Articles in the Professional Development category

NSBA, education groups collaborate at national Labor-Management Conference

Local, state and national education leaders from across the country are  partnering to plan together for effectively  implementing college- and career-ready (CCR) standards  as they meet at  a third major conference on labor-management collaboration, Feb. 27-28, in St. Louis, Mo.

The conference, which is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education; AASA, The School Superintendents Association; American Federation of Teachers (AFT); the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO); Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS); National Education Association (NEA); the National School Boards Association (NSBA); and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, will focus on the development of effective implementation plans by labor and management teams working at the district and state levels. Teams from 32 districts and four states will identify and prioritize critical next steps at the conference.

This year’s event will examine how school leaders, teachers and other staff can work together to ensure college- and career-ready standards are successfully integrated into classrooms across the country. The conference will work to support effective implementation of CCR standards by providing examples of collaboration and supporting teams as they create plans that reflect shared priorities.

The six national membership organizations will release a new joint tool at the conference that can be used by administrators, teacher’s union leaders and board members across the country to develop a plan for implementation together.

Virginia B. Edwards, President of Editorial Projects in Education (EPE), the publisher of Education Week, will moderate the opening session that features leaders from the partnering organizations including CGCS Executive Director Michael Casserly, AASA Executive Director Daniel Domenech, NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel,  CCSSO Executive Director Chris Minnich, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, and AFT President Randi Weingarten.

“This conference is an excellent opportunity for school leaders and educators to collaborate and engage with their peers and subject-matter experts who will help them find ways to fully implement college and career-ready standards,” said Edwards. “The participants will gain a deeper understanding of the standards, support to help build professional development, and tools to assess their district’s implementation.”

Past Labor-Management Collaboration Conferences have highlighted successful and effective partnerships and their impact on student outcomes.

The co-sponsoring organizations will also release a series of solution-based guides resulting from a smaller labor-management collaboration convening in 2013 addressing some of the most significant and prevalent challenges in standards implementation.

Joetta Sack-Min|February 27th, 2014|Categories: Conferences and Events, Educational Research, Federal Advocacy, Policy Formation, Professional Development, School Reform, Teachers|

Massachusetts Association of School Committees’ governance project honored with national award

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) honored the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) for a project that has helped Massachusetts school boards improve teaching and learning in their districts. MASC received a 2014 Thomas A. Shannon Award for Excellence at NSBA’s Leadership Conference in Washington on Feb. 2, 2014.

The Massachusetts District Governance Support Project (DGSP) is a joint initiative of MASC, the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This project, which began in 2010 and was fully implemented in 2013, is part of a larger professional development initiative that includes a professional development program for principals, a new superintendent induction program, and a labor management partnership.

“The Massachusetts Association of School Committees has led an important effort to provide school boards with tools to improve their educational programs and operations,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “Their project will ultimately lead to stronger public schools and greater student achievement in Massachusetts.”

MASC staff and collaborators produced a seven-part training program which focused on different strategies for the boards to understand and execute their roles in a way to improve outcomes for students. The MASC staff engaged in implementing training throughout the state to ensure that school boards understood the state’s new, comprehensive educator evaluation system. As part of the program, a highly detailed school committee evaluation tool was developed and utilized as well.

“Our goal was to use the research on how boards advance teaching and learning and to make our members part of the solution,” said MASC Executive Director Glenn Koocher. “If we want our democracy to include school governance, it’s a mission that must succeed.”

The Thomas A. Shannon Award, named after a former executive director of NSBA, is a national award for leadership in public education given annually by NSBA.

Joetta Sack-Min|February 2nd, 2014|Categories: Board governance, Educational Research, Governance, Professional Development, State School Boards Associations|

NSBA’s Center for Public Education discusses professional development and teacher evaluation on Education Talk Radio

The National School Boards Association’s Center for Public Education (CPE) was featured on Education Talk Radio today. CPE’s Senior Policy Analyst Jim Hull was a guest on the show discussing CPE’s research on professional development and teacher evaluation.

Listen to the show:

Listen To Education Internet Radio Stations with EduTalk on BlogTalkRadio

 

CPE is a national resource for credible and practical information about public education and its importance to the well-being of our nation. CPE  provides up-to-date research, data, and analysis on current education issues and explores ways to improve student achievement and engage public support for public schools.

Alexis Rice|August 28th, 2013|Categories: Center for Public Education, Center for Public Education Update, Professional Development, School Boards, Teachers|Tags: , , , |

Bonus online article answers the question: What do superintendents want?

Holiday bonus, bonus coupons, bonus items –a bonus is a gift, a little extra something that doesn’t cost you anything.

American School Board Journal offers a bonus, too – online articles on topics that help school board members and other school leaders do their jobs.

You can read these articles on our website even if you are not a subscriber to ASBJ.

You’ll find a treasure trove of information on school governance available online only. We’ve just posted “Educational Ecosystems: Identifying the Next Generation of Superintendents,” by Brian A. Sheehan, an instructional leader with Massachusetts’ Malden Public Schools.

In candid interviews, five Massachusetts superintendents talk to Sheehan about how well they were prepared – or not prepared – for their current jobs as school leaders. Their remarks will give you insight into how to hire and manage your superintendent, as well as some of the challenges facing the profession.

Kathleen Vail|May 8th, 2013|Categories: American School Board Journal, Leadership, NSBA Publications, Professional Development|

Education Talk Radio previews NSBA’s 2013 Annual Conference

Kanisha Williams-Jones, Director of Leadership & Governance Services at the National School Boards Association (NSBA), was a guest today on Education Talk Radio providing a preview of NSBA’s 2013 Annual Conference. Thousands of school board members, administrators, and other educators will be coming to San Diego to take part in the April 13-15 event.

Listen to the broadcast:

Listen to internet radio with EduTalk on Blog Talk Radio

The conference will feature more than 200 sessions on timely education topics, including federal legislation and funding, managing schools with tight budgets, the legal implications of recent court cases, new research and best practices in school governance, and the Common Core State Standards. A series of sessions will focus on school safety and security.

Expanded education technology programming will include site visits to the University of San Diego and Qualcomm’s Mobile Learning Center to explore its research laboratory on mobile learning; Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography to examine the technology in science education and STEM; Encinitas Union School District to view its One-to-One Digital Learning Program; and the San Diego Zoo to learn about the cutting-edge learning tools used to teach at-risk students. U.S. Navy SEALs will show leadership and team building skills during another workshop.

The meeting also includes one of the largest K-12 educational expositions, with some 300 companies showcasing their innovative products and services for school districts.

General Session speakers include Academy Award winning speaker Geena Davis, who will be speaking about her work off-screen as founder of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Davis works with film and television creators to reduce gender stereotyping and increase the number of female characters in media targeted for children 11 and under. She will explain how media plays a key role in children’s development, and how her organization is making a difference.

Television star Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of the world’s most engaging and passionate science advocates, will headline Sunday’s General Session. From PBS to NASA to Presidential Commissions, organizations have depended on Tyson’s down-to-earth approach to astrophysics. He has been a frequent guest on “The Daily Show”, “The Colbert Report”, R”eal Time with Bill Maher”, and “Jeopardy!”. Tyson hopes to reach “all the people who never knew how much they’d love learning about space and science.”

Monday’s General Session features acclaimed researcher and author Diane Ravitch, who has become one of the most passionate voices for public schools. Her most recent book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, makes the case that public education today is in peril and offers a clear prescription for improving public schools.

Learn more about the common core standards, new research on differentiated learning styles, and teaching “unteachable” children at the Focus On lecture series. Learn about new technologies for your classrooms as part of the Technology + Learning programs.

It’s not too late to register, visit the Annual Conference website for  more information.

Top education books of 2012

If you could see my office, you’d know how much I love books. They line my window sill and shelves, and they’re stacked up in piles on my floor. One of the best things about being managing editor of American School Board Journal is that I receive lots and lots of books from publishers.

As much as I like getting and reading through books, it’s always hard to choose the best education books of the year for school leaders. A majority of the books that come to my office are workbooks for teachers – useful, to be sure, but not appropriate for our readers.

Most school board members are not professional educators, but they know much more than the average citizen. They straddle the professional and the laymen worlds, and so the books that we choose for our list must reflect this. We choose books that tell stories, start conversations, or give you insight to help you do your job.

Our newest list includes the latest offerings from longtime education writers Jonathan Kozol and Lisa Delpit, writing about race and poverty. Paul Tough, who wrote Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, is back with another book, this time on how schools and other institutions can help even the poorest children overcome the challenges of poverty.

Check out our list of the top education books for 2012. Let us know which books you’d add or subtract. Happy reading.

Kathleen Vail|January 11th, 2013|Categories: American School Board Journal, Professional Development, School Boards|Tags: , , , |

NSBA signs shared vision for future of teaching

As part of this week’s Labor Management Conference, the National School Boards Association signed a “shared vision” for the future of the teaching profession that outlines seven elements to transform the field.

NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant participated in the opening panel of the conference, held May 23 to 24 in Cincinnati.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the shared vision focuses on three goals, which include ensuring all students should be prepared for college, career, and citizenship; improving opportunities and access to higher education for less privileged students; and preparing all students to be globally competitive. The seven core principles to achieve these goals include:

• A culture of shared responsibility and leadership;

• Recruiting top talent into schools prepared for success;

• Continuous growth and professional development;

• Effective teachers and principals;

• A professional career continuum with competitive compensation;

• Conditions that support successful teaching and learning;

• Engaged communities.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and representatives from six other national education organizations also signed the document.

“The principles outlined in the document represent ways to strengthen and elevate teaching as one of our nation’s most valued and respected professions,” said Duncan.

In addition to NSBA and Duncan, co-signers of the document include the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, the American Association of School Administrators, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Council of the Great City Schools, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|May 24th, 2012|Categories: Professional Development, Teachers|Tags: , , |

The week in blogs

Depending on your point of view — and your experiences with high-stakes testing — No Child Left Behind was either a critical first step toward school accountability, a good idea with some major flaws, or a colossal flop. (And there’s probably a myriad views in between.) Will the Common Core State Standards Initiative be any better? As you might expect, the views expressed by a number of experts on the National Journal’s education blog are all well-reasoned — and all over the map. Nobody said this was going to be easy.

Alberta has one of the best school systems in the world, writes the provocatively-named blog Dangerously Irrelevant, and it doesn’t look too kindly on what’s happening to its south. Thanks to This Week in Education for pointing out this eye-opening critique of why Canada seems to be getting things right in school reform – and much of the U.S. is getting it wrong.

Another must-read is the review of a new Department of Education report on school inequity from Raegen Miller of the Center for American Progress.  Then, on the same site, see Robert Pianta’s proposals for improving teacher development.

Finally, a non-education story, strictly speaking, but one that says a lot about what it takes to be an effective leader – including a leader in a school district. Yes, it’s a sports column (by the Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins) and yes it deals with recent coaching changes on two of Washington’s pro teams, which, most of you I would imagine do not care a whole lot about. ( I live here, and even I don’t care that much.) But — trust me here — Jenkins’ message about the kind of leaders people follow goes beyond mere games.

 

Lawrence Hardy|December 2nd, 2011|Categories: Board governance, Educational Legislation, Educational Research, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Governance, Leadership, National Standards, Professional Development, School Reform, Student Achievement, Teachers, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |

Magna Award highlights California district’s strategies to improve elementary school

Each year American School Board Journal’s Magna Awards, sponsored by Sodexo School Services, honors school districts that show exemplary examples of innovation and excellence in school governance.

For the past 17 years, the Magna Awards panel of independent judges has reviewed programs that showcase school district leadership, creativity, and commitment to student achievement. Magna nominations are judged according to three enrollment categories (under 5,000 enrollment; 5,000-20,000 enrollment; and over 20,000 enrollment) with one Grand Prize Winner in each category that receives a $4,000 contribution from Sodexo.

This year’s deadline to nominate your district is Oct. 31, and only nominations made online using the online Magna Nomination form will be considered.

Here is an example of one of last year’s Grand Prize Winners, Moreland School District in San Jose, Calif.

In 2006, Moreland School District’s Anderson Elementary School was the lowest performing elementary school in Santa Clara County, Calif. The school’s Academic Performance Index (API) score was nearly 200 points below the California goal of 800, and far below the district’s highest-achieving school’s score of 915. Anderson’s student population was 81 percent Hispanic, 87 percent socioeconomically disadvantaged, and 78 percent English language learners. The school board and Superintendent Glen Ishiwata asked Anderson’s leadership to create a new approach to the schools’ teaching strategies to improve student achievement. Academic excellence for all students was the aim. With support from the board, administrators, and the community, Anderson’s leaders embraced the challenge. They developed an approach that uses current data to make decisions and trains teachers to use a standards-based method for instruction.

Anderson’s administrators use benchmark assessments to collect data to shape classroom instruction. The principal and assistant principal worked collaboratively with teachers to establish a system to analyze classroom data and identify concepts to address. To support this new system, the board approved the request to purchase an electronic assessment management program. Teachers then created curriculum maps to guide their instruction. This initial work with data and standards provided a focus for all future professional development and decisions about instruction, which is at the core of this program. Developing a testing cycle and feedback loop allowed teachers to get instant feedback about their students’ progress before moving on. By using flexible groupings, and small group instruction coupled with targeted intervention, teachers were able to address the deficiencies highlighted in the testing cycles. Using their community contacts, board members reached out to volunteers to support the small-group work. In additional to being a highly effective program for low performing subgroups, it has proven to be effective at raising the academic achievement of students of all levels.

The first goal of the district’s strategic plan is to close the achievement gap while raising the achievement of all students. After the 2006 API scores were released, the board made it clear that an all-hands-on-deck approach was necessary to transform student achievement at Anderson. The first step was to make staffing switches to support the aggressive goal, including hiring a new principal and assistant principal. Next, the board directed resources to support new methods, including additional professional development time and the purchase of targeted instructional programs. The board backed up its directive by frequently putting updates on the board agenda and scheduling site visits to see the new methods and talk with teachers.

By listening to Anderson teachers, board members heard the need for classroom volunteers. Using their role as community leaders, they reached out and found volunteers to support the small-group instruction in the classroom. The program consists of residents, retirees, church members, and district parents. It provides more than 80 volunteers annually who work up to three hours a week.

Learn more about how these programs dramatically boosted student test scores for Anderson.

Also, don’t forget to take a look at our new, searchable Magna Awards Best Practices Database, where you can browse through past Magna winners and other high-scoring programs for innovative best practices, proven and practical solutions, and new ideas.

 

 

Joetta Sack-Min|September 6th, 2011|Categories: Diversity, Professional Development, School Board News, School Climate, Teachers, Uncategorized|Tags: , |

Inside the World of Grant Writing

On Thursday afternoon of the conference I sat in on the session by Lindsay McFillin titled “Grant Writing for Beginners! Opportunities and Tips”. Ms. McFillin lead a great and frank discussion of the world of grants. From the perspective of a grant award team member, Ms. McFillin gave us the realities of the grant decision process. Such as if you do not follow a simple requirement such as summary word count, you will likely be discarded in the first round. To more advanced tips such as sending notes of thanks even if you are not chosen.

For all those who missed the session, fear not her PowerPoint presentation can be found here. It is titled Grant Writing Seminar. This page also has other wonderfully free materials.

Here organization’s website, www.digitalwish.org, offers a 2 for 1 grant to add an Ultra Flip to their classroom.

William Brackett|November 2nd, 2009|Categories: Educational Technology, Professional Development, T+L|
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