The June 12 SCEE webinar "Principal Effectiveness: District Insight on What We Are Learning," highlighted the Wallace Foundation's longstanding commitment to supporting leadership, offering insights from Wallace leadership, districts involved in the Principal Pipeline Initiative, and SEA staff. Mary Canole, Consultant on School Leadership, Education Workforce for SCEE helped to organize and facilitate the conversation between the webinar presenters and reactants.
The Wallace Foundation's Director of Education Leadership, Jody Spiro, shared that Wallace has been involved in this work for the last twelve years. She set the stage for the webinar with a simple, but powerful message: "What is measured matters." She said her work has revealed that the measurement goals and tools used to support and grow leader principals must be connected to standards, preparation, hiring, professional development, and principal evaluation.
Peter Winograd, Director, University of New Mexico Center for Education Policy Research, built on Jody's statement by identifying a number of important components to strong instructional leadership including, a compelling vision of evaluation, stakeholder collaboration, organizational support, leadership skills, and time.
Tricia McManus, Manager of Leadership Training and Professional Development, Hillsborough County Public Schools, shared from the work in her district. She stated that it is essential for the district superintended to set a compelling vision of evaluation and to make sure that the system of evaluation is designed to improve teacher performance with well-defined criteria, multiple measures, and ongoing formative assessments. She asserted that this takes a considerable amount of time to initially set up, but that it's necessary in creating a comprehensive system where leader, teacher and student improvement is the central focus.
Rashidah Morgan, Director of Leadership Strategy, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, also shared from her district that it is key to provide a comprehensive system of support as principals take on a wider array of roles and responsibilities within their buildings. In order to assure principals develop the skills needed for the challenges of their work, Charlotte-Mecklenburg provides a 5-year mentoring program to support principals delegating responsibilities as they prioritize instruction and support for instructional development. Within this program, second year principals are trained in using the SAMs model.
In reaction to these findings and experiences, Sydnee Dickson, Director, Teaching and Learning, Utah State Office of Education, commented that states need to strategically engage in supporting districts as they make these transitions and move towards growing more authentic learning experiences for school leaders, teachers, and students. She also pointed out that developing student learning objectives (SLOs) is a powerful form of professional learning for teachers and leaders alike.
Extending the point regarding SLOs, Michael Dailey, Director of Administrative Leadership, Kentucky Department of Education, pointed to the work they are doing in Kentucky to create SLOs for both assessed and non-assessed areas in order to go beyond paper and pencil student assessment.
The webinar pre-reading, live chat transcript, PowerPoint, and recordings are available HERE.
Watch the blog posts for more from the presenters!