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Building a Cohesive Leadership System for Massachusetts School and District Leaders

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Title: Building a Cohesive Leadership System for Massachusetts School and District Leaders


1
Building a Cohesive Leadership System for
Massachusetts School and District Leaders
  • Caryl Brayton Toole
  • Kristin Burke
  • Joan Connolly

MASC/MASS Joint Conference Four Points
Sheraton Hyannis, MA November 16, 2007
2
The Massachusetts Story
3
First the Good News …
  • Massachusetts has long been considered a leader
    in Education Reform
  • 4th and 8th grade scores in both reading and math
    on the National Assessment of Educational
    Progress (NAEP) are the highest in the nation
  • 87 of students in the class of 2009nearly nine
    out of tenpassed BOTH the English and Math MCAS
    exams on their first try (Up from 68 in 2001)
  • MA SAT scores exceed the regional and national
    averages

4
And Now the Challenges
  • Achievement Gap
  • MCAS scores have improved in almost every grade,
    but the achievement gap is wide.
  • High School Graduation Rate
  • Graduation rates are unacceptably low for all
    student groups, especially Black and Hispanic
    students.
  • College/Career Readiness
  • Too few high school graduates are prepared for
    college/ careers
  • Too many students are not completing college
  • Global Competition
  • While at the top nationally, MA students are not
    at the top on international measures of
    performance

5
What Research and Practice Tells Us …
  • We need skilled leaders who
  • Understand and implement standards-based
    education
  • Provide strong leadership for instructional
    changes leading to improved student performance
  • Understand the challenges and provide leadership
    for change

6
The Bottom Line …
  • 19 of districts and 39 of schools in
    Massachusetts have Accountability Status, meaning
    they have failed to meet annual performance
    targets as required under the No Child Left
    Behind (NCLB) Law
  • Too many Massachusetts students drop out of high
    school before graduation too few graduate from
    high school college ready too few ever graduate
    from college

7
What Can We Do …
  • After ten years of Educational Reform initiatives
    and working with underperforming schools to
    address the needs of their students, we have
    strong evidence that a new kind of leadership for
    learning is the key to successful school reform.
  • The Department of Education has developed an
    ambitious and comprehensive vision for
    educational leadership in Massachusetts, with the
    goal of creating a standards-based and fully
    aligned accountability system for school leaders.

8
Cohesive Leadership System
  • Funded in part through the Wallace Foundation
  • Partnership with the Boston Public Schools and
    the Springfield Public Schools
  • Alignment of Professional Standards for
    administrators based on the latest research and
    best practices with input from all stakeholders
  • Gap analysis of nine state university principal
    preparation programs
  • Creation of performance assessment and rubric to
    be used state-wide

9
Cohesive Leadership System (continued)
  • Will articulate the developmental stages of
    individual leaders through mastery
  • Identify the guidance, support, and professional
    development that must be met to effectively
    provide for the success of leaders
  • Will radically change the way that leaders work
    together and the way that leaders conceive of
    their purpose as change agents
  • Create a larger and deeper pool of highly
    qualified leadership candidates in the state

10
Executive Leadership Program for Educators
(ExEL)
  • To strengthen leadership in urban and high-need
    districts along with the DOE in order to improve
    the ways the department and districts work
    together
  • Multi-year collaborative effort of the Harvard
    Business School, the Harvard Graduate School of
    Education, the John F. Kennedy School of
    Government, with Wallace Foundation support
  • To work with districts and their teams to bring
    high quality teaching and learning to scale

11
National Institute for School Leadership (NISL)
  • A two-year executive development program,
    designed to prepare school leaders to meet the
    challenges of increased accountability
  • Based on research and best practices from the
    fields of education, business and military
  • Focused on school principals and other school
    administrators
  • Ensure that effective standards-based
    instructional leadership becomes the core of the
    school principals role

12
National Institute for School Leadership
  • Building a deeper understanding of what
    constitutes primary evidence for student learning
  • Changing how principals allocate their time
    during the day
  • Developing a principals ability to strengthen
    the decision-making and critical thinking
    capacities for their faculty
  • Funded by the DOE customized to meet the needs
    of Massachusetts school leaders

13
National Institute for School Leadership
  • NISL advances these changes by promoting
  • knowledge gains in four areas
  • Nature and structure of standards-based
    instructional systems in schools
  • Application of learning theory to teaching
    practices
  • High-quality English language arts and
    mathematics instructional programs that address
    essential academic goals
  • Strategies, approaches, and tools for developing
    the professional capacity of a schools staff

14
National Institute for School Leadership
  • NISL focuses on skill-building to strengthen the
    capacity of principals in the following areas
  • Formulating a clear vision that will inspire
    others in the community
  • Thinking strategically
  • Leading the creation and implementation of
    fully-aligned, standards-based instructional
    systems
  • Building effective math, reading and writing
    programs
  • Designing and implementing effective professional
    development programs
  • Managing for results to produce steady
    improvements in student achievement

15
National Institute for School Leadership
Principal changes behavior
NISL Training Program
Improved academic instruction
Improved student achievement
Principal shares NISL concepts with staff
16
Summary of NISL Growth
  • In FY05, there were two cohorts, with 69
    participants in NISL
  • FY06ten cohorts, 279 participants
  • FY07576 school leaders enrolled
  • FY08800 will have completed or are currently
    participating in NISL training

17
NISL Districts
18
Massachusetts Educational Leadership Alliance
  • The Educational Alliance is a collaboration of
    professional organizations, service providers,
    and the Department of Education that provides
    state-wide policy direction and designs and
    delivers leadership services and support to
    current and aspiring school and district leaders
    to enhance student development and achievement.

19
Massachusetts Education Leadership Alliance
(continued)
  • A partnership of MASC, MASS, MSSAA, MESPA, Future
    Management Systems, Atlas Communities, and the
    DOE
  • The goal is to improve student achievement
    through leadership training and support
  • Building vertical leadership systems, improving
    skills and knowledge of standards-based teaching
    and learning
  • All Principals and Superintendents in five pilot
    districts are receiving coaching around
    developing leadership teams
  • Information and training for 60 aspiring leaders
  • Support for small and rural districts
  • Transitions for six districts (Superintendent and
    School Committee)

20
Womens Educational Leadership Network
  • History
  • In January, 2006, educational leaders from MA DOE
    and the MA Association of School Superintendents
    (MASS) met to discuss the increasing numbers of
    women superintendents actively seeking support
    from their respective agencies.
  • Out of this meeting grew a partnership between
    the two agencies
  • With funding from the Wallace Foundation, the
    Womens Educational Leadership Network was formed.

21
Womens Educational Leadership Network
  • Purpose of the WELN?
  • The Womens Educational Leadership Network (WELN)
    aims to support current and aspiring female
    leaders by
  • Creating networking opportunities for women
    leaders
  • Developing trainings specific to participants
    needs

22
Womens Educational Leadership Network
  • Why Support Women?
  • In 2000, the American Association of School
    Administrators (AASA) released the results of a
    ten-year study of the American School
    Superintendent. This study revealed interesting
    facts related to women in the Superintendency
  • Of the 13,728 school districts in the US, only
    18 are led by females.
  • 79 of all teachers in the US are women and 90
    of all superintendents are former classroom
    teachers.
  • 75 of elementary teachers are women about 75
    of the superintendents in the survey did not
    teach at the elementary level.
  • Glass, Thomas E., Bjork, Lars, Brunner, C. Cryss
    The Study of the American School Superintendency,
    2000 A Look at the Superintendent of Education
    in the New Millennium

23
Womens Educational Leadership Network
  • Why Support Women? (continued)
  • In 2007, the Womens Educational Leadership
    Network created a survey and collected data
    based on the AASA survey that revealed
    interesting information about the female
    superintendents in Massachusetts
  • Of the roughly 386 school districts in
    Massachusetts, 30 are led by females.
  • Of the 18 women superintendents surveyed, only 2
    were elementary school teachers and 50 were
    special education teachers.

24
Womens Educational Leadership Network
  • Accomplishments to Date
  • The WELN Steering Committee has planned an
    average of two events a year, which have included
    influential female educational leaders
  • Based on the needs identified by the
    participants, the following topics have been
    covered at these events
  • Gender and Race in the Superintendency
  • Budget and Finance
  • Wellness
  • Politics and Leadership in Education

25
Womens Educational Leadership Network
  • Who Participates in the training?
  • MASS and MA DOE invite Superintendents within the
    public K-12 education system
  • Superintendents are encouraged to bring current
    and aspiring women leaders within their districts
  • Attendees have ranged from Superintendents, to
    Principals, to SPED Directors, and teacher
    leaders
  • To date, participants have come from 85 different
    districts and 4 education collaboratives

26
Womens Educational Leadership Network
  • As we go forward …
  • We will continue to strive to meet the identified
    needs of the Womens Educational Leadership
    Network through our twice yearly trainings
  • We are in the process of developing regional
    learning communities for women educational
    leaders across the Commonwealth
  • We will continue to study and learn from our
    women leaders and try to identify what makes
    Massachusetts ahead of the nation in promoting
    women in the Superintendency

27
Adaptive Leadership Training for Superintendents
  • This training was developed in 2005 as a result
    of a new partnership between the Massachusetts
    Department of Education, The Wallace Foundation,
    and the Massachusetts Association of School
    Superintendents.
  • A significant number of superintendents have
    taken advantage of this training opportunity.
  • 80 have participated in large group formal
    trainings
  • Berkshire County Roundtable has held trainings
    for all of their superintendents
  • Cape Cod Roundtable has held trainings for their
    superintendents and North Shore and South Shore
    Roundtables held trainings and have on-going
    groups that meet and use adaptive protocols for
    consultation and problem-solving
  • There will be training for all new
    superintendents (32)

28
Adaptive Leadership Training for Superintendents
  • The training was offered in both large group
    format
  • (presentations at winter and spring MASS
    meetings) and in small groups of thirty or less.
  • Adaptive training has been an integral piece of
    the Massachusetts Cohesive Leadership System. The
    training has provided superintendents with
    additional tools and skills to lead large scale
    reforms in districts across the Commonwealth.
  • The training focuses on Ron Heifitzs theory of
    leadership. His theory centers around a leader
    claiming a higher set of aspirations and
    mobilizing her people to be more creative and
    collaborative in working together to realize
    those aspirations.

29
Adaptive Leadership for Superintendents
  • According to Heifitz, superintendents learn to be
    better at thinking politically engaging
    partners connecting with the opposition
    acknowledging their part of the mess dealing
    with casualties nurturing trouble makers and
    observing signals.
  • Many superintendents have taken this training
    back to their own leadership teams, thus
    embedding the work in their school districts.
  • Several small groups of superintendents continue
    to meet, using the protocols to problem solve and
    share strategies, thereby increasing capacity for
    change and reform.

30
Adaptive Leadership Training for Superintendents
  • Protocols of Adaptive Leadership are also
  • used in leadership networks in Massachusetts,
  • including
  • The Urban Superintendents Network
  • The Womens Educational Leadership Network
  • The MASS Superintendents Roundtables

31
For more information, please contact Caryl
Brayton Toole ctoole_at_doe.mass.edu 781-338-3536 or
Kristin A. Burke (for WELN) kburke_at_doe.mass.edu 78
1-338-3568
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