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On ESSA, many principals have little idea what the law actually means

Education Dive – Autumn A. Arnett

“One of the recurring themes from principals around ESSA implementation has been, “Well, I’m just going to wait for my superintendent to tell me what to do.” Actually, according to experts from the National Association of Elementary School Principals who shared at the 2017 National Principals Conference in Philadelphia and spoke on background for this article, the law was designed to be much more bottom-up than previous laws, and you should reach out to your superintendent with plans you’d like to see implemented in your school to help improve outcomes for all learners therein.”(more)

Research: Principals don’t give teachers the truth about performance

Education Dive – Linda Jacobson

“A study by Matthew Kraft of Brown University and Allison Gilmour of Temple University shows that some principals are reluctant to tell teachers that they need improvement based on observations and that observing, documenting and helping unsatisfactory teachers grow can become “overwhelming.”(more)

To turn around schools, first turn around the principals

E-School News – Mark Comanducci

“I oversee a portfolio of nine turnaround schools, all of which had an overall rating of F when ACCEL Schools first took them over two years ago. This means that, on average, fewer than 30 percent of students were proficient. As a charter organization in Ohio, our schools receive 40 percent to 60 percent less funding than traditional schools, because charters in Ohio rarely, if ever, get local funding. This means we don’t have the budget to radically restaff our schools. When we started with these schools, I faced a high level of skepticism among the principals. They had been bombarded with change for change’s sake, so their trust in leadership had eroded.”(more)

Effective principal training should consist of 70% on-the-job learning

Education Dive – Autumn A. Arnett

“For effective professional development at all levels of leadership, a 70-20-10 model, prioritizing on-the-job learning, followed by coaching and mentoring, with formal training bringing up the rear is the best approach, experts say. “Formal learning has a place, but that shouldn’t be the lead.” said Gina Ikemoto, founder of Education Research and Development.”(more)

7 Questions Principals Should Ask When Hiring Future-Ready Teachers

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“Every year thousands of educators gather for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference eager to learn about the newest features in favorite apps and to glean ideas from one another about how to effectively teach in new ways. The conference seems to grow every year and there is palpable excitement from educators who finally get to commune with their “tribe” — techy teachers from around the globe.”(more)

Do Principals Really Think All Teachers are Effective?

Education Next – Jason A. Grissom

“Teacher evaluation systems show a stubborn tendency to rate nearly all teachers as effective. This historical fact has remained true even as most states have invested in rigorous new “multiple measures-based” teacher evaluation systems. The primary reason for the lack of variation in teacher evaluation scores in most systems is that teachers tend to score overwhelmingly positively on the instructional or professional practice portion of the evaluation, which usually makes up half or more of the overall evaluation score. Much as in the olden days when teacher evaluations were simple checklists, the principals who assign these subjective ratings just don’t differentiate much.”(more)