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Three Questions About Education Leadership Research5456GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​R<em>ecently, </em>Education Week<em> columnist Rick Hess handed over the reins of his blog for a </em><a href="http&#58;//blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rick_hess_straight_up/2018/08/three_questions_about_education_leadership_research.html" target="_blank"><em>post </em></a><em>on current research in education leadership. We were happy to see the piece refer to&#160;our University Principal&#160;Preparation Initiative, among other sources,&#160;and received permission&#160;to republish the post. The authors are Anna Egalite, assistant professor of leadership and policy at North Carolina State University, and Tim Drake, who's also at NC State. The two are collaborating on a project (supported through the Wallace initiative)&#160;to redesign NC State's principal training program and share lessons learned with others.</em> <br></p><p>A commonly cited <a href="https&#58;//hechingerreport.org/why-school-leadership-matters/" target="_blank">statistic</a> in education leadership circles is that 25 percent of a school's impact on student achievement can be explained by the principal, which is encouraging for those of us who work in principal preparation, and intuitive to the many educators who've experienced the power of an effective leader. It lacks nuance, however, and has gotten us thinking about the state of education-leadership research—what do we know​ with confidence, what do we have good intuitions (but insufficient evidence) about, and what are we completely in the dark on? With this in mind, we've brainstormed three big questions about school leaders. The research in this area is incomplete, but a recent development makes us hopeful that better data are on the horizon.</p><p> <strong>1. Do principals impact student performance?</strong></p><p>Quantifying a school leader's impact is analytically challenging. How should principal effects be separated from teacher effects, for instance? Some teachers are high-performing, regardless of who leads their school, but effective principals hire the right people into the right grade levels and offer them the right supports to propel them to success.</p><p>Another issue relates to timing&#58; Is the impact of great principals observed right away, or does it take several years for principals to grapple with the legacy they've inherited—the teaching faculty, the school facilities, the curriculum and textbooks, historical budget priorities, and so on. Furthermore, what's the right comparison group to determine a principal's unique impact? It seems crucial to account for differences in school and neighborhood environments—such as by comparing different principals who led the same school at different time points—but if there hasn't been principal turnover in a long time, and there aren't similar schools against which to make a comparison, this approach hits a wall.</p><p>Grissom, Kalogrides, and Loeb carefully document the trade-offs inherent in the many approaches to calculating a principal's impact, <a href="http&#58;//journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3102/0162373714523831?journalCode=epaa" target="_blank">concluding</a> that the window of potential effect sizes ranges from .03 to .18 standard deviations. That work mirrors the conclusions of Branch, Hanushek, and Rivkin, who <a href="https&#58;//www.educationnext.org/school-leaders-matter/" target="_blank">estimate</a> that principal impacts range from .05 to .21 standard deviations (in other words, four to 16 percentile points in student achievement).</p><p>Our best estimates of principal impacts, therefore, are either really small or really large, depending on the model chosen. The takeaway? Yes, principals matter—but we still have a long way to go to before we can confidently quantify just how much.</p><p> <strong>2. What skills are needed to ensure success as a modern school leader?</strong></p><p>The fundamentals haven't changed, as a quick read of Dale Carnegie's classic<a href="https&#58;//www.amazon.com/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/0671027034" target="_blank"> text</a> will reveal—smile; don't criticize, condemn, or complain; show appreciation. Specific applications to the field of education administration are obvious&#58; Be a good manager, be organized, and follow the policies you set. These are concrete skills that can be taught in a preparation program and their value has been quantified. See, for instance, <a href="http&#58;//journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3102/0002831211402663?journalCode=aera" target="_blank">Grissom and Loeb</a>, who point to the importance of practical managerial skills; <a href="http&#58;//www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentId=12742" target="_blank">Hess and Kelly</a>, who write about the principal's role in supporting curriculum and instruction; and <a href="http&#58;//journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3102/0013189X13510020?journalCode=edra" target="_blank">Grissom, Loeb, and Master</a>, who demonstrate the value of teacher coaching.&#160;</p><p>But there are also intangible skills that cannot be easily taught—being visionary and motivating, showing compassion, being a force for good, keeping children at the center of the work, and being cognizant of whether civil rights are being advanced or inhibited by the culture you build. This latter list highlights the skills that principal candidates need to bring to the table before their preparation program even begins, and it's this latter list that matters the most in our current context.</p><p> <strong>3. What are the characteristics of high-quality principal preparation programs?</strong></p><p>Principal preparation programs have two primary responsibilities&#58; Identify and admit the most promising candidates, then provide them with concrete skills that will equip them to be successful upon graduation. <a href="https&#58;//www.amazon.com/Preparing-Principals-Changing-World-Leadership/dp/0470407689" target="_blank">Studying</a> exemplary programs offers a roadmap for how to do this well, but data limitations restrict how closely we can actually monitor their success in meeting these responsibilities.</p><p>We can show that there is sufficient <a href="http&#58;//journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0013161X18785865?journalCode=eaqa" target="_blank">systematic variation</a> between programs in terms of test-score growth, for instance, that allows us to sort them into high, medium, and low performance categories. But we know too little about differences in the actual training received across programs. Administrative datasets rarely allow us to link principals to the specific program from which they graduated. Most programs can't even self-evaluate because they don't have data systems to track their graduates.</p><p>So what are we doing about all this?</p><p>With support from the Wallace Foundation's <a href="/news-and-media/press-releases/pages/wallace-announces-seven-universities-to-participate-in-47-million-dollar-initiative.aspx" target="_blank">$47 million initiative</a> to improve the quality of principal preparation, NC State has been engaged in redesigning our program to train principals who are ready to meet the demands of a constantly changing job. We joined forces with local school leaders to identify the skills and attributes of effective school leaders. We then developed our program selection criteria, curricula, assessments, and internship to align with this framework. We're now partnering with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and SAS to develop a leadership-development dashboard that tracks the career pathway and performance of our graduates, with a vision of scaling the system state-wide to include all North Carolina-based principal preparation programs and school districts.</p><p>The data don't exist yet to answer the most pressing questions about the relationship between principal preparation and leadership effectiveness. It's our hope that's about to change.</p><p>—<em>Anna Egalite and Tim Drake</em></p>Wallace editorial team792018-09-11T04:00:00ZWhat we know confidently from evidence, what we have good intuitions about and what we still need to learn about education leadership.9/11/2018 6:11:47 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Three Questions About Education Leadership Research What we know confidently from evidence, what we have good intuitions 481https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Principals Need Coaches Too10504GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#8cf34914-7bff-4dc4-95c0-d6e59a295cba;L0|#08cf34914-7bff-4dc4-95c0-d6e59a295cba|Effective Principal Leadership;GPP|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;GP0|#d4c2da24-0861-47f9-85bd-ee1c37263157;L0|#0d4c2da24-0861-47f9-85bd-ee1c37263157|Principal Supervisors;GP0|#f86ec85e-a137-43e2-8c12-5ce0b67efe8e;L0|#0f86ec85e-a137-43e2-8c12-5ce0b67efe8e|Principal Training<p>Is it feasible for districts to reconceive the role of those who supervise principals so less time is spent on compliance and more time on coaching to help principals strengthen teaching and learning in their schools? Is there an inherent conflict between supervising and evaluating principals and being a trusted coach?</p><p>A <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/A-New-Role-Emerges-for-Principal-Supervisors.pdf">new Vanderbilt University–Mathematica Policy study</a> offers answers to these questions by examining how six districts participating in <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-supervisors.aspx">The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Supervisor Initiative</a> have reshaped the role.</p><p>The study concludes that in those urban districts — Baltimore; Broward County, Florida; Cleveland; Des Moines; Long Beach, California; and Minneapolis — it was feasible for principal supervisors to focus on developing principals. This important and complex work was done in less than three years and has resulted, to date, in principals feeling better supported. In addition, the role change has led to the districts’ central offices becoming more responsive to schools’ needs.</p><p>Principals felt better supported and saw no tension between the supervisor’s role as both evaluator and coach. The principal supervisor is a continuous presence in the school — a member of the community, not a visitor. Learning is continuous.</p><p>This role is relatively new on the scene — in fact, five years ago, there was no common term for it. Sometimes called principal managers or even instructional leadership directors, the people in these positions oversaw large numbers of principals and traditionally handled regulatory compliance, administration, and day-to-day operations.</p><p><img alt="74-Million-Blog-lg-feature.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/74-Million-Blog-lg-feature.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />&#160;</p><p>They rarely visited a school more than once every few months and therefore did not work directly with principals. A 2013 <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/Rethinking-Leadership-The-Changing-Role-of-Principal-Supervisors.pdf">Council of the Great City Schools survey</a> of principal supervisors in 41 of the nation’s largest districts also identified other problems, including insufficient training, oversight of too many principals, mismatches in assignments to schools, and a lack of agreement about job titles.</p><p>Wallace launched the Principal Supervisor Initiative in 2014 to see whether and how districts could reshape the job. An important step was the development of the first-ever voluntary <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/pages/model-principal-supervisor-professional-standards-2015.aspx">national model standards for supervisors</a> in 2015, a process led by the Council of Chief State School Officers. These standards emphasize developing principals as professionals who “collaborate with and motivate others, to transform school environments in ways that ensure all students will graduate college- and career-ready,” rather than focusing on compliance with regulations. In the new study, the participating districts pointed to the importance of having standards for the job as a foundation for the position’s redesign.</p><p>That study suggests that “substantial, meaningful change is possible” across five areas. “After three years, we saw substantial change in all districts,” says Ellen Goldring, the study’s lead author. “They came up with efficient and effective ways to position supervisors so they could fill the coaching and supporting gap.” Specifically, the districts&#58;</p><ul><li>Revised principal supervisors’ job descriptions, relying on the national model standards that emphasize instructional leadership.</li><li>Reduced the number of principals whom supervisors oversee by almost 30 percent, from an average of 17 to 12.</li><li>Trained supervisors to support principals.</li><li>Created systems to identify and train new supervisors.</li><li>&#160;Restructured the central office to support and maintain the changed supervisor role.</li></ul><p>Following the redesign, most principal supervisors in the six districts reported that they now spend most of their time — 63 percent — in schools or meeting with principals. This shift means supervisors are working directly with principals, engaging in new routines and practices, such as participating in classroom walk-throughs, coaching, leading collaborative learning, and providing ongoing feedback.</p><p>Across districts, the principals emphasized that they trusted their supervisors to function as both supporters and evaluators. As one Cleveland principal explained&#58; “You don’t feel as though it’s your boss evaluating you. So it’s very comfortable. He’ll come in, he’ll have a conversation with you. … He always asks, ‘How can I support you? What do you need from me?’” It’s more of that than a formulated check-the-box.”</p><p>The districts also trained the supervisors to recognize high-quality instruction or better coach principals. For many, it was the first time they were provided with professional instruction specifically for their role. After two years, 80 percent of the supervisors reported participating in such opportunities.</p><p>In addition to offering professional development, districts began to identify more promising principal supervisor candidates and restructured central offices to support the new role and redistribute some noninstructional duties from supervisors to others in those offices.</p><p>Still, districts face some challenges. Goldring notes that the districts are continuing to refine the way they revamp the supervisor role, including defining what instructional leadership means, finding the right balance between supervisors’ time in school versus the central office, and providing uniformly high-quality training.</p><p>“It’s a heavy lift,” says Goldring. “But this study represents an incredibly positive example of the power of the supervisor role and a hopeful story about the power of district reform.”</p><p>Vanderbilt and Mathematica are planning two more reports to be published in 2019&#58; One will measure the initiative’s impact on principal effectiveness, and the other will compare principal supervision in the six districts in the study with peers in other urban districts.</p><p><em>This article first appeared in <a href="https&#58;//www.the74million.org/article/spiro-principals-need-coaches-too-what-a-new-study-of-6-large-school-districts-reveals-about-the-shifting-role-and-value-of-principal-supervisors/" target="_blank">The 74 Million</a> and is reposted with permission.</em></p>Jody Spiro142018-08-28T04:00:00ZPrincipals Need Coaches Too: What a New Study of 6 Large School Districts Reveals About the Shifting Role, and Value, of ‘Principal Supervisors’8/29/2018 3:10:43 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Principals Need Coaches Too What a New Study of 6 Large School Districts Reveals About the Shifting Role, and Value, of 3661https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Research and Self-Reflection Help Strengthen Community Ties31384GP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​About 10 years ago, staff at Fleisher Art Memorial recognized that the organization was not keeping pace with demographic changes in its Southeast Philadelphia neighborhood. Although Fleisher had off-site community and school programs that served the neighborhood’s growing number of residents of Latin American and Southeast Asian descent, this population was not well represented among the approximately 4,000 students taking on-site classes. In 2008, Fleisher received a Wallace Excellence Award to identify barriers to their attendance and launch programs to eliminate them. The school then saw a subsequent increase in the perception of Fleisher as an inclusive organization and experienced an uptick in enrollment of area youth in its classes. That effort is described in <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Wallace-Studies-in-Building-Arts-Audiences-Staying-Relevant-in-a-Changing-Neighborhood.aspx">a 2015 case study</a>.</p><p>Because audience diversification can take many years to accomplish, we were eager to revisit Fleisher and see how things now stand. We found an organization that is not only attracting an increasingly diverse audience but is also asking more questions about itself and inviting its community to help provide answers.</p><p> <strong>Engaging the Community</strong></p><p>Fleisher Art Memorial was founded in 1898 in Southeast Philadelphia, which has been an entry point for newly arrived immigrants throughout its history. For most of the 20th century, Fleisher students came from a patchwork of nearby communities of European heritage. In recent decades, however, those populations have been replaced by newcomers from Latin America (mostly Mexico) and Southeast Asia, groups that Fleisher staff came to realize were not signing up for classes. </p><p>Though many of newly arrived immigrants had practiced art in their home countries—and it continued to be an important part of their lives—they did not know that Fleisher could provide them with art-making opportunities. Fleisher’s research revealed that even though the institution was committed to making art accessible to everyone, regardless of economic means, many of the new immigrants believed the school was for wealthier people of European descent, and in the absence of other information, they assumed they would not be welcome. Therefore, the staff put aside their original aim to engage community residents by offering new programs and instead focused on the need to challenge an inaccurate perception. </p><p>With that in mind, the school launched a community engagement initiative that integrated Fleisher activities into neighborhood daily life. New programs included&#58;</p><ul><li> <a href="http&#58;//fleisher.community/programs/color-wheels/">ColorWheels</a>, a van serving as a mobile art studio that allowed the school to bring art-making to dozens of neighborhood parks, festivals and schools; </li><li>“FAMbassadors,” two local residents who joined the staff to raise awareness of Fleisher and notify the institution of areas where its programs could complement and enrich celebrations and other happenings; and </li><li>Expansion of ARTspiration, its annual day-long street festival, to make it more inclusive of various community groups.</li></ul><p>At the same time, staff members underwent cultural competency training to create a more welcoming environment on-site. They also participated in workshops on topics such as&#58; building relationships, collaborations and partnerships; marketing and messaging in the community; and developing strategies to work with local agencies. After the staff did this groundwork, the neighborhood’s impression of Fleisher as elitist softened considerably, with visitor surveys showing a sharp increase in the perception of Fleisher as committed to serving non-English speakers and people born outside the United States. Moreover, the school began to serve more students from the neighborhoods immediately surrounding it.</p><p> <strong>Continuing Existing Programs and Creating New Ones</strong></p><p>Since the 2015 case study, Fleisher has continued, and in some cases expanded, its engagement programs in these ways&#58;<u></u></p><ul><li>The ColorWheels van still brings art-making throughout the neighborhood, with funding in part from the <a href="https&#58;//www.pnc.com/en/about-pnc/corporate-responsibility/philanthropy/pnc-foundation.html">PNC Foundation</a>. </li><li>ARTspiration has grown and become more of a family festival. Last year, more than 7,000 people visited, a far cry from the less than 2,000 who came just five years ago. The organization still invites vendors and performers who reflect the community’s diversity. According to former director of programs Magda Martinez, ARTspiration has been one of the most effective ways of introducing large numbers of people to Fleisher. </li><li>As part of their orientation, new staff and board members learn about the community research and engagement work to help them understand its objectives and how they link to Fleisher’s mission.</li><li>Fleisher has hired its first communications director, translated promotional and registration materials into multiple languages and hired bilingual staff and faculty.</li><li>A new video-rich website, <a href="http&#58;//fleisher.community/">Fleisher.community</a>, highlights Fleisher’s activities throughout the neighborhood.</li><li>With the departure of one of the original FAMbassadors and the organization’s changing relationship with the communities, staff members are rethinking what role these liaisons will play in the future. </li></ul><p>The following charts show youth- and adult-program enrollments and the percentage of those enrollments that draw from Southeast Philadelphia (defined as zip codes 19147 and 19148). The greatest growth has been in youth programs, with young people from the neighborhood now making up 38 percent of total enrollment, confirming research findings that suggested that residents wanted art for their children. While growth in adult programs has been slower, neighborhood residents now make up a larger percentage of such enrollment than in the past. </p><p> <em>Youth Class and Workshop Enrollment</em><br><img alt="Fleisher-Youth-Enrollment.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Research-and-Self-Reflection-Help-Strengthen-Community-Ties/Fleisher-Youth-Enrollment.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></p><p> <em>Adult Class and Workshop Enrollment (incomplete data from 2013 and 2014 not shown)</em><br><img alt="Fleisher-Adult-Enrollment.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Research-and-Self-Reflection-Help-Strengthen-Community-Ties/Fleisher-Adult-Enrollment.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></p><p>One new program forging relationships with neighborhood residents is the celebration of the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos at Fleisher. Over several weeks each fall, a working artist and community members gather to create the art used for the festivities at Fleisher, including a large thematic altar (an “ofrenda”) that honors those who have passed away. There are also workshops to make papier-mâché sculptures and paper marigolds. The celebration culminates with face painting and a parade in the streets surrounding Fleisher (with music from community artists) and a gathering at the school. </p><p> <em>Altar Created for Día de los Muertos at Fleisher</em><br><img alt="Fleisher-altar-dia-de-los-muertos.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Research-and-Self-Reflection-Help-Strengthen-Community-Ties/Fleisher-altar-dia-de-los-muertos.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></p><p> <em>Día de los Muertos Parade and Celebration at Fleisher<br><img alt="Fleisher-altar-dia-de-los-muertos3.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Research-and-Self-Reflection-Help-Strengthen-Community-Ties/Fleisher-altar-dia-de-los-muertos3.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></em></p><p> <em> <br> <img alt="Fleisher-altar-dia-de-los-muertos2.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Research-and-Self-Reflection-Help-Strengthen-Community-Ties/Fleisher-altar-dia-de-los-muertos2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></em>&#160;</p><p>Images by Gustavo Garcia, Colibri Workshop </p><p>The Día de los Muertos celebration began six years ago when Fleisher FAMbassador Carlos Pascual Sanchez connected Exhibitions Manager José Ortiz-Pagán with a local merchant hosting an ofrenda. The merchant, in turn, connected Ortiz-Pagán to local artists, dancers and community leaders involved with other Día de los Muertos festivities around the city. They formed a volunteer committee to create a large-scale ofrendaat Fleisher, inviting the local Mexican community and others. Ortiz-Pagán notes that the school did not invite an artist to come in for just one weekend and build an ofrenda. Instead, it asked the community to inform every step of the process, start to finish, in order to better nurture a long-term relationship. </p><p>Run by an autonomous committee of eight community members who create the budget and plans, the festivities have grown to become one of the largestDía de los Muertos celebrations in the Northeast. Fleisher provides space, materials and expertise such as fundraising and grant-writing support. Last year the observance also included a community fundraiser. Staff members say it was welcomed by neighborhood residents, who wanted to play a larger role in supporting the effort, and by Fleisher’s board and donors, who appreciated the event as an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding about the cultural tradition of Día de los Muertos.</p><p>Ortiz-Pagán sees the commemoration as emblematic of Fleisher’s commitment to being an integral part of Southeast Philadelphia by supporting communities to manifest their cultures, a mission reflected in other art-based partnerships as well. Such partnerships include a new Bring Your Own Project initiative funded by the <a href="http&#58;//www.pewtrusts.org/en">Pew Charitable Trusts</a>, which invites artists to Fleisher to work with surrounding communities and the social service organizations that represent them. Says Martinez, “Instead of the artist coming in with a project already set, the artist spends time meeting the community, and we prepare participants to talk about what’s important to them and if they see art playing a role for their concerns in their community and if so, how?”</p><p> <strong>Working as Part of the Community</strong></p><p>Stemming from the first period of research and program development, programs like Bring Your Own Project represent a rethinking of the institution’s approach to engaging with the community. In reaching out to the people they hope will be involved, staff members pose questions and try to learn about neighborhood needs before acting. They also constantly ask themselves why they want to take on a particular initiative and how it will have an impact on the community.</p><p>Martinez notes that the questions are the same regardless of whether the work involves community engagement or other Fleisher programming. In thinking through a new program for older adults, for example, Fleisher has reached out to a predominantly Latino immigrant–serving health agency to identify what art forms most interest its older clients, what kind of engagement would be best for them and what Fleisher can provide that would enrich their lives and is not available elsewhere. This inquiry has led to a new ceramics curriculum designed to promote story sharing and reduce social isolation among the elderly in immigrant communities. </p><p>This way of developing programs is a significant shift for the institution. “Questioning is now an intrinsic part of Fleisher’s culture. I’m not so sure we were good at that ten years ago,” says Martinez. “We now question ourselves, what we’re doing and why. We’re more aware of what’s happening in the city and on a national level.” </p>Bob Harlow822018-08-22T04:00:00ZThe Fleisher Art Memorial builds on its success in connecting with newly arrived immigrants in South Philadelphia8/30/2018 7:20:48 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Research and Self-Reflection Help Strengthen Community Ties The Fleisher Art Memorial builds on its success in connecting 4381https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
What Can States Do to Bolster School Leadership?30243GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>From providing superintendents with a forum to trade ideas to working with school districts to reshape the principal supervisor job to establishing alternative training programs for principals, states can do a lot to strengthen principals and other school leaders. </p><p>That’s the lesson from the education chiefs of Nebraska, Ohio and Pennsylvania, who sat down recently to discuss the work going on in their states to bolster education leaders. Listen to what they have to say in this <a href="https&#58;//ccsso.org/blog/knowledge-action-how-states-are-working-promote-effective-school-leadership-models">video series</a> by the Council of Chief State School Officers.</p><p>You’ll also hear some inspiring messages about why the state efforts matters. Here’s a sampling&#58;</p><ul> <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIW8LsL5QjI&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><img height="190" class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Nebraska_Commiss-retouch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/what-can-states-do-to-bolster-school-leadership/Nebraska_Commiss-retouch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;292px;" /></a> <li>“When school leaders have a chance to ensure that students have everything that they need to be successful, that’s really what the definition of equity is—that every student that’s in front of them is getting that chance to be the best that they can possibly be.” —Matthew Blomstedt, commissioner of education for Nebraska <br> <br> <br></li></ul><ul> <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5nMeaozvDs&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Ohio_Commiss-retouch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/what-can-states-do-to-bolster-school-leadership/Ohio_Commiss-retouch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;294px;" /></a> <li>“School leadership is tremendously important because fundamentally it’s the leader that really sees to all the different pieces and parts within a school working together in the interests of helping educate each and every child. What we see is [that] when you find a school that is delivering an absolute excellent education, you’ll always find a great excellent leader.” —Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction for Ohio<br><br></li></ul><ul> <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=4o6uDYRPmoA&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="PA_Commissioner-retouch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/what-can-states-do-to-bolster-school-leadership/PA_Commissioner-retouch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;295px;" /></a> <li>“First and foremost, school leaders set the stage, set the conditions and provide the resources for teachers to best serve their students and their community. Effective school leadership and student success are tied hand in hand.” —Pedro Rivera, secretary of education for Pennsylvania</li></ul><p>Looking for more ideas? Check out the <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/default.aspx">school leadership page</a> on the Wallace website.</p>Wallace editorial team792018-08-14T04:00:00ZVideo Series Offers Insights—and Inspiration—From State Education Chiefs in Three States8/15/2018 10:01:38 AMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / What Can States Do to Bolster School Leadership Video Series Offers Insights—and Inspiration—From State Education Chiefs in 537https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Students’ Mental and Emotional Health Top Concerns for Elementary Principals26198GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>The top concerns of elementary and middle school principals have shifted dramatically in the past 10 years, according to a new survey, with nearly three quarters of those polled saying they are worried about an increase in the number of students with emotional problems. The top issues that survey respondents noted in 2008—student assessment, instructional practices and providing a continuum of services to students at risk—didn’t rank among their top concerns in the new <a href="https&#58;//www.naesp.org/pre-k-8-school-leader-2018-10-year-study">study</a> by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. </p><p>The association has surveyed pre-K-8 school principals every 10 years since 1928. The study gauges the characteristics, concerns and conditions of elementary and middle school principals, and it tracks how these change over time. The 2018 survey, which was not nationally representative, received responses from almost 900 elementary and middle school principals.</p><p>This year’s survey marked the first time that students’ mental and emotional issues topped principals’ concerns. Those surveyed selected an “increase in the number of students with emotional problems” (74 percent), “student mental health issues” (66 percent) and “students not performing to their level of potential” (62 percent) as issues of “extreme or high” concern in their schools.</p><p>“While these findings are significant because they quantify the concerns of principals nationwide, they are somewhat foreseeable given the uptick in predictors like an increase in poverty and a need for mental health supports,” said Earl Franks, the association’s executive director. </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">&#160;42% of the survey respondents reported a large increase in involvement with “student mental health issues” and 38% reported a moderate increase. </p><p>When asked what concerned them about their students, principals cited poverty, behavior management, lack of effective adult supervision at home, safety and security, bullying over social media, homelessness and absenteeism, among other issues. </p><p>Addressing the socioemotional needs of students ranked as one of the top five matters the principals reported spending time on. Asked about areas in which their level of involvement has changed in recent years, 42 percent of the survey respondents reported a large increase in involvement with “student mental health issues” and 38 percent reported a moderate increase. “Student socioemotional well-being” ranked fourth on the list of matters with which the principals said they are increasingly involved. &#160;</p><p>Franks described principals’ roles as supporting teachers’ efforts in the classroom, cultivating leadership and “shaping a vision” for school cultures that make student well-being, including social and emotional health, a priority.</p><p>“Addressing the social and emotional needs of students isn’t necessarily a new responsibility for principals,” Franks explained, but the increasing interest in incorporating social and emotional learning (SEL) in schools “has provided a language and a construct to help principals think about how they can marshal and leverage resources and support for teachers and students.”</p><p>To do this, principals need more support in the form of training and guidance, Franks said. Franks suggested that their professional development needs to shift to address the growing need for social and emotional learning. “This type of learning should not feel like an add-on,” he said.&#160; </p><p>Wallace recognizes the importance of SEL and has invested in research that provides credible and useful knowledge on the topic. This includes an edition of the journal <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/pages/social-emotional-learning.aspx"><em>The Future of Children</em></a>&#160;on SEL and <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/navigating-social-and-emotional-learning-from-the-inside-out.aspx"><em>Navigating SEL from the Inside Out&#58; Looking Inside &amp; Across 25 Leading SEL Programs&#58; A Practical Resource for Schools and OST Providers.</em></a></p><p>You can learn more about our ongoing <a href="/knowledge-center/social-and-emotional-learning/pages/default.aspx">social and emotional learning initiative</a> on our website. </p>Wallace editorial team792018-08-07T04:00:00ZNew study shows principals’ increasing attention to social and emotional development and other student issues8/7/2018 1:59:39 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Students’ Mental and Emotional Health Top Concerns for Elementary Principals The top concerns of elementary and middle 662https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Summer Books, Research and Beloved Pigs of Children’s Literature18793GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>The idea seems simple—give low-income kids books over the summer and their reading will improve. As Harvard education professor <a href="https&#58;//www.gse.harvard.edu/faculty/james-kim" target="_blank">James Kim</a> knows, there’s a lot more to it than that. </p><p>Kim is the key person behind READS for Summer Learning, a school-run, home-based program shaped by 10-plus years of research and experimentation. Over time, Kim and his colleagues developed a program which, through a combination of instructional support, family engagement and books carefully matched to the reading levels and interests of young readers, helped its participants in high-poverty elementary schools gain nearly 1.5 months of reading skills on average compared to non-participants. A <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/pages/reads-helping-children-become-summer-bookworms.aspx">new Wallace report</a> describes READS, which received support from the foundation.<em>&#160;(Click on the thumbnail below to view the infographic.)&#160;</em></p><p> <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/READS-Helping-Children-Become-Summer-Bookworms-infographic.pdf"> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Asset_Infographic.png" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/summer-books-research-beloved-pigs-of-childrens-literature/Asset_Infographic.png" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;290px;" /></a>The READS research was all-consuming. Kim even packed and hand-delivered boxes of books to schools participating in his studies. Still, the hard work was worthwhile, considering its purpose, according to Kim. “READS is designed to impact a child’s head, heart and hands,” he says. “It helps kids read for understanding, inspires their love of reading and causes them to want to get their hands on more and more books.” <br> <br> Now, educators want to get their hands on READS. Kim has fielded inquiries from school district leaders to classroom teachers. This past year, he conducted webinar training with a group of school literacy facilitators in Michigan. A colleague ran a similar workshop with librarians in Massachusetts. Interest has also come from nonprofit organizations that bring services to schools, such as tutoring and book fairs. </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="jk2-cropped.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/summer-books-research-beloved-pigs-of-childrens-literature/jk2-cropped.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;210px;" />Kim’s work follows him home&#58; His three kids are entering second, third and fourth grade. What’s one of their favorite books to read together? Kate DiCamillo’s <em>Mercy Watson</em> series, starring a hilarious pig. “While we’re on the theme of pigs, I love <em>Charlotte’s Web</em> too!” Kim adds. </p><p>Below, he talks more about his research and summer learning.<br><br><strong>You started your career in education as a middle-school history teacher in the 1990s. How did that experience spark your interest in researching summer reading loss and possible solutions?</strong></p><p>At my school, kids learned about colonial history to the Civil War in sixth grade. I covered Reconstruction to the present in seventh grade. When kids returned to school in September, some clearly knew a lot about history and some seemed to have forgotten much of what they learned about the Civil War, which was covered just three months ago. As I probed, it became clear that many of my disadvantaged students did not have enriching summers. They read few books and lost a lot of ground academically. This first-hand experience gave me the initial burst of inspiration to think of a low-cost solution to summer learning loss.</p><p> <strong>Your research on READS spans more than a decade. There was a trial-and-error approach to your work as you figured out the key components of the program. What surprised you most</strong>? </p><p>I call the trial-and-error approach the fusion of “strategic replication” and “heroic incrementalism.”&#160; That is, I wanted to stick with a program of research long enough to build on what worked and to make changes to what didn’t. This approach yielded a lot of surprises, but that’s what makes science fun—having your assumptions challenged and continually building knowledge.</p><p>One surprise was disappointing. In an early READS study with my colleague Jon Guryan, an economist at Northwestern University, we let kids select their own books rather than matching them with books based on their reading level and book tastes. Too many kids picked really hard books. They did no better on a follow-up reading test than their peers who hadn’t been part of READS. We shouldn’t think of this as a failure, though, because it’s critical to know what doesn’t work. </p><p>A second finding is more optimistic. In our last RCT [randomized controlled trial] of READS, we compared core or traditional READS with adaptive READS. In the core READS program, we instructed teachers to implement the core components with fidelity. In the adaptive READS model, we allowed for structured adaptations so teachers could make changes to help make the program work better with their kids. The adaptive READS program worked better, improved student engagement and ultimately students’ reading comprehension outcomes. We were surprised and gratified to see that the adaptive READs model could work well in high-poverty schools (75 percent to 100 percent of students eligible for free lunch) particularly when teachers had implemented core READs for at least one year.</p><p> <strong>Summer seems to be an under-utilized time for learning. Why is that?</strong></p><p>One challenge is that educators already have a crowded agenda. There’s already so much that a superintendent, principal and teacher have to accomplish during the school year. I think summer is a peripheral concern. In addition, educators typically don’t have the same level of accountability or funding for programs outside school, especially during the summer. My hope is that more educators invest in low-cost and scalable solutions, whether READS or some other program, for stimulating learning outside school in the summer. </p><p> <strong>Mobile technology and usage have evolved significantly since you started your research. According to Pew Research, 92 percent of U.S. adults earning $30,000 or less own a cell phone of some kind. Two-thirds carry smartphones. Can you see READS going digital, with kids reading books and answering comprehension questions via a READS app?</strong></p><p>Great question. I’ve always felt that READS should evolve to meet the needs of educators, parents and children. And one great need today is developing digital solutions that are low-cost and effective in promoting summer learning. A READS app is a promising idea because it could provide parents and children more real-time feedback and encouragement. It might include games and incentives to further stimulate summer reading at home. I’d like to develop and try out some of these ideas. Stay tuned for updates on our website as we develop digital tools.</p><p> <strong>As a father, how have you encouraged good reading habits in your children?</strong></p><p>I think the key word is habit. Most nights, I read aloud to my kids, and I typically choose (or at least try) a book that my kids might not read on their own. One of my favorites is a series of biographies for kids by Brad Meltzer called <em>Ordinary People Change the World</em>. My kids wouldn’t, on their own, pick up a book about Albert Einstein or Abraham Lincoln, but I like to read these biographies to them. In many ways, this is exactly what we do in READS. Educators provide lessons about a narrative chapter book and teach kids a simple routine to engage with fun books about animals, natural science and famous people. Ultimately, to form good reading habits, kids need caring teachers and parents to open up new worlds of knowledge that are engaging and fascinating. </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align&#58;left;"> <em>Photos by </em> <a href="http&#58;//www.claireholtphotography.com/" target="_blank"> <em>Claire Holt</em></a><em>. Main photo&#58; James Kim reads with his children.</em></p>Jennifer Gill832018-08-01T04:00:00ZHarvard’s James Kim Chats About the Reads for Summer Learning Program8/1/2018 3:00:07 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Summer Books, Research and Beloved Pigs of Children’s Literature Harvard’s James Kim Chats About the Reads for Summer 3977https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Showing Young People They Belong at the Ballet18726GP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) has been bucking the odds. At a time when teen and young adult attendance at ballet is declining, PNB audiences have grown—and at a healthy clip. “It is now well established that part of the PNB experience is seeing young people in the audience,” says Executive Director Ellen Walker. </p><p>That situation is the result of ongoing efforts to build teen and young adult audiences (up to age 40). The work started in 2009 out of concern with nationwide declines in teen and young adult attendance. During a four-year Wallace Foundation-funded initiative, ticket sales to teens doubled to more than 2,000 annually, and sales to adults under age 25 rose 20 percent. Since then, PNB’s success with teens has only continued, and the company is placing renewed emphasis on research and programs to build traction with the 20- to 40-year-old audience that has not been as responsive as teens. </p><p> <strong>The Early Years&#58; Letting Audiences Know “There’s a Place for You Here”</strong></p><p>Walker believes PNB’s greatest challenge with younger audiences has been breaking through perceptions of the company as what she calls a seemingly inaccessible “castle on the hill”—and showing potential patrons that “there’s a place for you here.” Initial research, described in <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/wallace-studies-in-building-arts-audiences-getting-past-its-not-for-people-like-us.aspx">a case study of the earlier initiative</a>, revealed that many culturally active young people were open to ballet itself. But a lack of familiarity with PNB, combined with stereotypes of the performance hall experience as boring and stuffy, kept them away. Participants in that research also said that PNB’s website and advertising failed to communicate the excitement of a live performance and did little to invite them in.&#160; </p><p>In response, the company—which presents 100 performances a year to a combined audience of over 250,000, and also runs a ballet school—developed a plan to make PNB more accessible on multiple levels. For starters, it introduced reduced-price ticket programs including&#58;</p><ul><li> <strong>25 &amp; Under&#58;</strong> two tickets for $25 (or one for $15) to Friday performances for patrons age 25 and below;</li><li> <a href="https&#58;//www.teentix.org/"> <strong>TeenTix</strong></a><strong>&#58;</strong> a partnership with this Seattle-based teen program providing its members $5 day-of-show tickets and an active online forum to share their experiences;</li><li> <strong>Backstage Pass&#58;</strong> a membership program for patrons ages 21 to 39, offering discounted subscriptions and social events; </li><li> <strong>Teen Night&#58;</strong> a teen-only preview of PNB’s annual choreographers showcase with a $5 ticket price (in 2018, that changed to free admission); and</li><li>Half-price rush tickets and discounted subscriptions (10 to 15 percent off) for university students.</li></ul><p>PNB also overhauled its communications, including&#58;</p><ul><li>A redesigned website with easier navigation and more audiovisual content;</li><li>Increased Facebook activity to build ongoing dialog about PNB’s artists and work. Over the four-year grant period, the organization's&#160;Facebook page grew from 2,000 followers to more than 90,000; </li><li>More visually impactful images in promotions to communicate immediacy and excitement; and</li><li>A series of videos showing everyday goings-on in PNB studios and classrooms which, after a slow start, were viewed more than five million times in their first four years. </li></ul><p> <img alt="PNB-dancers.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/showing-young-people-they-belong-at-the-ballet/PNB-dancers.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />&#160;</p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align&#58;left;"> PNB dancers discussing new work being presented at Teen Night, 2018 © Lindsay Thomas</p><p> <strong>Continued Success with Teens</strong></p><p>PNB’s momentum with teens has continued. TeenTix, for example, sells thousands of tickets annually, even as patrons age out of the program and are replaced by new ones. (A dip in 2016–2017, according to Director of Marketing and Communications Lia Chiarelli, was probably due to relatively few well-known classical works, the biggest attraction for teens new to ballet.) </p><p>The ability to tap TeenTix’s community has been critical to encouraging teens to give PNB a try. In fact, many TeenTix buyers are new to PNB; TeenTix is the first purchase for nearly half (48 percent) of the trackable TeenTix households (that is, neither those teens nor their parents had bought in the past). What’s more, 40 percent of those first-time purchasers return to PNB—a remarkably high level given field-wide estimates that 80 to 90 percent of first-time performing arts patrons never come back. Many also appear to be staying with PNB once they age out of TeenTix. Two-thirds (66 percent) of those returning first-timers eventually purchase a ticket outside of TeenTix—either without a discounted offer or through programs targeting older patrons, such as 25 &amp; Under. </p><p>The size of Teen Night audiences varies but they’re often near capacity, mostly attracting teens who already know the company (such as those in PNB's school). Chiarelli suspects that’s because PNB hasn’t found a partner able to attract an outside teen audience. Still, she says, Teen Night is important for strengthening bonds with existing PNB devotees.</p><p> <img alt="PNB-Case-Study-Update-FINAL-chart.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/showing-young-people-they-belong-at-the-ballet/PNB-Case-Study-Update-FINAL-chart.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />&#160;</p><p> <strong>Digital Marketing Evolves</strong></p><p>Since 2013, digital marketing has become increasingly competitive, as the amount of digital content has grown and social media companies have exerted more control over distribution. At the same time, PNB’s needs have changed, so the company is using digital media differently. “Four or five years ago, getting exposure on social media was free and easy; organic content was sent to a large audience,” says Chiarelli. “Our audience is bigger now, but reach is less because it is at the whim of social media companies.” PNB has expanded to other platforms to boost that reach, including <a href="https&#58;//twitter.com/pnballet?lang=en">Twitter</a> and <a href="https&#58;//www.instagram.com/pacificnorthwestballet/?hl=en">Instagram</a>, where it has more than 200,000 followers, even more than on <a href="https&#58;//www.facebook.com/PNBallet/">Facebook</a>. </p><p>The company still creates videos regularly but they serve a different purpose now. Initially, the goal was to familiarize young patrons with ballet and the company. But because many videos now exist to do just that, this is no longer a focus. Instead, videos showcase programs currently in the works, with a trailer, rehearsal previews and performance clips. The videos are featured prominently online where patrons can purchase tickets, in part to drive those purchases. That sales motive, however, is not the primary one. Says Chiarelli, “Our driving principal is to produce content that is true to PNB and to the program, and highlights the artist and work in a positive way.”</p><p> <strong>New Efforts to Attract 20- to 40-Year Olds</strong></p><p>Like many performing arts organizations, PNB finds the 20- to 40-year-old audience more of a challenge—but also sees engaging that group as critically important. PNB is now targeting this cohort with new ticketing initiatives and programs, which are being supported by funding through The Wallace Foundation’s <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/pages/building-audiences-for-the-arts.aspx"> <em>Building Audiences for Sustainability</em></a> initiative. </p><p>To that end, PNB replaced the &quot;25 &amp; Under&quot; reduced-price ticket program with The Pointe, an e-mail-based program for patrons age 40 and under whose members receive reduced-price, single-ticket offers for every performance. (Earlier, people age 25 to 39 could buy reduced-price subscriptions, but not single tickets.) Sales from The Pointe are increasing, though they have yet to reach the peak levels of 25 &amp; Under. The Backstage Pass program is now “Young Patron’s Circle,” offering the same reduced-price subscriptions and social opportunities as before. </p><p>But PNB’s latest research suggests that “castle on the hill” perceptions remain for many in this age group, and reduced-price tickets alone aren’t enough to break through. To challenge those assumptions, the company has started staging new kinds of performances, such as free contemporary dance in Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park in 2016 and 2017, and on the lawn outside the performance hall in 2018. It also began offering one “Beer &amp; Ballet” performance with each program, targeting 21- to 45-year-olds with $29 tickets and beer specials. This program is growing in popularity, selling 248 tickets when it was introduced in the second half of the 2016–2017 season, and 917 by spring of 2017–2018. </p><p> <strong>Ongoing Evolution</strong></p><p>PNB also continues to monitor young people’s expectations, to ensure its future relevance. “There’s a place for you here” means different things to different generations, which need to be engaged on their terms. For example, in a recent round of focus groups with millennials, participants voiced fewer perceptions of PNB as elitist and stuffy than in the past. But they did comment that the audience was overwhelmingly white.<a name="_ftnref1" href="#_ftn1"><sup>1</sup>​​ </a> “Young people’s sensitivities are different now. They are looking for a community to be equitable and inclusive and for ballet to evolve,” says Walker. “That’s important to us too. Our audience and company are more diverse than before. We are moving in the right direction.” </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align&#58;left;"> <a name="_ftn1" href="#_ftnref1">&#160;</a>1 Young people’s sensitivity to diversity and inclusion is not unique to PNB’s research; it also surfaced, for example, in California Symphony’s conversations with millennial and Gen-X audience members; see Aubrey Bergauer, <a href="https&#58;//medium.com/%40AubreyBergauer/orchestra-x-the-results-ec12e48f28fb">Orchestra X&#58; The Results</a>.</p>Bob Harlow822018-07-27T04:00:00ZFollowing success attracting teens, the Pacific Northwest Ballet is working to draw 20-to-40-year-olds7/26/2018 10:00:23 AMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Showing Young People They Belong at the Ballet Following success attracting teens, the Pacific Northwest Ballet is working 3985https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Talking to Parents about Social and Emotional Learning9894GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​Whenever we publish a blog post or report in our Knowledge Center on <a href="/knowledge-center/social-and-emotional-learning/pages/default.aspx">Social and Emotional Learning</a> (SEL), our digital channels buzz with interest. Much of the insights and information we’ve gathered has centered around in- and out-of-school programs that help children build the skills they need to succeed academically and in life. Now, an organization called Learning Heroes is bringing parents into the equation. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Bibb-Headshot.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Talking-to-Parents-about-Social-and-Emotional-Learning-/Bibb-Headshot.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;280px;" />Founded by communications and policy veteran Bibb Hubbard, Learning Heroes seeks to inform and equip parents and guardians with tools and ideas, so they can support their children’s educational and developmental success. A big part of the organization’s work to date involves connecting parents and others in the field to resources, which can be found at the nonprofit’s website&#58; <a href="https&#58;//bealearninghero.org/" target="_blank">www.BeALearningHero.org</a>. </p><p>Learning Heroes recently published a report to help schools and organizations communicate with parents about SEL. The report<em>, </em> <a href="https&#58;//bealearninghero.org/parent-mindsets/" target="_blank"> <em>Developing Life Skills in Children&#58; A Road Map for Communicating with Parents</em></a>, has a lot to say about the language of SEL, or what parents more comfortably call “life skills,” and draws on findings from Edge Research, the same firm that conducted Wallace’s 2016 research on the <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/sel-feedback-and-communications-insights-from-the-field.aspx">linguistic landscape surrounding SEL terminology</a>. In addition to the current Learning Heroes report, Hubbard says, the organization is co-developing with the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development a communications playbook that will help translate the findings and offer additional tools for people in the field. We spoke to Hubbard about the research and the important role parents play in SEL development. </p><p> <strong>The&#160;​new report focuses on research you recently conducted to help practitioners communicate with K-8 parents about the development of social, emotional, cognitive and academic skills in their children.&#160; Why is the focus on parents important? </strong></p><p>We’re now entering a unique moment, where there is greater awareness and acceptance of the fact that learning has social, emotional, cognitive and academic dimensions. As a result, school systems and out-of-school programs are thinking in explicit, intentional ways about how to teach these skills at home, at school&#160;and in after-school settings. But if these efforts are to succeed, practitioners need to join forces with parents, who see themselves as primarily responsible for their children’s education. In particular, our hope is for practitioners to seek guidance and input from parents, as they are the experts on their own children. Further, as practitioners orient parents to instructional approaches that might be new or different from what they experienced as students, it underscores the impact these approaches will have on their children.</p><p> <strong>When the research came back what was most surprising about the way that parents viewed SEL? And can you give a couple of examples of how this influenced your report?</strong></p><p>Parents think the development of these skills and traits are important for their child’s overall development. I was not surprised that parents do not understand some of the “edu-jargon” used to describe different skills and traits, even though they support many of the underlying concepts. I was surprised, however, to find that even words practitioners may think of as innocuous, like “curiosity” or “resilience,” can have negative connotations for parents. For example, middle school parents, in particular, worry about their children being curious about the wrong things, especially because of peer pressure. And many parents want to shield their children from the types of negative experiences that might require resilience. So how we talk about social, emotional and academic learning in ways that translate for parents became a big focus of our report.</p><p> <strong>The report speaks not just about SEL but addresses a wider range of “social, emotional, cognitive and academic” skills or traits. Why did you broaden the scope?</strong></p><p> <a href="https&#58;//www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/evidence-base-learn/" target="_blank">Research has found</a> that the social, emotional, cognitive and academic dimensions of learning are deeply connected. Moreover, in focus groups, parents prioritized a wide range of skills across these dimensions and that was confirmed in the nationally representative survey of parents. We wanted to be true to both what the science tells us, as reflected in the range of skills incorporated into various frameworks, and to what families want for their children.</p><p> <strong>Talking about language, what did you learn about the language people use to describe SEL skills? What does this mean for communication with parents?</strong></p><p>“Life skills” is the term parents prefer to describe the skills and traits that they identify as most important for their children to develop. They prefer this term (31%) over “social, emotional and academic development,” “character development” and “social and emotional learning,” by at least 2-to-1. Some of the reasons they give are that it’s “simple,” “all encompassing” and describes the skills people use “every day in life, schools, jobs and family.” Our advice is to use language parents understand to build bridges to more technical terms. We also found that parents respond very positively to videos that provide real-life examples of what integrating social, emotional, cognitive and academic development can look like in practice.</p><p> <strong>It seems from the research that parents, for the most part, believe SEL skills are essential but many think they should be taught at home with reinforcement from schools, which leads to a lot of concern about schools rating or assessing their children on SEL. How should schools, districts and others talk to parents about this concern? </strong></p><p>Two important findings from our survey are that parents view home as the place where these skills should primarily be “taught” and schools as the place where they are “reinforced.” Second, while they fully expect to partner with schools, they don’t want schools to overstep their role. The line in the sand is around measurement and accountability. More than a third of parents worry about their child being labeled for life (35%) or graded (34%) on skills that they view as too subjective or personal to measure. In fact, only 16% indicate it would be helpful to get a separate grade on their child’s report card to understand their progress on these skills. Instead, parents are eager to hear from teachers about how their child is doing in the form of parent-teacher conferences, folder notes, emails and more regular communications, particularly if there’s a problem. </p><p> <strong>What does an effective partnership between teachers and parents look like? What are some pitfalls teachers and schools should try to avoid? </strong></p><p> Because parents feel deeply responsible for their children’s well-being and success in school and in life, it’s important to respect their authority as their children’s primary advocates—after all, parents know their children best. If practitioners approach this work as a true partnership by sharing new ideas and approaches, eliciting the specific skills that matter most to parents&#160;and understanding what those skills might look like in the context of local communities and cultures, rather than trying to convince parents certain skills are more important than others through a communications campaign, they’ll get much farther.</p>Wallace editorial team792018-07-19T04:00:00ZNew report from Learning Heroes seeks to help schools and organizations better communicate with parents7/24/2018 8:59:32 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Talking to Parents about Social and Emotional Learning New report from Learning Heroes seeks to help schools and 1459https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Making the Most of the Principal Supervisor Role9823GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p> I<em>n many urban school districts, principal supervisors have a daunting task. Overseeing an average of 24 principals, they are also accountable for numerous administrative and other responsibilities, from monitoring supplies to ensuring government forms get completed on time. This makes concentrating on school leaders and their needs close to impossible. Wallace’s Principal Supervisor Initiative is seeking to see if that picture can be changed. It is funding a four-year effort in six districts that are working to reshape the supervisor job so it can focus on supporting principals to be as effective as they can be, especially in guiding schools to high-quality instruction. </em></p><p> <em><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Ellen_Goldring.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Making-the-Most-of-the-Principal-Supervisor-Role/Ellen_Goldring.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;208px;" />Recently, Wallace published </em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/a-new-role-emerges-for-principal-supervisors.aspx">A New Role Emerges for Principal Supervisors</a>, <em>the first report in a study looking at the effort, and it showed some promising findings, concluding that over the first three years of the initiative the six districts were able to make substantial progress in giving the supervisor job a makeover. </em></p><p> <em>We caught up with the researcher leading the study, </em> <a href="https&#58;//peabody.vanderbilt.edu/bio/ellen-goldring"> <em>Ellen Goldring</em></a><em>, the Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor and Chair in the department of leadership, policy and organizations at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College, to see if she could tell us more. </em></p><p> <strong>What was the problem that districts in this initiative were seeking to address? </strong> <br> School districts continually strive to support and develop their principals and improve their effectiveness. Most often, this occurs through professional development.&#160;But, most urban districts have a central office structure that includes principal supervisors.&#160;Typically, supervisors focus on administration and bureaucratic compliance. The initiative has a straightforward question&#58; Can districts transform the role of principal supervisors from compliance officers to coaches and developers of principals?&#160;What does it take to make this change? And, does this change&#160;help develop effective principals?&#160;This report addresses the first two questions. <strong> </strong></p><p> <strong>Do we&#160;have a sense—understanding it's early—about the benefits and challenges of the changes the districts were tackling?</strong><br> We have learned a great deal about the&#160;changes districts have made to support the new role, and what the new role entails. </p><p>The daily work of supervisors has changed. The clear benefits include supervisors spending time in schools and working with networks of principals on instructional leadership.&#160;Supervisors engage&#160;in walkthroughs, coaching and providing more ongoing feedback to principals;&#160;they have a deep sense of the context of each principal’s school and develop closer relationships. Supervisors are able to evaluate principals based on their ongoing, firsthand knowledge and understanding of each principal.&#160;Principals report productive relations with their supervisors. </p><p>The change in the role occurred as a result of revising job descriptions and reducing the span of control—the number of principals each&#160;supervisor works with—to about 12, on average.&#160; For the first time supervisors received dedicated, unique training to develop the skills needed to be effective in their roles. This training often involved shared visits to schools where supervisors observed each other&#160;coaching and providing feedback to principals. Supervisors worked together to develop a shared set of practices and common approaches. </p><p>To support this new role, other central office roles and responsibilities needed to shift, and some departments were reorganized.&#160;Work previously handled by supervisors needed to be reallocated; as a result communication patterns had to change. Investing other central office departments in the change is a challenge and an ongoing process.&#160; </p><p>Other challenges include continuing to clarify the new role and to balance expectations; deepening and further developing&#160;consistent and effective practices for supervisors;&#160;and differentiating supports for principals.&#160;There are resource implications as well. </p><p> <strong>What are districts learning about making decisions on what supervisors to assign to what schools?</strong><br> First,&#160;they learned that this is a really important decision.&#160;Most districts consider a combination of school level, geography and feeder patterns.&#160;Others take into account performance levels, principal experience and school themes. The decision helps the districts think strategically about principal networks and learning communities as tools for support, sharing and development.&#160;The decision also helps districts think through matching supervisors’ skills, experiences and expertise to schools strategically. Districts learned that they also need to think about not only the average span of control, but balancing the span of control for each supervisor with the unique needs of each school. </p><p> <strong>How are the districts understanding the concept of &quot;instructional leadership&quot;—and what role do principal supervisors play in supporting it?</strong><br> Districts understand instructional leadership entails a deep understanding of the conception or framework of high-quality and rigorous instruction used in the district,&#160;and then what principals do to&#160;support and propel teachers in their instructional quality.&#160;Instructional leadership also entails developing the school culture and community for academic and social learning. &#160;&#160;</p><p>The link between the district’s instructional quality framework and instructional leadership is central. Some districts are further along in articulating this link than others.&#160;Principal supervisors work with principals on instructional leadership by coaching them&#160;through analyzing data, providing feedback to teachers, observing classrooms together, and creating principal learning communities, to name a few of their core activities. </p><p> <strong>What should districts contemplating revising this role think about?</strong><br> They should know that changing the role of the principal supervisor is a district-wide effort with multiple components, and requires communication and coordination throughout the district; it is not “simply” a role redesign.&#160; In fact, all the districts realized early on that making changes to the work of the central office would be necessary to facilitate the change to the supervisor role. &#160;</p><p>As in every large-scale change effort, the leadership of the district should be clear about how this change contributes to the overall strategic goals of the district.&#160; Buy-in from core constituencies is key, especially because there are resource implications in terms of reducing the span of control, and the whole district will be involved.</p><p>Lastly, I would say that simply reducing the span of control will not lead to role change. Paramount are a clear vision and expectations for the role, a delineation of instructional leadership expectations for principals and a strategy for supervisor training and support. </p><p> <strong>What surprised you in your research to date?</strong><br> I was surprised by the depth of understanding and excitement about the need to change the principal supervisor role. </p><p>I think this is a very powerful example of district reform that rallied around a specific focus&#58; changing the principal supervisor’s role.&#160;It is a very hopeful story—one that suggests when change initiatives have clarity, alignment and focus, districts make important changes. </p><p>I was surprised about the extent to which the role before the initiative really was a catch-all for everything and anything schools needed, and it was very idiosyncratic within the same district.&#160;We saw how important it is to develop shared understanding and specific skills of supervision, such as implementing specific coaching models, or using protocols for walkthroughs. Developing a collaborative, professional culture amongst supervisors helped them in turn work with principals in professional learning communities. </p>Wallace editorial team792018-07-16T04:00:00ZCo-Author of Study Discusses ‘Very Hopeful Story’ of How Districts Are Changing7/16/2018 3:27:45 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Making the Most of the Principal Supervisor Role Co-Author of Study Discusses ‘Very Hopeful Story’ of How Districts Are 1208https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Ringing in Another National Summer Learning Day9887GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Most summer days, you can find 12-year-old Madison Newman at a camp run through New York City’s Madison Square Boys &amp; Girls Club. She and the other kids enrolled take classes and participate in a range of activities. Sometimes they go on group field trips to libraries or museums. </p><p>But on one hot Monday in July, Madison left her fellow campers in the Bronx to travel into Manhattan, with her mother in tow. She was all dressed up and headed downtown to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange to help kick off the National Summer Learning Association’s annual <a href="https&#58;//www.summerlearning.org/summer-learning-day/">Summer Learning Day</a>.&#160; </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Madison-Newman.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Ringing-in-Another-National-Summer-Learning-Day-/Madison-Newman.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;256px;" />“It’s really exciting here!” said Madison, who during the year attends the Young Women’s Leadership School of the Bronx. She was busy soaking up conversations in the gilded halls of the board room at the stock exchange. Earlier she’d given a reading from the book <em>Trombone Shorty</em> backed by an actual trombonist. Her summer group had read the autobiography about a young jazz player, which is the official read-aloud book of this year’s Summer Learning Day. </p><p>Madison was also the lead in a play about bullying earlier in the summer. “We were doing the play so we’d learn how sticking up for each other shows leadership, and how more violence is not the answer,” she said, adding that the program always focuses on “things you can use in life, like respecting people, respecting yourself and taking care of yourself.” </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="stock-exchange.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Ringing-in-Another-National-Summer-Learning-Day-/stock-exchange.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;242px;" />Just before being escorted downstairs to the iconic floor of the exchange, Madison shared a final thought about summer learning and how it might influence her life. “We were talking the other day about the army and how their budget was $600 billion versus $67 billion for children,” she said. “Imagine if that were the other way around? How much better that would be for kids.” </p><p>In case you’re wondering, her numbers weren’t far off. &#160;Based on <a href="https&#58;//www.usgovernmentspending.com/year_spending_2018USbn_19bs2n_3020#usgs302">2018 projections</a> released by the U.S. government, spending on military defense is roughly $648 billion, while total spending on education comes in at $111 billion, of which about 40 billion goes to pre-primary through secondary education. </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="stock-exchange2.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Ringing-in-Another-National-Summer-Learning-Day-/stock-exchange2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;331px;" />“So for me, what I want to do in five or 10 years?” Madison said. “I want to try and open up a foundation or something to help summer programs and schools get more of the money.”</p><p>Minutes later she stood at the center of the world’s global markets bringing the day’s trading to a close. Her goal seemed entirely possible.</p><p style="text-align&#58;center;">* &#160; &#160;*&#160;&#160; &#160;*&#160;</p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align&#58;left;"><em>​For more on the effects of voluntary summer learning programs and other research and reports visit the </em><a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/pages/default.aspx"><em>Summer Learning</em></a><em> section at our Knowledge Center. </em> </p>Lauren Sanders732018-07-12T04:00:00ZSee why this 12-year-old summer student was the perfect person to close out the trading day on Wall Street7/12/2018 2:00:26 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Ringing in Another National Summer Learning Day See why this 12-year-old summer student was the perfect person to close out 261https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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