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Leading Change in Your School

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Kevin Greiving

on 30 November 2014

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Transcript of Leading Change in Your School

4 Imperatives
1. Leaders must define what will not change. Articulate: Values
Which relationships will not be lost
2. Organizational culture will change with leadership actions; speeches & announcements are not enough.
3. Use the right change tools for your system.
4. Dr. Paul Farmer revealed one of his secrets to profound change is the willingness of leaders to do :unglamorous "scut work."
Instructional Leadership, the difference between vapid slogans and meaningful implementation comes down to the details of daily conversations and decisions by leaders in the classrooms and schools.
# Creating the Conditions for Change
# Pull Weeds Before you Plant Flowers
# If you want your ideas to grow
Cultural Change
How do you change the culture of a school?
"We can't change the grading policy-it's part of our culture."
The parents just don't understand-you can't change a hundred years of culture by passing a law."
The Six "Ups" of Leadership
Leaders who were successful: Elizabeth I, Moses, Catherine the Great, Henry Ford, Attila the Hun
Myths that widely accepted take on a life of their own through repetition.

Chapter 5
Confronting the Myths of Change Leadership
Planning Change
Don't plan to worship at the alter of three-ring binder workshop

Myth 1: Plan your way to greatness
Myth 2: Just a little Bit Better Is Good Enough
Myth 3: We Want You to Change us... Really
Myth 4: People Love to Collaborate
Myth 5: Hierarchy Changes Systems
Myth 6: Volume Equals VOLUME
Myth 7: The Leader is The Perfect Composite of Every Trait
Leading Change in Your School
Although challenging and time consuming, cultural change is not only possible but necessary.
#Talk is cheap
# leaders influence us, not with their words, but with their lives

Example at a school board meeting student achievement is the top priority, yet they go over it once a year in a single meeting. The other time is spent worried about new buildings, citizen complaints and other policies that have little to do with improving or analyzing student achievement

# Anxiety displaces the advancement of change

If change does not create opposition then you should question if it is meaningful
"Change is defeated by anxiety almost every time" pg. 4
It is our job to manage that anxiety and make the staff less anxious about implementing new ideas

Instructional Leadership, the difference between vapid slogans and meaningful implementation comes down to the details of daily conversations and decisions by leaders in the classrooms and schools.
# Want your flowers to grow?

Ask the higher grade teacher what standards you can omit
Sweat the small stuff, make sure it is done right
Leaders weed to pull school wide weeds before we ask teachers to weed their classroom to free up instructional time
No new programs until an old ineffective one has been removed
So you are a new administrator, want to score some points your first day?

Have the teachers list all the initiatives/programs at the school. Write them down.
Then, list the ones that the admin team stopped using because they were ineffective.
Chances are the list for initiatives is incredibly long and and the pulled initiatives is non-existent.

It will be shocking how many programs exist that are still in effect even though they are unused and don't work.
These are what author refers to as weeds, like the gardener weeds robs teachers and students of their time so to do ineffective programs

Kotter (2007) suggests that education is hardly unique in failing to transform strategy into action, concluding that more than 70% of business plans are never implemented.
Leaders must possess not only earnestness and energy but also clarity and focus.
Advocates of strategy (Cook, 2004; Porter 1980) suggest that strategic planning is essential in any complex endeavor.
Chapter 9:
Making Strategic Planning Work
Distinctive characteristics of schools with superior evaluation systems is that their leaders can identify practices that they have stopped doing as a result of insufficient evidence of effectiveness.
Elements of Effective Planning
Schools whose plans reflect a confidence in teaching and leadership as the cause of student achievement have had achievement gains
times greater than schools whose plans reflect a focus on student demographic characteristics as the primary cause of student achievement (Reeves, 2008).
One Page Plans - There is evidence that schools are well served by one-page plans that are clearly focused and sufficiently simple so that all participants in the process understand their role in executing the plan.
3% of enthusiastic staff
Too many goals!!!
Implementing Change
Most have divergent views
Chapter 10
Closing the Implementation Gap
The challenge before us is not a shortage of evidence or lack of goals, but our collective failure to take the difficult step of implementing strategies to reach those goals.
Implementation Strategies
1. Create short-term wins
2. Recognize effective practices simply and clearly throughout the year. Emphasize effectiveness, not popularity.
3. Make the case for change compelling, and associate it with moral imperatives rather than compliance with external authority.
Chapter 11
"no failure" campaign-
Ben Davis High School
1. Early, frequent, and decisive intervention
2. Personal connection with struggling students
3. Parent Connections
4. Tutoring by teachers, peer tutors, and "study buddies" provides students with one-to-one assistance.
5. Managing students' choices with decisive curriculum interventions.
The Flywheel: Getting Short-Term Wins to Sustain Long-Term Change
6. In-School assistance
7. Reformed grading system
The importance of Grading Practices
Effective Versus Ineffective Grading
High-Stakes Grading
The Steps to Take
Improving Student Attendance
The "Get Tough" Fallacy
Finding the Right Consequences
The Results: Improved Attendance
Leverage the factors that have the greatest influence on student achievement
Choose the right people for the task
Coach for improved performance
Strategically plan for action, not to avoid it
Chapter 6
Focus on the key factors that you as a leader can directly influence rather than things beyond your control.
1. Teacher assignment:
-Ask yourself if every student has an equal opportunity to receive an education from the best teachers and take the most advanced courses offered.
-Find incentives to encourage teachers with the experience and qualifications to take on the more complex assignments
2. Professional Development
-Focus on a few key things
1. What to teach
2. How to teach it
3. How to meet the needs
of individual students
4. How to build internal
capacity in the faculty

3. Collaboration
Build both congeniality and collegiality
-Build common expectations across and within disciplines to define a common view of proficiency for students.
-Examine student work to clarify expectations and inter-rater reliability
4. Time

Work the schedule to meet the needs of students.
-add time for literacy if that's what is needed
-acknowledge that this means a trade-off in time for other subjects
-use "power standards"
5. Meetings
Focus on the necessities and leave the rest for email or a digital drop box .
Selecting Teachers and Administrators
Chapter 7
How do we use research into the influence of teacher quality and leadership quality to make better selections of teachers and principals?
Authentic Assessment
Classroom Observations
Have candidates observe different classrooms and then solicit feedback on what they see.
Takes the assessment of a candidates appropriateness out of the sterile interview environment and into one of authentic interactions

Data Analysis
Provide the candidate with data on different classrooms, one high performing and he other low
student achievement
Review of Student Work
Review student work to evaluate it compared to accepted standards for academic quality.
A good candidate discusses instructional practices:
differences in instruction between data sets
curriculum differences
leadership practices
A good candidate does not focus solely on student demographics
Beware of bias:
Attribution error
attributing lower quality rating to a student perceived by name to be African American or Latino
Sympathy error
finding virtue in work from students perceived by name to be African American or Latino that would not be acceptable in one perceived as Caucasian or Asian
Chapter 8
Building Capacity with Coaching
Two Models of Coaching

focuses on short-term emotional needs of leader or teacher
does not focus on performance needs of the organization
Performance Focused

focuses on performance needs of the organization
considers current practice and results and focuses on forward progress and reflection
When is Coaching Useful and Successful?
The focus has to be on changing performance.
The person being coaching agrees that a change is useful
A learning and performance agenda is developed
Feedback is specific, accurate, and timely
Who is Qualified to Coach?
Someone who recognizes who the client is
Someone who can walk the line of confidentiality
Someone who can help develop explicit targets and indicators of results
Someone who does not seek a permanent relationship

Chapter 12

"One of the most essential jobs facing every school leader is the allocation of those finite resources that we have the maximum effect on student success."

"Social justice, they conclude, demands more time on academic subjects. Proponents of the art claims with equal vigor that an educational system that provides the beauty, engagement, and enjoyment of the arts to the rich, but not to the poor is profoundly unjust."
Chapter 12
Building Stakeholder Support: Academics and the Arts
Strategies to Consider

"Educators of every subject are, first and foremost, teachers of children, not teachers of a particular discipline."

"Make it a two-way street": While music are integrating writing, core subjects should integrate music, and art in their lessons

"Treat students as if they were rich."

"Writing is not a mechanical skill, but a reflection of students' reasoning and thinking"

Chapter 13

Defining Change: Lessons from Literacy

"Although there can be little doubt about the importance of literacy for student success at every level, educational leaders have a long way to go in reaching a consensus on the implementation of effective literacy instruction."
The Teacher's Perspective

"A teacher attempting to do the right thing for students by faithfully implementing the curriculum, but you receive different corrective feedback from building administrators, district administrators, curriculum experts, and professional developers."

"Add the complication that veteran teachers may be more experienced, and expert than new administrators in the nuance of reading instruction..."
The Leadership Challenge

" Administrators have been exhorted to monitor instruction..."

"Therefore leaders have three essential challenges related to improving literacy instruction."

"First, leaders must make the case for consistency in reading instruction."

"Second, leaders must define in clear and specific terms what 'good teaching' really means."

"Third, leaders must balance the need for a consistency on essentials with the necessary differentiation to meet student needs."

Ultimately, leaders and teachers must collaborate to find the 'golden mean' between instruction that is compliant, but devoid of joy and classroom practices that are fun, but unsupported by research."
A Culture of
Mead Valley has a clear commitment to ALL students

This culture of commitment extends to all members of the school---> teachers, administrators, noncertified staff, custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria workers.
Practices & People
NOTE: in order to be effective, these practices require "a notable degree of school wide dedication and consistency."
Sustained Results
Mead Valley's API Scores reflect a record of sustained excellence...

2000- API was 450
2004- API was 695
2005- API was 729
2006- API was 746
2007- API was 774
Replicating Success
Can Mead Valley's success be replicated?
Ch. 14
Sustaining Excellence
"In the face of continuing challenges, can high-poverty schools really achieve long-term academic success?"
According to the case of Mead Valley Elementary School....
The answer is YES!
Mead Valley's
More than 95% of students eligible for free/reduced price lunch.
More than 70% are English Language Learners
High rates of drug abuse and violent crime.
Evidence of poverty is pervasive
Many children are chronically hungry
YET.... the school has sustained a level of educational excellence

Ch. 14
Sustaining Excellence
Strategy #1: Develop common curricula and assessemnts for all students at all grade levels
Strategy #2: The school sets aside 3 hours of "sacred time" each day for literacy.
Strategy #3: The school builds emotional confidence for students and faculty.
Strategy #4: The school sets standards of professional responsibility.
Mead Valley Elementary School was named a California Distinguished school for the first time in its history in the fall of 2007.
YES!!! Here's Why...
1. The techniques used were not idiosyncratic. They were "culled from the research on the 90/90/90 schools & other sources.

2. The strategies were sustained for more than half a decade.

3. Significant number of staff members remained at the school and were part of its successful turnaround.
"Despite the challenges of poor facilities, large class sizes, inadequate parent support, inconsistent curriculum, and widely varying teacher training (sound familiar?), the education and community leaders of the Makangua region [in Zambia], in which Shamombo is located, taught me several valuable lessons." (pg. 134)
Ch. 15: Lessons Across the Globe
"Meetings were conducted with uncommon civility."
At the end of every meeting, the leader asks, "Is there anything to add or subtract from our meeting?"
"How logical is it that state funding formulas and hidebound tradition conspire to associate the age of a student with a grade level, rather than recognizing that the relevant question for every student is 'What do you need to learn?' " (pg. 135)
"The lessons of Shamombo suggest that we can choose instead to learn from African students, teachers, and leaders who face harship every day, and let our refrain be "We are so grateful." (pg. 136)
Ch. 16:
Teacher Leadership
"The cooperative efforts of teachers and administrators have led to remarkable progress for some of the most challenging students in the system."
Leadership at Every Level
"Their success is the result of great leadership, to be sure. But leadership in these systems takes place at every level, including leadership by example from teachers who place the interests of students first." (pg. 140)
Does Intervention Hurt Electives?
"As the results from Jenks make clear, preventing failures in 9th grade leads to fewer course repetitions later in high school." (pg. 140)
Intervening to
Prevent Failure
The Case of Jenks High School
The faculty at this high school found the most accurate early-warning indicators that students might fail courses. They use data analysis to intervene to prevent failure.
1. Intervention is proactive, not reactive.
*They don't wait for
a failing grade.

Intervention is delivered by outstanding faculty members.

Intervention strategies include time
--twice the number of classroom
contact hours than had been provided in the past.
*For example, students who need Math intervention receive a regular
Algebra I class AND an Algebra Lab class in which they are taught
There is a short-term effect on elective courses which usually causes controversy.
How will YOU decide about effective change in school systems, inspiring staff, or leadership?

Reeves states that, "Your choice is not perfection, but a choice of two mistakes: action or inaction, evidence or speculation, criticism from cynics or criticism from a future generation. Choose wisely."
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