Focusing on Leadership Essentials

By Douglas B. Reeves

Money and time are the resources in greatest demand in shortest supply for school leaders. Despite the potential of short-term federal grants, almost all state and local education budgets are being ravaged by reductions in revenue. Moreover, the agendas of board meetings and the calendars of system-level leaders are overtaxed by a series of never-ending demands.

Now, more than ever, leaders must focus on the essentials, the core strategies that have the greatest impact on student learning and educational equity. Abundant evidence suggests that a few strategies have a disproportionately large impact on education. The “big six” are feedback, efficacy, time, nonfiction writing, formative assessment, and expectations.

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