Leading for Learning: Annual Reports

The Education Week series "Leading for Learning," funded by the Wallace Foundation, includes annual reports on leadership in education.

Leading for Learning 2009

Read the Full Report: Education Week's sixth annual Leading for Learning report, funded by The Wallace Foundation, examines the leadership role of school boards. It includes research findings and an analysis commissioned from Kenneth K. Wong, the chairman of the education department at Brown University, and Francis X. Shen, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center. Download the complete PDF version of the 2009 report Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Stories featured in the 2009 report include:

An Overlooked Institution Struggles to Remain Relevant: Whether school boards are up to the task of governing local districts in an era of increasing state and federal control is up for debate.

In Pittsburgh, Monitors Hold School Board Accountable: 'Board Watch' volunteers attend meetings and grade the panel on good-governance measures.

Governance Project Teaches Value of Policy Framework: The Reform Governance in Action training insists that school boards have a "theory of action" and stick to it.

At State Level, Power Over Schools a Contentious Issue: Governors have moved steadily to increase their influence over K-12 education, sometimes antagonizing their states' education establishments in the process.

Education Secretary Leads Chorus Calling for Big City-Hall Role: Interest in bringing urban school districts under the municipal umbrella continues to grow.

Research Perspective:
Mayors Can Be 'Prime Movers' of Urban School Improvement: Under this arrangement, districts are no longer insulated from the city’s social, civic, and economic sectors.

Meetings Are Just Tip of Iceberg: "The public doesn't see much of the real work of school boards, which wield far less power than voters might expect," writes Gene I. Maeroff.

Keeping an Eye on the Big Picture—From a Small Town: "As a school board member, I realize our students need to be equipped for a future beyond high school, but thinking long-term isn't easy," writes Lonnie Harp.

For Better Schools and for Civic Life, Boards Must Assert Power: Peter Meyer writes, "School boards' apparent irrelevance should not be taken as evidence of the need to hurry them out the door."

Leading for Learning 2008

Read the Full Report: Education Week's fifth annual Leading for Learning report, funded by The Wallace Foundation, examines the leadership challenges facing the nation's rapidly growing charter school sector. It includes new research on the characteristics of charter school principals, and the pressing issues they face, from the National Charter Schools Research Project at the University of Washington in Seattle. Download the complete PDF version of the 2008 report Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Paul Hill and Betheny Gross from the Center on Reinventing Public Education answered questions inspired by Education Week's newest "Leading for Learning" report on charter schools.
Read the transcript.

Stories featured in the 2008 report include:

Wanted: The Perfect Person: The charter school movement faces daunting leadership and management challenges, especially as the sector continues its rapid expansion.

Preparation Programs Can’t Match Demand: A growing field of specialty programs has emerged to train principals for the demands of running charter schools.

Differing Organizational Models Help Charters Divide Up the Load: Given the wide range of duties involved in leading a charter school, it can be tough— and, some experts say, inadvisable—for one person to go it alone.

The High-Wire Job of Charter School Leadership: Being a charter school leader brings other challenges not often faced by principals of traditional public schools, who receive support from their districts’ central offices.

Opening a School Draws on All of Founders’ Skills: In less than a year, two principals went from writing a charter school proposal to sitting in the homes of their new students to guarantee them and their parents academic success.

Many Charter Boards Seen as Unprepared: The boards that run them serve in relative obscurity, even as they face distinctive challenges.

Calif. Group Puts Muscle Into Charters: In California, where a quartermillion students will attend charter schools this year, many charters have tapped a savvy advocacy group for support and expertise.

Management Networks Strive to Grow Like-Minded Schools: A new approach to the leadership and management of public schools has taken hold over the past decade.

Leading for Learning 2007

Stories featured in the 2007 report include:

Leading for Learning: About This Report
This special pullout section is the fourth annual Education Week report examining leadership in education, an important topic in an era of high-stakes accountability for public schools. Download the complete PDF version of the 2007 report Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Getting Serious About Preparation: The nation’s schools need principals who know instruction, and that focus is helping to shape more coherent professional programs to select and train the next generation of school leaders.

Joining Forces: Greeneville City and Kingsport district officials entered into a collaborative partnership to help East Tennessee State revamp its educational leadership program.

Real-World Lessons: Since 2000, New Leaders for New Schools has recruited and trained more than 300 principals and placed them at the helms of troubled schools in cities across the nation. But the nonprofit organization aspires to much more.

A National View: When Arthur Levine wrote a scathing report on the preparation of American school leaders, the one institution he singled out as a “promising model” wasn’t even in the United States. It was England’s National College for School Leadership.

Leading for Learning 2006

Stories featured in the 2006 report include:

Leading for Learning: About This Report
This special pullout section is the third of three Education Week annual reports examining leadership in education. Download the complete PDF version of the 2006 report Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Building Capacity: States face new challenges as they try to help schools and districts improve learning.

Kentucky: The state expands its ‘distinguished educator’ program to districts, including their school boards.

New Mexico: The state requires "priority schools" to use a continuous-improvement program.

Pennsylvania: Distinguished educators are assigned by the state to help low-scoring districts.

Leading for Learning 2005

Stories featured in the 2005 report include:

Leading for Learning: About This Report: This special pullout section is the second of three Education Week annual reports examining leadership in education.

Theory of Action: The idea that schools can improve on their own gives way to a focus on effective district leadership.

Guiding Hand: In a poll, superintendents report more active roles.

Forward Motion: In Gilroy, Calif., educators have learned a common process for improvement planning. The rest is up to schools.

In Sharp Focus: Central office played a leading role in standardizing practice and monitoring data in Clarksville, Tenn.

Read the transcript from the Sept. 21, 2005 Education Week live Web chat on the 2005 report.

Read also the Education Week 2005 national leadership survey: "From the Top: Superintendents on Instructional Leadership." Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

View all charts, tables, and graphs included in the 2005 report.

Leading for Learning 2004

Stories featured in the 2004 report include:

Tackling an Impossible Job: After years of hearing that a principal’s main job should be to raise the quality of instruction, districts and states are experimenting with ways to make that ideal a reality.

Putting Out Fires: For one typical elementary school principal, routine duties consume most of the day.

Charts: Instructional Leadership: To see how principals go about their work, the Education Week Research Center analyzed data from the federal 1999-2000 Schools and Staffing Survey.

Read the transcript from the Sept. 17, 2004 Education Week live Web chat on the 2004 report.

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