Choosing Your Interim School Leader
The rush to hurry up and find an interim is an all-too-familiar scenario. The list of quality interim superintendents is becoming a premium. As the superintendent’s job becomes more and more demanding, boards of education are signing on interims for longer periods of time to ensure the right fit.
Creating the Perfect Board Committee
You’ve probably heard people say school boards should focus on the “what” while administrators determine the “how.” Contrary to conventional wisdom, involving board members in mapping out the “how” of board involvement in key governing processes is the most effective way to upgrade board participation over time and prevent micromanagement.
Successful School Reform
Why do some school reform efforts work when others don’t? We identified six features of early success, key ingredients for any district’s reform recipe. They are: suitability, superintendent leadership, reform champions, retaining focus, advancing through stages, and communications. Including the six key ingredients will help ensure your reform’s success.
Grading Your Leaders
Evaluating the superintendent is one of the most important jobs of school boards. Unfortunately, this essential task is frequently flawed. In a national study I conducted of more than 300 evaluations, I found that the higher the administrator ranked, the more likely it was that evaluations were ambiguous, politicized, and rendered too late to improve leadership performance.
Too often, what passes for leadership development at the district level has been nothing more than an assortment of unaligned and ineffective activities. Yet many school districts persist in this haphazard approach to leadership development. This is puzzling, as there has never been a more critical need for school administrators.
Anne Bryant and Dan Domenech Talk Leadership
What follows is an exclusive interview with NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant and AASA Executive Director Daniel Domenech. It is also a snapshot of the conversations and collaborations that regularly occur between the pair.
The Leadership Team
In meetings with K-12 groups, I’m often asked about the line that separates so-called school board “policy-making” from the executive and administrative management functions of the superintendent. Twenty-five years of working with boards and superintendents has taught me that there really isn’t a solid line, not in real life, anyway.
Helping Employees Cope With Stress
Educational leaders can do three things, none of which costs money, to help address employee stress: They can make better decisions about the use of time, ensure that employees get the mental health care necessary to deal with stress, and communicate clearly and consistently with every stakeholder in the community.
The Profession of Governing
Upon entering school board service, most of us are anxious to learn all we can about education and management. When we stand for election, we highlight experience in education and management, and voters believe we are better prepared because of that background. This all seems quite logical. It is also quite wrong.
What Can Schools Learn from Business?
If school boards want to improve their schools, then all they need to do is to model the business practices of Corporate America. There’s no escaping this simplistic formula for school reform. As with most panaceas, there’s a fair bit of truth -- and no little rubbish -- in such thinking.
How School Leaders Cope with Stress
Maybe it was the federal stimulus funds, a slowdown in job losses, or an uptick in the stock market that has lightened the mood in the country. But, as analysts have warned, the United States isn’t in the clear yet. No one knows this better than the three educators profiled here.
Beyond Governance Rules
If governing isn’t making policies or rules, what is it? When you strip away the fancy rhetoric, governing becomes nothing more than the board making decisions about very concrete governing “products,” such as an updated district vision statement, long-range strategic goals, and the annual budget, and making judgments about such concrete “governing documents” as educational and financial performance reports.