Education Funding

Leadership

April 18, 2001 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Thoughts on High: In a ranch-style retreat high above the beaches of Malibu, Calif., Los Angeles’ top school leaders met recently to rethink how principals should do their jobs. Their main conclusion: Principals should spend a lot more time in the classroom.

The meeting was part of an unusual executive training program financed by the Los Angeles-based Broad Foundation and run by Lauren B. Resnick, the director of the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh. The monthly program brings together the 11 local district superintendents of the newly reorganized Los Angeles Unified School District, Superintendent Roy Romer’s top education staff, Ms. Resnick, and local education consultants.

One goal is for school principals to spend half their time in classrooms, school halls, and teacher’s lounges acting as instructional leaders, said Stephanie Brady, a spokeswoman for the 723,000-student district.

“To truly reform the school district,” Mr. Romer said last week, “you need to start at the top and the bottom, the superintendents, the subdistrict superintendents, the principals. We obviously have a need to start at the bottom if we want all children to learn.”

He added that the district would focus on teacher preparation, a strong curriculum, and class-size reduction as part of its emphasis on “instruction, instruction, instruction.”

Mr. Romer, the former Colorado governor who became the district’s schools chief last year, tapped Ms. Resnick, whom he has known for 10 years, to run the program on instructional leadership. Ms. Resnick is an expert in “effort-based learning,” the idea that a child learns more not because of his IQ, but his hard work.

Since last fall, Ms. Resnick has flown to Los Angeles once a month to meet with school leaders. Every other month, they go on a retreat, such as the one in Malibu, said Dan Katzir, the director of program development for the Broad Foundation.

The philanthropy will spend an estimated $100,000 on the training program’s first year, and even more during the second one.

Mr. Katzir added that the foundation is “agnostic” on whether instructional leadership raises student performance. But, he said, “we really want to help Roy, since this is the organization structure that he wants, and he’s trying to help change the culture so people are focused on student learning.”

—Mark Stricherz

A version of this article appeared in the April 18, 2001 edition of Education Week

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Building Teacher Capacity for Social-Emotional Learning
Set goals that support adult well-being and social-emotional learning: register today!


Content provided by Panorama
Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding Opinion Don’t Plan on That Federal Education Spending Spree
A Democratic spending spree once depicted as inevitable is shrinking before our eyes, meaning big implications for education.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Education Funding Feds Pump $1.5 Billion Extra Toward Schools to Address Cafeteria Food Shortage
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced funds to help schools more easily purchase U.S.-grown foods amid widespread supply shortages.
1 min read
Empty school cafeteria
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Education Funding Letter to the Editor More Money for Schools Isn’t the Answer
The real problem is not funding but demands that teachers do more than just teach their subject, writes Walt Gardner.
1 min read
Education Funding Opinion Manchin Just Downsized the Dems’ Massive Education Spending Plans
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin may have blown a gaping hole in the education community’s hopes for supersized new federal outlays.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty