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School Leadership for Results– Shifting the Focus of Leader Evaluation

Jan 14, 2015 by

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An Interview with Dr. Beverly Carbaugh and Dr. Robert Marzano: School Leadership for Results– Shifting the Focus of Leader Evaluation

Michael F. Shaughnessy

  1. First of all, what brought the three of you together to work on the topic of school leadership?

In 2010, Robert Marzano partnered with Learning Sciences International to found the Learning Sciences Marzano Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Center developed the Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model, which has been adopted by hundreds of school districts nationwide, based on Marzano’s research-based Art and Science of Teaching Framework. Learning Sciences CEO Michael Toth and Marzano Center Senior Adviser Dr. Beverley Carbaugh collaborated with Dr. Marzano to develop several aligned evaluation models, for school leaders, district leaders, and non-classroom instructional personnel.

School Leadership for Results is an in-depth explication of the research and applications of the school leader model, including scenarios from the field to illustrate the model’s major concepts and areas of focus. The team continues to research and develop solutions for improving instructional leadership and teacher pedagogy, as part of the mission of Learning Sciences Marzano Center.

  1. What does the literature show us and what does your experience seem to suggest?

Both research and our experience in schools indicate that school leadership has a measurable impact on teacher effectiveness and thus an indirect effect on student learning. Our job as a 21st century school leaders is to continually focus on building effective teachers through specific feedback and growth plans. This is the shift in focus that the book’s title refers to.

Leaders should be focused on the results achieved as a result of their actions. Experience would suggest that many leaders are focused on completing the actions associated with effective leadership but not focusing on the outcomes of their actions. This book provides leaders a road map to not only grow, but to track their progress.

3) Let’s talk special education issues—-it is very easy to get good test scores if you have a small population of kids with special needs. What do the good leaders do in this realm?

Good leaders set high expectations for all students. Effective leaders ensure that teachers and students receive the appropriate standards-based curriculum. They make sure that teachers know how to differentiate instruction for the individual needs of students. It’s absolutely the leader’s responsibility to make sure that is happening.

4) What “mindset” do the great leaders instill in their teachers (and students )?

That we all are still developing expertise, that we can all get better and improve, and that we should focus on results. For a teacher to focus only on his/her own practice is only the tip of the iceberg. The real turning point is the evidence demonstrated by the students in a teacher’s class. Great leaders instill a passion for continued growth and development in teachers and students.

5) How are these great school leaders using technology?

Technology is one tool amongst many to make up a complete practice. Technology enhances communication as part of a cooperative and collaborative environment; you can use it for professional development, but the point is that it is integrated into a complete practice that includes building skills, reflection, deliberate practice, and incorporating feedback. Technology in and of itself is not going to solve any problems. Using it as a tool to enhance one’s practice is the key.

6) Are these great leaders data driven, people driven, or technology driven?

Great leaders certainly use data, as we emphasize in Domain 1 of the School Leader Evaluation Model – a data-driven focus on student achievement. Most leaders will use technology to get the data they need to make effective decisions. But frankly, it’s people who get the results, not the technology. So obviously you have to have a balanced, synergetic approach to leadership that utilizes data and develops the necessary skills to mentor teachers. Your culture and your people are the drivers of student achievement, not the technology.

7) Discipline problems—-what is the climate, or philosophy of these great leaders—-or how do they handle the discipline issue?

Great leaders ensure that kids have a safe and secure environment in which to learn. If kids don’t feel safe in your school, they can’t learn. So, the leadership model emphasizes practices to set the right climate, so educators can focus on learning, not on discipline.

8) Where and when will this book be available?

School Leadership for Results: Shifting the Focus of Leader Evaluation is available for pre-order immediately. The book publishes in February. The book is available exclusively from Learning Sciences publishing here, http://education-store.learningsciences.com/product_p/bpp140011.htm

 

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