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School Climate & Safety Opinion

Talent Manager Suggested Reading

By Emily Douglas-McNab — January 16, 2012 2 min read
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I spend a great deal of time reading, researching, and exploring new ways to integrate HR practices in schools. I have found that while there are numerous books written by human resource and talent management professionals, there are very few that focus specifically on HR in education. One of these books is “Strategic Management of Human Capital in Education: Improving Instructional Practice and Student Learning in Schools” by Dr. Allan Odden. I would encourage any K-12 talent manager to check it out.

I have never met Dr. Odden, but his reputation in education precedes him. He has published research on school finance, educator compensation, effective teachers and school leaders, and the strategic use of human capital in education, among other issues. Dr. Odden, who is currently the Director of Strategic Management of Human Capital and a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, previously worked as a math teacher in New York City’s East Harlem and has consulted for governors, national and local unions, legislators, and chief school officers.

Strategic Management of Human Capital in Education addresses a variety of educational-improvement strategies around staffing, performance management, measuring teacher performance, evaluation, professional development, and compensation, as well as education policy and politics. As I near completion of the book, I have taken several high-level lessons from Dr. Odden’s work that all districts should consider to succeed in achieving their reform goals. These include:

1. Create a sense of urgency
2. Focus on human capital development
3. Set stretch goals
4. Use multiple measures
5. Districts must become professional communities and focus on performance
6. Invest in professional development
7. Effectively and efficiently use your time
8. Build a culture of collaboration
9. Adopt a new curriculum and instructional vision
10. Some students need extra attention and districts should find a way to make that happen

I will discuss these lessons in more detail in future posts.

As always, please share your thoughts. For those who have read Strategic Management of Human Capital in Education, what lessons did you learn? What other articles and books have you come across that could be good resources for K-12 talent managers?

If you have a talent management question or an idea for a blog post, feel free to send me an email or tweet me on Twitter: @EmilyDouglasHC

The opinions expressed in K-12 Talent Manager are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.