Education Vital Signs: Administration
Education Vital Signs collection of reports on Administration.
Why Keep Teacher Tenure?
Tenure – like it or loathe it – is an employee benefit, similar to salary, vacation, medical benefits, and sick leave. When tenure is removed, teachers have little incentive in an individual school or district and perpetually risk termination based on an administrator’s whims and foibles. Good teachers – smart teachers – will not take this gamble.
School District Mission Statements
Often school mission statements are merely posted in the main office and not what they should be: a set of beliefs that drive a district’s goals, hiring practices, instructional leadership, and program initiatives. Here are three simple steps districts can take to start living their own mission statements.
Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Schools
Because teacher sexual misconduct is alarmingly common, a proactive, rather than reactive, approach at the district level is required to address this issue squarely and directly. Create an environment that is emotionally and physically safe and where teachers and students know in advance what behaviors are both acceptable and unacceptable.
School District Process Management
Houston-based American Productivity and Quality Center’s (APQC) Jack Grayson has been on a mission to translate his experience in the private sector to improve efficiencies and performance to the K-12 sector. Each of the 50 some districts APQC has worked with has achieved an average net savings of $1 million.
Succession Planning for School Leaders
Succession planning should not be a system of preparing one person in an organization to become the next leader. Instead, it should be more about preparing the entire organization for an eventual change in leadership, similar to the way succession is carried out in the private sector.
Humble School Leaders
Hundreds of school boards will lead their communities in superintendent searches this year. They will look for command presence, charisma, and political prowess. However, one important quality often is left off the list: leadership humility. Superintendent humility has strong implications for the classroom -- leadership humility is linked to higher math and reading scores.
Rural School Basics
It sounds so simple, so traditional, and so old-fashioned. But it also makes perfect sense. Successful schools engage parents and the public to build community support. Schools need to put high-quality teachers in classrooms. They need to review academic data and pay attention to each student’s individual needs.
Honoring School Board Best Practices
It takes a village to raise a child. This phrase was taken to heart by the grand-prize-winning Magna Award districts this year. One district provided a warm and stable home environment for students in great need. The other two districts found innovative ways to engage underrepresented parents into their schools.
Managing the Generations
Many districts have three or even four generations working for it. Each generation has unique talents and contributions. Understanding generational differences can help school board members and superintendents lead more effectively. They can make the differences work to the advantage of the district and to improve student achievement.
Learning the Lessons of Business
Lots of resources are available to help you make decisions. One popular source is the business world. Perhaps the best lesson that school boards can glean from business is how to avoid decisions that lead to negative results. Well-intentioned decision-makers can make mistakes even when following board guidelines.
Educators who are using the methods of Rachel’s Challenge or the Trevor Romain Co. are fairly confident that episodes of bullying are becoming less frequent on their campuses. The reason: Both programs work to involve everyone in changing the culture – the bullies and their victims, bystanders, parents … and educators.
How's Your School Climate?
Changing school culture is not easy. But education leaders recognize learning cannot happen unless the school climate is marked by trust and respect for differences. Schools everywhere need to be able to tune out the noise and focus on the essential work of educating an increasingly diverse generation of students.
Adults Behaving Badly
While national attention and energy has rightfully focused on the phenomenon of peer-to-peer bullying, what’s missing is a look at the relationships and interactions among adults in the school community. Bullying is on the rise between teachers and students, administrators and teachers, or in some other form involving adults.
A Superintendent's Legacy
Ken Sorrick had his plan for resurrecting North Palos (Illinois) School District 117 ready when he walked in for his first interview. His goals were to improve the academic achievement of all students and to pass a referendum to provide the financial resources needed to raise achievement. He accomplished both.
Should You Outsource Special Ed?
Outsourcing special education services may be a way to contain costs, but simply walking away from a long-established arrangement of providing special education services in-house, as part of a school district’s core mission, is not easy. The decision to outsource special education services has to made on a district-by-district basis.
How to Handle Cheating
What should school boards do to preserve the academic integrity of their educational programs? What roles should parents and the community play in examining this issue? In one suburban district, the board appointed an ad hoc committee, led by the superintendent and made up of community members, to examine the cheating problem.