2012

Ten years ago, the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership embarked on a journey to support school and teacher leaders in the challenging work of eliminating the achievement gap – a gap that continues to divide our nation’s children along lines of race, class, language, and disability.  When we began this ambitious journey, high-school seniors in the current 2012 graduating class  were in second grade. 

Over the course of those ten years, CEL’s leadership experts have worked with thousands of teachers, principals, and central office leaders across America. This work has been guided by an unwavering belief that student learning will not increase until the quality of teaching improves,  and that the quality of teaching will not improve until our school leaders develop a clear vision, understanding, and common language for high-quality teaching and learning. Only by developing leadership expertise can they support teachers in the daily improvement of their craft.

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Meeting the Challenges of the Next Decade

by Stephen Fink Mar 9, 2012

As CEL embarks on its next ten years, we are mindful that the persistent achievement gap in the midst of severe school district budget reductions poses enormous challenges for educators.   With the risk of another generation of high school dropouts being relegated to a permanent economic underclass, the call to provide equitable, high-quality learning for all students is greater than ever.

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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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CEL Presents at the 2011 WASA-AWSP Summer Conference

by UWCEL May 25, 2011

Experts from the Center for Educational Leadership will present in three sessions at the Summer Conference co-sponsored by the Washington Association of School Administrators and the Association of Washington School Principals. The Summer Conference is June 26-28, 2011, in Spokane, WA. Attend our engaging workshops designed to help leaders get even smarter about high quality instruction and visit our exhibit booth to learn more about CEL’s resources.

Sunday, June 26
Responding to Classroom Observations
Presenters: Anneke Markholt, Professor, and Stephen Fink, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Washington

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CEL's Learning Walkthroughs Featured

by UWCEL Feb 11, 2011

The Seattle Times featured CEL's learning walkthroughs as a promising strategy for improving instructional leadership. CEL uses learning walkthroughs to help educators to deepen their ability to observe, analyze and support quality instruction. The article follows a group of school superintendents who are touring classrooms in one another's school districts. 

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New Study Published that Examines CEL's Instructional Coaching Approach

by UWCEL Dec 5, 2010

The American Research Educational Journal has just published the article by UW faculty, "Instructional Coaching: Building Theory About the Role and Organizational Support for Professional Learning." The study examines, "How (and what) do instructional coaches learn in the context of district instructional reform? And what organizational structures and policies support them in that process?"

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