Working on school climate in your district? On improving services for English-language learners? On reducing the dropout rate? A new annual report from Education Week showcases Leaders to Learn From—16 leaders who have seized on some smart or creative ideas and put them to work in their school districts. (One story focuses on two leaders who worked on one initiative.)
Though you may have heard of some of these folks before (we’ve written about Daniel King in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district, for instance), many will likely be new names—and, we hope, new ideas, or old ideas executed well. The leaders include a technology specialist, a director of transportation, and, yes, many superintendents who have focused on different aspects of school performance to improve the opportunities of the students and teachers in their districts. We found folks doing compelling work in rural, suburban, and urban districts in states around the country.
From the report:
The importance of effective educational leadership goes almost without saying: Some research suggests leadership is second only to classroom instruction among all the school-related factors that contribute to student learning. Leaders To Learn From aims to draw attention to the importance of good leadership and spread the word on strategies and tactics from leaders in some of the nation's 14,000-plus districts that others may want to adopt or adapt.
The report tells stories about:
- School climate in Connecticut,
- Streamlining transportation in Ohio,
- Reducing dropouts in Texas,
- Improving services for English-language learners in Minnesota,
- Improving special education services in Virginia,
- District-union collaboration in Colorado,
- Parent participation in Boston,
- Early college in North Carolina,
- Internet access equity in Indiana,
- Using social media for professional development in Missouri,
- Managing growth in Virginia,
- STEM in Michigan,
- Unusual budget solutions in rural New York,
- Turnarounds in Cincinnati, and
- Reducing suspensions in Baltimore
This will be an annual report, so if there are other leaders we should know about, keep them in mind—and keep an eye out for an announcement about next year’s version. We’re already accepting nominations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.