Wallace Blog Search Results

Search Blogs by Keyword
Browse by Date
clear all

 

 

Bringing Out the Best in Principals During the COVID-19 Crisis23637GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p class="wf-Element-IntroParagraph">“When I look back, it feels like a year ago,” says Jill Baker, deputy superintendent of Long Beach Unified School District, reflecting on the district’s response in the days following its March 13 decision to close its 85 schools owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Long Beach Unified is California’s third largest school district, serving nearly 72,000 children from diverse backgrounds. Baker began her career in the district as a teacher 28 years ago and is scheduled to take over as its superintendent on August 1, succeeding Christopher Steinhauser, who is retiring. Baker brings a unique perspective to the job, having directed the district’s participation in a Wallace Foundation initiative aimed at reshaping the principal supervisor job to focus less on administration and more on principal growth. Recently, Baker spoke about the district’s efforts to support principals during the closure, its summer plans for school leadership development and what school may look like in September. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.&#160; &#160;&#160;</p><p> <strong>How has your district supported principals during the school closures? </strong></p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Bringing-Out-the-Best-in-Principals-During-the-COVID-19-Crisis/Jill-Baker-headshot.jpg" alt="Jill-Baker-headshot.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;160px;height&#58;241px;" />We are very fortunate that over the last five years, we’ve built a strong coaching model for our <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-supervisors.aspx">principal supervision practices</a>. Why is that important now? Because the relationship between our principal supervisors and principals has a coaching foundation, it is easy for them to move into unknown territory when faced with a crisis. Our principal supervisors have been right on the frontlines with principals, coaching them, asking good questions, advocating for them and bringing the lived experience of principals back to central office. </p><p> <strong>Can you describe that lived experience? </strong></p><p>Principals were immediately faced with a set of questions that they had never experienced before, just as we were at central office. They were faced with families asking for resources that they had not asked for before, their students had technology needs, Internet needs. [The school closures] tossed up into the air every system that a principal typically manages, from teacher evaluations to nutrition services in their building.</p><p>Because of how we’ve built our principal supervision practices, principals quickly looked to their supervisors for direction, for comfort, for answers. It was a huge pivot for a system that’s pretty directing, in terms of our expectations for schools, but also gives principals a lot of latitude to make specific decisions for their building. I would say that the lived experience for principals right away was&#58; We need you to lead us. We trust you as our supervisors to help us.</p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Bringing-Out-the-Best-in-Principals-During-the-COVID-19-Crisis/LBUSD-Barton-39.jpg" alt="LBUSD-Barton-39.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p>Personally, I’ve never underestimated the whole idea of coaching and strengthening a trusting relationship between a principal and a supervisor, but I think the field may have. When you go through a crisis like this, it underscores why you have relationships. It is a foundational aspect of having to do really hard work. I hesitate to use the word “thrive” because this is such a sad time, but [the crisis] really has brought out the best in our school leaders. It has been a very rich opportunity for them to step up, try things they’ve never done before, be vulnerable and learn with others. </p><p> <strong>What inequities have been brought to the forefront because of the crisis? Has the district been able to address them, and if so, how? </strong></p><p>On the afternoon that we closed schools, we gathered at central office and literally said, “What do we need to focus on first?” In the back of my mind was Maslow’s hierarchy. Our first decision was that, on Monday morning, we were going to offer food at every school in our district. We did that, and we continued doing so until we could look at the data after the first week to see where our highest-need areas were. Some areas were obvious, but frankly every school has children with a need to eat. Our response has continued in a way that is so respectful to our community. We’re providing breakfast, lunch and dinner in our highest-need areas. There are almost 30 locations, and the meals are accessible to anyone. There are no requirements, no applications. </p><p>We also faced the same connectivity problems that other districts faced. One of our first purchases, literally days after the closure, was for 5,000 six-month-term hotspots because we estimated that about 10 percent of our students, or about 7,000, were potentially not connected to the Internet. In addition to giving away 20,000 older-generation Chromebooks, we came up with a system to loan more than 10,000 [newer] Chromebooks to families within two weeks of the closure. </p><p>The other needs have been sadly not surprising. Students in low-income families lack supervision as their parents go out and work as essential workers. They may be living with multiple families in one residence and are facing COVID spread because of essential workers coming in and out. We’re offering counseling digitally and are partnering with faith-based and race-based community agencies, like the NAACP, to ensure they are able to put out really good information on behalf of the district. </p><p>We’re using all of our existing programs to continue to focus on issues of equity. For example, we run a Saturday education program for students from migrant families. During the crisis, a coordinator from that program has done outreach to families. High-school teachers who work with newcomers who are English language learners have continued to connect with families, too.</p><p> <strong>Summer is a time when school districts hire and train principals. How will that be handled in Long Beach this year? </strong> <br> <strong>&#160;</strong><br> Last year, we had 80 principal promotions or changes. This year it will be 20. Five of those are first-time principals, all of whom have gone through the district’s “pipeline” programs [which provide training for aspiring school leaders]. We’re only making changes that are of necessity, such as because of a retirement. Normally, we would move around many more principals because they’re ready to transition to another school, but we’ve paused that because we want to create as much stability as possible.</p><p>Literally the day after a person finds out that they’ve been appointed principal or that they’re transitioning to another school, we launch a transition process that involves a facilitated change-of-principal workshop. The workshop engages members of the school staff to establish what’s working and what they’d like to see improved. It’s really important, and we’ll do a version of it this summer, too. </p><p> <strong>How has the district involved principals in the planning for when school resumes in September? </strong></p><p>Our principals have been an important part of our initial planning. I say initial because we’re really tracking on the health data. We’re trying to move fast enough but not too fast. Over the last month, our principal supervisors asked principals to explore all kinds of scenarios for the fall. Middle school principals, for example, considered 16 different models and in small groups worked through each one’s plusses and minuses. We went from a lot of brainstorming and testing of ideas, to now moving into a formalized planning process. We have task forces, and principals from every level are represented on them. </p><p> <strong>What might school look like in the fall, based on your initial plans?</strong></p><p>Our aim is to bring back as many students to a building as possible, especially at the elementary school level. That’s causing us to seek additional space in our city, through partnerships with local colleges and universities who will be providing distance learning/instruction. &#160;</p><p>We’re also talking about blending learning. A middle school student, for example, might not come to school every day. He might come Monday and Tuesday, then do distance learning Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Based on distancing requirements, we know that we can only have about 15 students in a classroom. That is about half the size of a traditional class and even less when you think about a class like chorus. Chorus might only exist in a distance environment because students can’t all be in one room at the same time. </p><p>We already have an independent study program in our high schools, which we will continue, and we’ll also be launching some new distance academies. How we’re going to do all of this—in-class learning, blending learning, distance academies—we’re still figuring out. But we imagine publishing the options and letting parents make a choice. If they don’t, we’ll likely default to expecting their student to come to a building.* </p><p> <strong>Like school districts everywhere, Long Beach Unified is facing a massive budget cut because of the pandemic. I’ve read that the reduction will be 10 percent, or about $70 million, this year. How do you stay focused on equity as you make cuts?</strong></p><p>We’re in a better position than other districts because of great fiscal management. Our superintendent and the district’s budget office built up a reserve over time, knowing the rainy day would come. The reserves won’t save us from future cuts, but it allows us time to make the best decisions given what’s coming from the state. We also have in our favor that we’ve worked really hard to build internal capacity. We don’t rely on a lot of consultants or outside companies. Because of our internal capacity, we can pivot quickly, change strategy and work together in a way that doesn’t happen in a lot of places.</p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Bringing-Out-the-Best-in-Principals-During-the-COVID-19-Crisis/IMG_0660-2.jpg" alt="IMG_0660-2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p>Our focus on equity is at a deep level. During this time, we’ve not stepped back from our equity agenda, but we’ve had some public outcry over things that have been perceived to be “taken away” from students as we navigated through the school closure and made decisions based on our equity philosophy. This meant that we were not privileging students who were not struggling during the school closure. When we closed schools, for example, we decided that grading for high-school classes would be credit/no credit, even if you’re a junior taking five Advanced Placement classes. There was a public outcry, and our school board had to entertain an item on its agenda to uphold the district’s stance on grading and not give an opt-in for parents who wanted their students to get an A. [These parents] had to accept that credit/no credit was good for <em>all </em>students, even if their student wasn’t going to get the extra bump they would have liked. When you really get down into the details of equity, it is not equitable to privilege a student when another student doesn’t have the opportunity for that same experience. However, we do have to pay attention to the voices that are coming out about grades. We don’t want families to walk away from our district and go to a private school because they are frustrated about grades at a time when we’re already facing huge cuts.&#160;&#160;&#160; </p><p> <em>*After we published this post, Jill Baker <a href="https&#58;//www.lbschools.net/Asset/Videos/external.cfm?videoID=2575#anchor_2575" target="_blank">announced</a> that for the coming school year, the Long Beach school district would delay in-person instruction until at least October 2020.</em></p> Jennifer Gill832020-07-07T04:00:00ZJill Baker, incoming chief of a large California district, discusses education priorities—and why principal supervision matters now7/15/2020 5:04:33 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Bringing Out the Best in Principals During the COVID-19 Crisis Jill Baker, incoming chief of a large California district 498https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
“All-Hands-On-Deck Moment” for Kids this Summer11027GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​ <p>​​​​​​​​​​​​​Summer has always been an important time to keep young people learning and developing in healthy ways. But now that the public health crisis has forced schools across the nation to close for weeks, says the National Summer Learning Association, making the best possible use of the summer months should be at the top of the education agenda.<br></p><p>The association hosted an online event, <a href="https&#58;//youtu.be/HEXvbBKJ5Vk" target="_blank">“When Schools Close&#58; Harnessing the Power of Summer for America’s Young People,”</a> to draw attention to research about the importance of summer and to provide innovative examples of state and local efforts to keep kids learning, moving and creating this summer.</p><p>“We hope that this will lead to partnerships and people picking up the phone and emailing and reaching out to one another,” said Aaron Philip Dworkin, the chief executive officer of NSLA. “How can I work with you, how can I bring that resource and experience to the families and the kids I serve?”<br></p><p>Karl Alexander, a member of the National Academy of Sciences panel that produced the report <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/national-academy-of-sciences-report-on-summer-learning.aspx">Shaping Summer Experiences</a>, said the “elevated risk” of food insecurity, learning loss and lack of enrichment activities for students who live in low-income neighborhoods is even more pronounced now. </p><p>“Three months away from school have stretched to six, with practically no time to plan,” Alexander said. “The pandemic has made the issues taken up by our report even more urgent and more challenging.” (The fall 2019 report was supported by The Wallace Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.)</p><p>Over the 90-minute event, which drew more than 900 registrants, panels of experts discussed the importance of summer and how everyone from policymakers to parents should think creatively to try to make the most of the time. </p><p>“One thing we know is when the story of this particular summer is told, and this school year is told, it will be a story of inequities,” said Tanji Reed Marshall, the director of P-12 practice at the Education Trust, a Washington-based advocacy group. “The naturally occurring disparities among groups will exacerbate.” </p><p>Marshall called for states and districts to spend money from the federal CARES Act, passed by Congress in late March to address the economic impact of COVID-19, for summer and extended learning.</p><p>Jillian Balow, the Wyoming state schools superintendent and the president of the board of the Council of Chief State School Officers, noted that while every state is different, “Our job is to look at summer learning opportunities and figure out how to leverage them. Removing barriers and being that influencer and broker and connector is a role all state chiefs play.”</p><p>Other panelists noted that summer programming has always been “fragmented” among various actors, all of which are now facing serious budget problems. </p><p>Erik Peterson, senior vice president for policy at the Afterschool Alliance, discussed the CARES Act and other funding sources that can be used to provide summer programming. Noting that the primary source of education funding is from states and localities, which face budget shortfalls, Peterson added that community-based organizations, parks and recreation departments, libraries, and nonprofit and fee-based programs are also struggling. </p><p>“There are a tremendous amount of challenges,” he said, “but the opportunity is there as well and it’s often in these kinds of challenges where everyone will come together to braid and blend resources in a way that hopefully provides quality summer learning for children.”</p><p>Engaging Curious Minds, a nonprofit in Charleston, S.C., that works with about 11,000 students in grades K-8 in six school districts, has already adapted its summer programming, said Executive Director Robin Berlinsky. The program’s focus is to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts through the arts. </p><p>This summer, rather than visit school facilities, students will receive “create kits” every week (some hidden by teachers in a scavenger hunt) with arts materials. Campers will do both online and in-person activities. For instance, the group plans to work with partner organizations such as running clubs and cheer teams to have socially distant parades where students receive math challenges and “story starters” to write about, Berlinsky said.</p><p>That’s the type of innovation that’s needed to make summer 2020 work for students, said Dworkin. </p><p>“This is an all-hands-on-deck moment,” he said, “and it’s going to take partnerships between parents, programs, policymakers, the business community, nonprofits, the government sector, everyone trying to be as coordinated as possible and as seamless as possible to give kids the experiences they deserve.”</p>Wallace editorial team792020-06-11T04:00:00ZExperts urge focus on summer months to help address inequities and stem learning loss for students6/12/2020 4:13:28 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / “All-Hands-On-Deck Moment” for Kids this Summer Experts urge focus on summer months to help address inequities and stem 553https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
The CARES Act: Five Things That School and District Leaders Need to Know Now10547GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning<p> <em>​​​The newly enacted federal law in response to the coronavirus crisis provides more than $30 billion for K-12 and higher education programs; more than $4 billion for early childhood education; and other supports such as forgivable loans to nonprofits, including many providers of afterschool or summer programs. The <strong>Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act</strong> comes at a moment when many states and districts are <a href="https&#58;//www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/map-coronavirus-and-school-closures.html">closing schools</a> while seeking to continue to educate students, out-of-school-time programs are pondering how best to offer services​&#160;and summer is fast approaching.</em></p><p> <em>To assist decision&#160;makers, this post summarizes five things that school and district leaders should know about the major education provisions in the CARES Act. It also contains information pertaining to nonprofits. This summary was prepared for The Wallace Foundation by <a href="https&#58;//educationcounsel.com/">EducationCounsel</a></em>,<em> a mission-based education organization and law firm that has analyzed the text of the new law. </em> <br> </p><ol><li> <strong> <em>The $2.3 trillion CARES Act provides new, one-time funding for states, districts and schools—based in part on poverty but with significant flexibility regarding where funds are used. </em></strong></li></ol><blockquote> The law includes a $30.75 billion <strong> <a href="https&#58;//oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/">Education Stabilization Fund</a></strong> divided into three parts and meant to provide initial relief to states and districts facing education challenges stemming from the coronavirus. The parts are&#58; </blockquote><ol type="A" start="0"><ol type="A"><li> <strong>The&#160;</strong><strong>$13.5 billion <a href="https&#58;//oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/elementary-secondary-school-emergency-relief-fund/">Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief</a> Fund</strong>. States will receive this funding based on the number of students in poverty in the same manner as funding is provided under Title I, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—better known today as ESSA, the Every Student Succeeds Act. States must allocate 90 percent of that funding to districts, including charter schools, based on Title I, Part A. Districts have flexibility on how to target the funds they receive, including how and which schools are funded. States have flexibility on how to target the 10 percent of funding they retain. One way to think about this funding is that it equates to about 80 percent of the most recent year’s Title I, Part A, funding.<br><br></li><li> <strong>The&#160;</strong><strong>$3 billion <a href="https&#58;//oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/governors-emergency-education-relief-fund/">Governor’s Emergency Education Relief</a> Fund</strong>. States will receive funds based on a combination of both school-age population and rates of poverty, and governors have wide discretion over use of these funds to support K-12 or higher education.<br><br></li><li> <strong>The $14.25 billion <a href="https&#58;//www2.ed.gov/programs/heerf/index.html">Higher Education Emergency Relief</a> Fund</strong>. Institutions of higher education will receive this funding directly, and they have broad latitude over its use, although at least 50 percent of their allocations must support emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare and child care. About $1 billion of the higher education relief fund is earmarked for Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as Minority Serving Institutions. </li></ol></ol><blockquote> Other provisions in the CARES Act directly support early childhood education, including <strong>$3.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant </strong>program and<strong> $750 million for Head Start.<br><br> </strong> <strong>Afterschool providers should consider additional relief offered through small business loans</strong>. Through the <a href="https&#58;//www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/023595_comm_corona_virus_smallbiz_loan_final.pdf">Paycheck Protection Program</a>, the CARES Act provides federally guaranteed loans to small businesses—including nonprofits—with fewer than 500 employees. These loans can be forgiven if the employer keeps its employees on the payroll. After the enactment of the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program quickly depleted its $350 billion allocation; however, Congress has passed a bipartisan agreement to replenish some of its funding. </blockquote><ol start="2"><li> <strong><em>The U.S. Department of Education will allocate K-12 education funds to states, which will then disburse funds to districts, but this could take several weeks or more. </em></strong> </li></ol><blockquote> On April 23, the Secretary of Education <a href="https&#58;//www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/secretary-devos-makes-available-over-13-billion-emergency-coronavirus-relief-support-continued-education-k-12-students">released the application</a> states &#160;will need to fill out to receive K-12 funding from the Education Stabilization Fund. States have until July 1 to complete the applications, and once received by the department, they are to be reviewed and approved within three business days. The department’s state application forms require states to provide technical assistance, if applicable, to districts on district use of funding for remote learning. The form also asks states to describe how they could use their state funding to support technology capacity and student access to technology.&#160; <br> <br> Each state will make Elementary and Secondary Relief Funds available to districts, using Title I formulas. The districts will then make decisions about funding priorities. Although there is an expectation that all involved will move quickly, the process could well take time to unfold—even as states and districts approach the end of their school and/or fiscal years. This means that district and school leaders should consider thinking about use of funds not only for immediate needs but also for the longer term, that is, over the summer and into the coming school year.<br></blockquote> <img alt="The-CARES-Act.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/The-CARES-Act/The-CARES-Act.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> <ol start="3"><li> <strong><em>The CARES Act provides districts (and states) with broad discretion over how they use new funds. </em></strong></li></ol><blockquote> The Elementary and Secondary Relief Fund provides <em>district</em> leaders with broad authority over both the targeting of funds to specific schools and the use of funds more broadly. The CARES Act includes a long list of allowable activities, including any activities authorized under a range of existing federal education laws, as well as a long list of activities broadly related to coronavirus, such as support for principals and other school leaders to meet the needs of their schools; support for education technology essential to&#160; &#160;distance learning; and support for measures to address the unique needs of low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness and foster care youth. Also on the list is support for summer learning and afterschool programs.<br></blockquote> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/The-CARES-Act/Allowable-Activities.jpg" alt="Allowable-Activities.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> <blockquote> States, meanwhile, have broad authority over spending from the Governor’s Education Relief Fund and their 10 percent share of dollars from the Elementary and Secondary Fund.<br><br> Given this, state, district and school leaders should quickly consider&#58; <ul><li>How to use federal funds most effectively; </li><li>What data, evidence and input they will use to inform those decisions; and</li><li>How to coordinate efforts and adopt the most coherent approach across funding streams, including with regard to CARES Act funds supporting early childhood and higher education.</li></ul></blockquote><ol start="4"><li> <strong><em>The CARES Act creates expedited waiver authority regarding ESSA requirements, but federal civil rights laws remain. </em></strong> <br></li></ol><blockquote> <span><span>In addition to establishing the Education Stabilization Fund, the CARES Act authorizes the Secretary of Education to approve, upon state request, expedited waivers from ESSA requirements, including those regarding state assessments, accountability, and data reporting. If subject to waivers, schools identified for school improvement this school year would retain that status for the 2020-2021 year. Before the CARES Act became law, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had already begun to <a href="https&#58;//www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/secletter/200320.html">approve state waivers</a> for these requirements under existing ESSA waiver authority.</span></span><br><br>It is important to note that the CARES Act does not permit states or the Education Secretary to waive federal civil rights requirements. However, the act does require the secretary to report to Congress within 30 days on what additional waivers may be necessary, including with regard to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.<br><br> Upon request by a state or district, the education secretary may waive several financial requirements in ESSA, according to the CARES Act. &#160;Among them are the limitation on carrying over Title I funding from the previous year, the requirement that a school have 40 percent of its students qualify for Title I to use funds schoolwide and the definition of “professional development” (so that districts can train and support teachers using methods that would not otherwise qualify). Also subject to waiver is the restriction on how much Title IV funding can be used for technology infrastructure and the requirement for a school to complete a needs assessment to justify use of Title IV funding. On April 6, the Secretary announced the creation of <a href="https&#58;//www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/secretary-education-betsy-devos-authorizes-new-funding-flexibilities-support-continued-learning-during-covid-19-national-emergency">a streamlined process</a> so that states can be approved for these waivers within one business day.<br><br> Last, the act requires states and districts to continue to meet “maintenance of effort” requirements regarding state and local education funding. However, the act also empowers the secretary to waive this requirement if states experience a “precipitous decline in financial resources.” <p></p></blockquote><ol start="5"><li> <strong><em>There are several actions that school and district leaders should consider taking now to promote the most efficient, effective use of CARES Act funds.</em></strong></li></ol><blockquote> In the next several weeks, states and districts are slated to begin receiving CARES Act funds. The <a href="https&#58;//www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/how-much-will-states-receive-through-the-education-stabilization-fund">specific amounts</a> have already been estimated for each state and district. There are three immediate steps that school and district leaders can take to prepare for these funds&#58; <p></p><ol type="A"><li> <strong>Identify</strong><strong> the most critical needs—now and over time.</strong>&#160; As noted above, school districts and states will have significant flexibility in use of CARES Act funds, including with regard to which schools and students are supported, and how funds are used. Now is the time to consider key data and evidence, as well as stakeholder input, to identify highest priorities. Given the outsized impact this crisis is having on the most marginalized children and families, decision makers should pay particular attention to equity and the children in greatest need, as well as to ensuring equitable access to education services consistent with federal civil rights laws. <br> <br> <ul><li> <em>For district and school leaders. </em>Consider issues such as how these funds can close equity gaps in remote learning, support school communities that need them most, promote summer learning to mitigate further learning loss and aid good faith efforts to ensure equitable access to education resources for students with disabilities. <br> <br></li><li> <em>For state leaders. </em>Consider statewide priorities but also how funds can be directed at places and populations with the greatest needs. Also consider whether and how to seek ESSA waivers while still keeping critical systems of data and school improvement in place long term. Finally, consider making widely available evidence on effective approaches to supporting districts, schools and students during the pandemic.<br><br></li></ul></li><li> <strong>Maintain</strong><strong> and improve systems for effective coordination and integration of funds. </strong>Districts and states have authority over different CARES Act funding sources. This means it will be important for school, district and state leaders to coordinate effectively about how best to target and use funds as part of a coherent approach to spending. Because CARES Act funds are supplemental and flexible, they can be combined with other state and local funds and strategies (including under ESSA plans) to promote an integrated approach. Further, family and community engagement can play a key role in making the best decisions and having the greatest impact.&#160; <br> <br> <ul><li> <em>For district and school leaders. </em>Consider how to best engage families and communities to help identify the greatest needs and best strategies, and how to best engage with state leaders as well. <br> <br></li><li> <em>For state leaders. </em>Consider what existing or new mechanisms could be used to ensure coordination and learning from the field. Think about how funds could be used most strategically with other plans and establish systems to determine how CARES Act funds are spent. This can help support continual review and improvement in use of funds over time.<br><br></li></ul></li><li> <strong>Analyze</strong><strong> and track additional needs as early as possible.</strong> The coronavirus crisis is far from predictable. Uncertainties include the duration of the pandemic as well as its impact on public health and safety, the economy, and state and local revenues. What it will mean for education opportunity and learning is another question mark. Further, the crisis could extend well into the next school year or beyond, and we cannot know when things will return to “normal” or what “normal” will or should look like. CARES Act funds are likely to be helpful but insufficient. Key national organizations representing school and district leaders have already begun to identify likely priorities for additional funding. To inform other policy actions over time, school, district and state leaders should act early to analyze the likely impact of the crisis on children’s development—academically, socially and emotionally—and on the education system. <br> <br> <ul><li> <em>For district and school leaders. </em>Plan now for different scenarios in the fall and identify likely strategies and needs given your circumstances, including with regard to issues such as professional learning, student diagnostic assessments,​ and child and family supports.&#160; <br> <br></li><li> <em>For state leaders. </em>Consider the same statewide, particularly the budget implications of the current crisis and what it will take to ensure equitable access to education resources, including greater support for children, families and communities in greatest need.</li></ul></li></ol></blockquote>Sean Worley, Scott Palmer1072020-04-23T04:00:00ZFederal Coronavirus Aid Package Provides School and Preschool Funding; Summer and Afterschool Programs Eligible5/19/2020 3:45:10 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / The CARES Act: Five Things That School and District Leaders Need to Know Now The newly enacted federal law in response to 6330https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Understanding the Effects of Building a Principal Pipeline Strategy11926GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>On this day one year ago educators from around the country came to New York City to celebrate the launch of the RAND Corporation’s report <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx">Principal Pipelines&#58; A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools</a></em><em>.</em> The report, which examined the impact of a strategic approach to school leader development in the six large districts that took part in Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, found a positive impact on student achievement and principal retention. </p><p>A lot has happened since we released the findings, and it’s no understatement to say a lot has happened in the world around us as well. Still, we thought this day was worthy of note, both to acknowledge the significance of the original findings and the work they have inspired. </p><p>In late 2019, we <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/effectively-communicating-about-principal-pipelines.aspx">commissioned market research</a> to better understand how state and local educators view pipelines, the benefits they deemed most important and any barriers that prevented them from implementing the approach. This could ultimately help us and others in the field communicate more effectively about pipelines. The main takeaway&#58; The researchers found that the response to the principal pipeline approach to developing a robust corps of effective school leaders is “resoundingly positive.” However, a key challenge in advancing pipelines is differentiating what some districts are doing now from the deliberate and comprehensive approach encompassed in the domains of the principal pipeline strategy. There’s much more in the deck for those interested in the language we use to define school leadership and what it means to different people. </p><p>Meanwhile, we’ve been working with 90 school districts in 31 states to test and spread the lessons learned from the Principal Pipeline Initiative. The 90 districts have signed on to test a tool kit that guides how they hire, train and match principals. Read more about the initiative <a href="https&#58;//www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2020/02/10/6-districts-invested-in-principals-and-saw.html">here</a> and stay tuned for results in the fall.&#160; Finally, later this year, we will release a literature review on the connection between school leadership and student achievement. </p><p>And if you’re still looking for more on the Principal Pipeline, visit our <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipeline-implementation.aspx">Pipeline Page</a> for all things related to the groundbreaking report and the work behind it. </p><p> <em>Photo by </em><a href="http&#58;//www.claireholtphotography.com/"><em>Claire Holt</em></a> </p>Wallace editorial team792020-04-08T04:00:00ZThe learning continues one year after the launch of RAND’s groundbreaking report on school leadership4/8/2020 4:44:39 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Understanding the Effects of Building a Principal Pipeline Strategy The learning continues one year after the launch of 627https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
At the Crossroads of the Arts, Education, Philanthropy and Heritage Sheep12579GP0|#b68a91d0-1c13-4d82-b12d-2b08588c04d7;L0|#0b68a91d0-1c13-4d82-b12d-2b08588c04d7|News;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Heritage and progress are equally important to Dutch textile artist Claudy Jongstra. Her work is cutting-edge and contemporary, but she reaches deep into history to create it. The wool she uses comes from Drenthe Heath sheep, a rare, 6,000-year-old European breed, which she rears on a small farm in the Netherlands’ agrarian northwest. She felts this wool using techniques discovered millennia ago and dyes it using plants she grows or finds on her property. The compositions she creates with these time-honored approaches are current, more reminiscent of postmodernists or abstract expressionists than the Mongolian yurts that once sparked her interest in textiles. The juxtaposition of the ancient and the avant-garde symbolizes the importance of long-established approaches in a world that is fast forgetting them. “It is a tool for sharing tacit knowledge and lost identities from the past,” Jongstra says, “ and then placing them in the contemporary world.”</p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption"> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Textile-Artist-Brings--Together-Past-Knowledge-and-Future-Promise-in-Wallaces-New-Offices/blog-claudy-booklet-1.jpg" alt="blog-claudy-booklet-1.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />Interns collect raw materials from Jongstra’s dye garden on her farm in Friesland, the Netherlands.<br></p><p>These themes of past knowledge and future progress are among the reasons The Wallace Foundation commissioned Jongstra to help adorn its offices in 2019. Knowledge is key to Wallace’s mission; the foundation works not just to help local organizations solve problems they face, but also to generate insights from their efforts to enhance policy and practice nationwide. “One of the reasons we were drawn to Claudy Jongstra’s art is that she builds on wisdom gleaned from past experience and demonstrates its importance to the present and the future,” said Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation. “That’s a large part of what we try to do as a foundation.”</p><p>Jongstra produced two pieces for Wallace’s offices, both placed along a central axis from the reception desk to the office’s social hub, with a view of Manhattan to the north and New York Harbor to the south. “These are the main spaces where people can take a moment to pause, have a cup of coffee and socialize,” says Arthi Krishnamoorthy of Deborah Berke Partners, the architecture firm that designed Wallace’s offices and suggested commissioning Jongstra. “Claudy’s pieces help make these spaces welcoming, not just with views and architecture, but also with art that lends warmth and sparks conversation.” </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption"> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Textile-Artist-Brings--Together-Past-Knowledge-and-Future-Promise-in-Wallaces-New-Offices/blog-claudy-bookle-2.jpg" alt="blog-claudy-bookle-2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> Bodies represented in Diversity of Thought<br></p><p> <em>Diversity of Thought</em> comprises seven textile panels&#58; six in the elevator lobby, each rendered in colors that evoke a different body in the solar system, and one behind the reception desk that represents the sun. Across the lobby in the social hub is <em>Two Rivers,</em> which depicts the meeting of the Hudson and East Rivers in New York Harbor. The richness of textures and colors, says Krishnamoorthy, connects staffers and visitors to Wallace’s work as they enter the space. </p><p> </p><p>“We want people to arrive and connect in a way that is mission-aligned,” she says, “ because both Claudy’s mission and the Wallace Foundation’s mission overlap.” </p><p> <em>Diversity of Thought,</em> for example, evokes connections between knowledge-sharing that shaped the past and knowledge-sharing Wallace hopes can help shape the future. The embroidery sprinkled throughout the seven panels was inspired by Galileo’s drawings of sunspots, a potent example of the power of art to change our understanding of the world. His drawings allowed viewers to envision the rotation of the sun and helped convince the world that the Earth is not the center of the universe. “Galileo made astronomy a visual science,” Jongstra says. “Large-scale audiences could now experience the science. It wasn’t reserved just for a small group.” </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption"> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Textile-Artist-Brings--Together-Past-Knowledge-and-Future-Promise-in-Wallaces-New-Offices/blog-claudy-bookle-4.jpg" alt="blog-claudy-bookle-4.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> Wallace reception desk with sun installation<br></p><p>Wallace similarly aims to make knowledge widely accessible and to promote progress in the fields in which it works. “Galileo changed the way we view and understand our universe. We hope to help do that in our focus areas,” says Miller. “We design our philanthropic initiatives to help our grantees and others develop new insights and increase understanding of their work. It’s a lofty goal, but if we’re to live up to our values of excellence, accountability and helping to catalyze meaningful change, we have to aim high.”</p><p> <em>Two Rivers,</em> meanwhile, draws inspiration from the meeting of the rivers visible from Wallace’s offices and reflects the relationships Wallace hopes to foster among its staff and partners.</p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption"> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Textile-Artist-Brings--Together-Past-Knowledge-and-Future-Promise-in-Wallaces-New-Offices/blog-claudy-bookle-5.jpg" alt="blog-claudy-bookle-5.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> Two Rivers<br></p><p>“We strive for mutual respect and close collaboration in everything we do,” Miller adds. “The meeting of the two estuaries, the mixing of saltwater and freshwater in New York Harbor, all serve as apt symbols of the diversity and inclusivity we seek to bring to our work.”</p><p>The piece’s use of color also points to sustainability, another core value for The Wallace Foundation. Jongstra created the colors using new techniques that extract pigment from seaweed foraged from Netherlands’ northern islands. These techniques create a new purpose for a material many consider to be expendable, challenging the take-make-waste industrial model and inspiring viewers to reimagine their relationship to the Earth’s resources. </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption"> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Textile-Artist-Brings--Together-Past-Knowledge-and-Future-Promise-in-Wallaces-New-Offices/blog-claudy-bookle-6.jpg" alt="blog-claudy-bookle-6.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> Wallace social hub with Two Rivers installation<br></p><p>“We had been experimenting with vegetation we found on the coastline and there was a beautiful palette coming through,” Jongstra said. “Parallel to our research, this commission came along. We were immediately inspired to use our re-found color palette in this new work.”</p><p>Both <em>Diversity of Thought</em> and <em>Two Rivers</em> use scale to mirror the relationships Wallace hopes to build with its grantees and the fields in which they work. Seen from a distance, says Kiki Dennis of Deborah Berke Partners, they reflect warmth. On closer inspection, one can appreciate the history and artistry embedded in each of their intricate components. </p><p>“It’s a lovely metaphor for the way the foundation works,” Dennis says. “The foundation is interested in advancing its mission on a large, macro scale. But its programs move on and have a huge impact on individual children and educators.” </p><p> <em>For more on Claudy Jongstra’s work, please visit </em> <a href="https&#58;//www.claudyjongstra.com/"> <em>www.claudyjongstra.com</em></a></p><p> <em>Photos © Frankie Alduino</em></p>Sarosh Z. Syed502020-03-10T04:00:00ZArts, arts audiences, building audiences for the arts3/11/2020 2:05:52 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / At the Crossroads of the Arts, Education, Philanthropy and Heritage Sheep Textile artist brings together past knowledge and 175https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Leader Standards Let Principals Know What to Strive For4321GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p> <em>​​A principal pipeline is an approach to school leader development that can have major benefits for school districts, as indicated in <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipeline-implementation.aspx">groundbreaking research</a> we published recently. Pipelines have four parts—rigorous job standards, high-quality pre-service preparation, selective hiring, and aligned on-the-job support and evaluation. In an occasional series, we examine each of these components by talking to principals in six urban districts that, with Wallace support, tested the pipeline idea. In previous posts, we found out how <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/effective-school-leaders-learn-how-to-solve-problems.aspx">pre-service training</a> prepared a Georgia principal to improve the graduation rate at his high school, and <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/on-the-job-support-helps-new-principals-build-skills-and-confidence.aspx">how on-the-job support</a> helped a new principal in North Carolina gain the skills he needed to succeed. Today, we explore how job standards shaped the leadership development of a principal in Denver.&#160;</em></p><p>When Pam Kirk became an assistant principal in 2008, she had a meeting with her new boss at Force Elementary School in southwest Denver. Her principal asked which leadership skills Kirk wanted to work on that year. Kirk wasn’t sure how to answer. As a former third grade teacher, she had never held any leadership positions, let alone given thought to what her leader strengths and weaknesses were. “I came straight out of a classroom to being an AP,” she says. “I was like, ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to work on. You tell me.’”</p><p>Fast-forward more than a decade and conversations about goals and professional growth sound very different in Denver Public Schools. In 2012, the district unveiled its School Leadership Framework, a set of job standards that outlines expectations for principals in six leadership realms and identifies indicators that demonstrate competency in each. Today, the framework informs all aspects of the district’s talent management strategy for school leaders, from training to recruitment, from performance evaluation to succession planning. “It anchors everything we do,” says Mikel Royal, director of school leader preparation and development for Denver Public Schools.&#160;</p><p>Leader standards may strike observers as the most mundane of the four pipeline components, but the six pipeline districts found them of singular importance, according to <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/building-a-stronger-principalship-vol-5-the-principal-pipeline-initiative-in-action.aspx">research about the implementation</a> of the pipeline effort. This is in part because of how the standards guided the development of the other pipeline components and helped the pipeline as a whole cohere. The new standards replaced what the researchers described as “a loose patchwork of language about school leadership that did not communicate what the district really wanted principals to know and do.” Then, the new standards were often themselves revised, as districts observed the standards in use and saw gaps in them or lack of clarity about important matters, or lists that needed trimming to a few absolute essentials. “Living documents in use” is how the researchers characterized the standards. Moreover, developing standards proved to be by far the least expensive of the pipeline components, according to an initiative <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/what-it-takes-to-operate-and-maintain-principal-pipelines-costs-and-other-resources.aspx">cost study</a>. They carried a per-pupil price tag of about 41 cents a year—“remarkably inexpensive” for something so significant, the researchers said.&#160; </p><p>Kirk’s entry into the principal pipeline coincided with the launch of Denver’s standards’ framework. In 2012, she was among the district’s first educators to participate in Learn To Lead, a yearlong residency program in which aspiring principals work alongside veteran leaders in schools. The program is rooted in the framework, with residents identifying two to three indicators as growth goals for the year. The framework was so new that Kirk had to explain it to her mentor principal.&#160;</p><p>After her residency, Kirk applied to the hiring pool for principals, a process also closely aligned to the framework. To gauge her readiness as an instructional leader (standard two), for example, Kirk was asked to watch a video of classroom instruction and describe the feedback she would give to the teacher. To assess her skills as a community builder (standard six), district leaders had her role-play a scenario in which upset parents confronted her.&#160;</p><p>The framework influenced Kirk’s professional growth after she became principal of Asbury Elementary School in south Denver. At a workshop in 2015, she and other school leaders unpacked each standard and reviewed the types of evidence that their supervisors would use to evaluate their performance on a four-point scale&#58; not meeting, approaching, effective and distinguished. That year, principals also set professional goals tied to the framework. Kirk chose to concentrate on creating a more supportive workplace for her staff. “I’m not a warm and fuzzy principal—it’s not a strength of mine,” she says. “The framework makes me focus on it and ensures that I’m bringing those values to my building.”</p><p>In 2017, Denver revised the framework with input from principals to define expectations for all members of a school’s instructional leadership team—principal, assistant principal, deans and teacher leaders. Previously, everyone had been evaluated against the principal standards. In the area of instructional expertise, for example, teacher leaders are expected to develop a team of teachers who deliver “joyful, rigorous instruction,” while the principal is tasked with building and empowering the instructional leadership team to ensure engaging instruction for all students. By showing the competency progression, the framework has become a powerful tool for leaders at all levels to “self-assess their progress and have conversations with their supervisor about their growth,” says Royal.&#160;&#160;<br></p><p>Earlier this year, Kirk used the framework for the first time to evaluate Asbury Elementary’s dean of culture. She was surprised by all the evidence she needed to collect to make an informed assessment. Still, the effort led to a more meaningful conversation with her dean. Rather than a perfunctory review of his evaluation scores, she says, “we focused on the data behind the decision and his next steps moving forward.”&#160;Kirk recently took a step forward in her career too. In September, she became the new principal of Southmoor Elementary School in Denver.<br></p><p><em>​Photo of Pam Kirk by Sam Adams/Adams Visual Communications</em></p>Jennifer Gill832019-10-29T04:00:00ZA Denver principal reflects on how district standards influenced her growth and practice11/12/2019 7:08:38 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Leader Standards Let Principals Know What to Strive For A Denver principal reflects on how district standards influenced 1276https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
On-the-Job Support Helps New Principals Build Skills—and Confidence3624GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p> <em>​A principal pipeline is an approach to school leader development that can have major benefits for school districts, as indicated in <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipeline-implementation.aspx">groundbreaking research</a> we published recently. Pipelines have four parts—rigorous job standards, high-quality pre-service preparation, selective hiring, and aligned on-the-job support and evaluation. In an occasional series, we examine each of these components by talking to principals in districts that, with Wallace support, tested the pipeline idea. In the <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/effective-school-leaders-learn-how-to-solve-problems.aspx">first post</a>, we found out how <em>pre-service training had prepared a Georgia principal to improve the graduation rate at his high school. Today, we explore how on-the-job support helped a newcomer to the principalship in North Carolina gain the skills and confidence he needed to succeed.&#160; &#160;&#160;&#160;</em></em></p><p>“We weren’t sure we wanted you here.” </p><p>“We didn’t think you would make it.” </p><p>Recalling these comments transports Mike Miliote back to 2010, when he was a novice principal at Matthews Elementary School in Matthews, N.C., about 12 miles from downtown Charlotte. With only 13 months under his belt as an assistant principal, Miliote had little administrative experience compared with other first-time principals—and his staff recognized it. In his first year on the job, Miliote avoided difficult conversations, he remembers. He also kept teachers out of the decision-making loop. </p><p>Even the best pre-service training can’t fully prepare new principals for the realities of their difficult and often lonely jobs. Yet in too many districts, novices are left to fend for themselves, an indication of “a longstanding ‘sink-or-swim’ mindset toward principals&#58; ‘You’re supposed to be a leader, so lead!,’” in the words of one <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-principal-mentoring-right.aspx">Wallace report</a>. </p><p>Fortunately, this was not the situation that Miliote encountered, as he found when he progressed through a multiyear induction program with other novice principals offered by his employer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The district started the program not only to help new principals sharpen their instructional leadership skills, but also to provide them with a network of peers they can lean on for support. “With a district approaching 180 schools, getting to know 10 to 20 other principals really well makes the district seem smaller and helps them feel more supported,” says Jevelyn Bonner-Reed, the district’s director of grant innovation.</p><p>For the first two years of the program, novice principals are paired with a high-performing veteran principal who mentors them during their transition into school leadership. In year three, principals study different leadership styles and how they apply to running a school at the Educational Leadership Institute at Queens University in Charlotte. They also take a time-management course to learn how to maximize their time spent on instructional leadership efforts.</p><p>The program culminates in the fourth year with a capstone project in which principals reflect on their leadership practice by interviewing their teachers and other staff members about what it’s like to work with them. The interviews “helped me gain an understanding of strengths and weaknesses from those I lead, regardless of how they perceived me,” Miliote says.&#160;His faculty members were candid, acknowledging their initial worries in comments like those above, but noted that he was now someone they wanted to stand behind.</p><p>Miliote credits the induction program for this transformation. As a principal, “you have to have confidence in yourself,” he says. “I don’t think I would have developed that without going through the program.” Miliote’s growth was reflected in the changes in how he carried out the job. He no longer ran away from conflict, instead encouraging staff members to tell him their concerns so they could find solutions together. He also started putting teachers in charge of school initiatives, something he would have never considered early on. </p><p>The students at Matthews turned out to be the ultimate beneficiaries of the collaborative working relationship between Miliote and his staff. The school’s academic achievement was just barely meeting growth expectations when he arrived. By the time he left in 2014, the school was exceeding it.&#160;&#160; </p><p>Miliote is now principal of Jay M. Robinson Middle School in Charlotte, which is also surpassing growth expectations under his leadership. In the future, he expects to take on an additional role&#58; Mentor to novice principals in the induction program. </p><p><em>Photo of Mike Miliote by Claire Holt</em></p>Jennifer Gill832019-07-23T04:00:00ZAn induction program guided a novice school leader through his early years on the job11/12/2019 10:02:10 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / On-the-Job Support Helps New Principals Build Skills—and Confidence An induction program guided a novice school leader 907https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
What If Districts Focused Not Just on Preparing and Hiring Principals But Also Retaining Them4255GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>R <em>ecent <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx">research</a> about Wallace’s <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipeline-implementation.aspx">Principal Pipeline Initiative</a> found that when six large school districts carried out a systematic approach to cultivating effective school leadership, benefits for principal retention ensued. New York City was one of the pipeline districts, and in this guest column, Marina Cofield, senior executive director of the Office of Leadership at the New York City Department of Education, discusses why the nation’s largest school system decided that school leader retention mattered—and what steps to take in response.&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</em></p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="marina.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/What-If-Districts-Focused-Not-Just-on-Preparing-and-Hiring-Principals-But-Also-Retaining-Them/marina.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;249px;" />Six years ago, I stepped into my current role heading the office responsible for ensuring that the school system has a strong pipeline of educational leaders—professionals well-prepared to fill all of our principal vacancies and lead our schools successfully. In a system of our size, with more than 1,600 schools serving 1.1 million children, this meant having well-qualified candidates for roughly 175 to 190 positions each year. As I thought about what the work entailed—developing stronger principal preparation programs and more strategic approaches to principal hiring—I reminded myself that our goal was to do more than fill empty slots. It was ultimately to provide every school in the system with a strong leader. </p><p>Perhaps, I thought, we should focus not only on increasing the number of well-trained educators ready to enter the principalship, but also on reducing the number of people who leave it.</p><p>Boosting principal retention made sense to me because of what we know about improving schools.&#160; In short, <a href="https&#58;//hbr.org/2017/09/research-how-the-best-school-leaders-create-enduring-change">research</a> has shown that meaningful, enduring school improvement doesn’t happen overnight, but rather takes at least three, and often more than five, years of strategic, sustained effort. Moreover, as a key driver of the change, school leaders must stay on the job more than just a few years in order to see their efforts all the way through—from visioning and strategic planning to piloting, school-wide scaling, monitoring and making adjustments over time.&#160; </p><p>We believe that we have landed on a way to help our principals not only survive but stay fully engaged in their roles over the long term. In the unique design of our New Principal Support program, we have found a strategy to increase retention for both early-career and more experienced principals.</p><p>Drawing on what we know about professional development generally, we decided the best approach was to provide individualized, job-embedded coaching for every new principal in the system. Our twist was who serves as the coach. We believe the people best positioned for this work are those who have very recently been successful principals in our system. These leaders understand the challenges and expectations of the position as they exist today, an especially important factor in a profession that is changing so rapidly. </p><p>We offered some of our best veteran principals three different ways to join our program team&#58; </p><ul><li>They could continue to lead their school and take on the responsibility of coaching just three new principals and receive a stipend; <br><br> </li><li>They could agree to leave their school for a year to participate in a full-time “coaching fellowship,” with the right to return to their principal position at the end of the year; or <br><br> </li><li>They could leave their school altogether and become a permanent member of our coaching staff.</li></ul><p>Recognizing that even the best principals don’t necessarily have highly developed coaching skills, we also trained the coaches in a robust professional learning program that is aligned to International Coach Federation standards and incorporates a focus on coaching for racial equity.&#160; </p><p>Our New Principal Support (NPS) program has yielded significant results, some intended and some a welcome surprise. In the intended department&#58; New principals who receive coaching through our program are staying on the job through their first two years at higher rates than those who did not receive our coaching. They also report overwhelmingly that the coaching is a valuable support and helps alleviate feelings of isolation in their job. </p><p>What we did not expect is that the program also has a positive impact on retention of the principal-coaches. Successful principals who have been in their positions for five years or more are looking for opportunities to grow professionally, to be part of a learning community and to broaden their impact. Being able to join our team of coaches (all of whom are exceptional principals), to participate in our professional learning series and to aid colleagues new to the profession checks all those boxes. As a result, our coaches report feeling energized and excited to continue leading their schools. </p><p>As one veteran high school principal who serves as a coach told us, “Teaching an old dog like me new tricks is no easy task, but the professional learning around coaching skills and racial equity I engaged in with NPS to prepare me for my work the past two years coaching new principals really sharpened my own principal and leadership skills and also specifically motivated me to tackle long-standing racial equity issues that had been festering in my school over the recent past.”</p><p>Keeping principals like this one on the job will pay dividends for his whole school community. It’s well worth our investment.&#160; </p><p><em>Top photo&#58; Jolon Shields, assistant principal at Origins High School, Brooklyn, New York. Photo by Claire Holt.</em></p> <p></p>Marina Cofield982019-07-09T04:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.7/9/2019 3:52:21 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / What If Districts Focused Not Just on Preparing and Hiring Principals But Also Retaining Them New York City was one of the 1679https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Ensuring That Every Student Succeeds10752GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​When Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015, it made a bi-partisan decision to devolve authority over federal education spending away from Washington, D.C. Now, it’s up to states and school districts to show that they are up to the challenge of deciding how best to use U.S. dollars to bolster public education for all students.&#160;&#160;&#160; <br></p><p><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Ensuring-that-Every-Student-Succeeds/Brogan_Pix-crop2.jpg" alt="Brogan_Pix-crop2.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;" />That was the key message from Frank T. Brogan, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, at a recent Wallace Foundation conference.&#160; “Is every child better off as a result,” he urged audience members to ask themselves, noting that he finds “every” the key word in the Every Student Succeeds Act. “That’s an awesome responsibility. There are 50 million of them out there.”<br></p><p>Brogan made his comments at a gathering of about 200 local and state education officials, representatives of university principal preparation programs and other education leaders from around the country. ESSA, the latest reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is a leading source of support for public school education and is notable for giving states and localities more control over their use of federal education money. It also offers new possibilities for funding efforts to boost school leadership—a particular interest of the conference attendees, most of whom were&#160; &#160;participants in Wallace’s ESSA Leadership Learning Community and University Principal Preparation Initiative.</p><p>Brogan said ESSA was “as important and pronounced a piece of legislation as I have seen come out of Washington, D.C., in decades.” The law’s underlying assumption, he said, is a belief that those closest to children—their schools, their communities, their districts, their states—are in a better position than federal officials to determine the students’ educational needs and how to meet them. Local educators, he said, “live with these children, they see them every day.… They know the challenges these children bring to school.” </p><p>At the same time, the law gives states and districts the weighty responsibility of showing that Congress made the right decision in placing new powers in their hands. “What ESSA is designed to say is, ‘we trust you,’” Brogan told the audience, emphasizing that what Congress giveth, Congress can also take away.&#160; “If we don’t take up that mantle of local control and flexibility and create the same, they will snatch this bad boy away from us before we knew we had it,” he said. “We have to prove that we are worthy of that trust and find ways to reach children we have not been able to reach or reach them at higher levels.”</p><p>Brogan said that those who want to improve education need to avoid suggesting that current practices are bad—and focus instead on the idea that “by most standard measures” children today “are capable of more.” Educators and education officials, he argued, also need the “courage” to identify what requires changing and then make the necessary moves, despite inevitable pushback from others. “You can’t just open the window and yell ‘work harder;’ you have to work differently,” Brogan said.</p><p>One aid in this endeavor is evidence, Brogan argued, saying that educators nationwide are “desperate” to learn about innovations that have proved effective in classrooms elsewhere. “The beauty of funding evidence-based change is that it’s not just this shiny object,” he said. “This thing works. It can work for our children.” He noted that the U.S. Department of Education is creating a new unit to make it easier to get information about evidence-based practices. As part of an effort to consolidate the work of roughly 25 offices into 14 offices, the department has put the Office of Innovation under the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, which Brogan heads.</p><p>Asked about how the Department’s policies would help achieve equity in education, Brogan pointed to data as a key lever&#58; “You can’t address what you can’t see,” he said. “The data alone won’t guarantee that you know what the problem is, but it will allow a confidence in trendlines that will enable people to stop and get them to talk about this.”</p><p>One of his priorities in leading an office responsible for distributing about $23 billion annually in grants, Brogan said, is to balance the need for adherence to grant requirements with the need for user-friendliness. A self-described “customer-relationship guy,” Brogan said that he wants “to know what the customer satisfaction rates are for our clients… and then I want to have conversations within and without the department about how we can change that to be a more user-friendly group.” </p><p>Although most of his talk focused on ESSA, Brogan began his remarks by recounting his journey from modest beginnings in Lafayette, Indiana, to his arrival to a position of influence in the nation’s capital. Brogan’s father died when Brogan and his five siblings were young. The family was raised by a single mother with an 8th grade education—and a determination to see her children advance beyond what their circumstances suggested. Working in restaurants and cleaning houses to support the family, she also managed to instill the value of education in all her kids. “She was a rock star in our neighborhood,” Brogan said. “She was unique in that all six of her children graduated from high school. At that time, it was a cause célèbre. I survived my first 18 years on the blunt end of this woman’s will. Failure was not an option. We were going to get an education. She professed it with great regularity and extreme passion.”</p><p>The challenge posed by ESSA is whether states and districts can harness this type of fierce belief in the power of education to ensure that every child can succeed in life.</p><p>For a look at evidence-based funding opportunities for school leadership under ESSA see <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/school-leadership-interventions-every-student-succeeds-act-volume-1.aspx">here</a>.</p>Wallace editorial team792019-03-06T05:00:00ZFederal education official urges local, state officials to prove “worthy” of the trust put in them by ESSA3/6/2019 7:33:33 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Ensuring That Every Student Succeeds Federal education official urges local, state officials to prove “worthy” of the trust 738https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
What Can States Do to Bolster School Leadership?16128GP0|#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 836https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

​​​​​​​