School Administrator

 

Cover  

Culture of Collaboration

 

The workings of professional learning
communities through the eyes of Richard
DuFour and model school districts

January 2012                                             Number 1 Vol. 69 

Features

Culture of Collaboration
BY W. RICHARD SMITH
What the leadership in Sanger, Calif., discovered about the workings of an effective professional learning community. The district had been one of the state’s worst on academic measures but now serves as a model for others.

Moving Up From Mediocre
BY NICK MYERS AND ED RAFFERTY
In Schaumburg, Ill., professional learning communities are sparking a turnaround in student learning by providing a framework for staff to learn together and collaborate on supporting all students. The authors are the district’s top two leaders.

Administrative Synergy
BY KIMBERLY KAPPLER HEWITT AND
DANIEL K. WECKSTEIN
A suburban school district in Dayton, Ohio, relies on “critical friends” as a valuable, collaborative problem-solving protocol that’s part of a professional learning community for administrators. The administrative team consists of four district leaders and all four building principals.

Gauging Effectiveness
BY KATHLEEN A. FOORD AND JEAN M. HAAR
How can you know whether a professional learning community is moving toward a desired outcome? The authors, based in Mankato, Minn., used two strategies — the alignment of goals and systemic coaching of staff — in their work with schools in 16 districts.

Frontline

STARTING POINT 
The editor’s introduction to the new design and new content in School Administrator.

BEST OF THE BLOGS
Member blogs on our new microsite, AASA Connect, including those by superintendents Daniel Frazier, Sioux Rapids, Iowa; Kimberly Moritz, Randolph, N.Y.; Brad Saron, Cashton, Wis.; and Chris Kennedy, West Vancouver, British Columbia.

ETHICAL EDUCATOR
The Secretive Coach

Our panel of four experts share their differing analyses on this dilemma: Should you fire the popular high school tennis coach because she doctored her résumé as part of her application for the job? Available on our new microsite, AASA Connect.

LEGAL BRIEF
Personal Liability and the Limits of Indemnification
BY MICHELE V. HANDZEL
A superintendent who found himself in deep trouble was caught off guard by his school board’s denial for legal representation. The board rejected his request for reimbursement of outside counsel, citing his misconduct.

BOARD-SAVVY SUPERINTENDENT
Transparency and Good Governance
BY MICHAEL T. ADAMSON
After you cut through the rhetoric, what today’s critical public truly demands is an honest representation of facts, figures, recommendations and actions that do not mask a hidden agenda.

MY VIEW
The Bouncing Ball: A Lesson in Resiliency
BY DAVID J. MOSCINSKI
A superintendent’s encounter with Cameron, a 1st grader, leads to a hard lesson about life.

ReadingandResources

RESOURCE BANK

 

WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK
Superintendent Jan Irons Harris answers "Why I Wrote This Book ... ." 

BOOK REVIEWS 

Book_BestPractices 

Best Practices from High-performing High Schools
by Kristen C. Wilcox and Janet I. Angelis
Reviewed by
Donna S. McCaw

 Book_CuttingCosts

Cutting Costs and Generating Revenues in Education
by Tim L. Adsit and
George Murdock
Reviewed by
William A. Clark

Book_ExtremePrinciple

The Extreme Principle
by Keen Babbage
Reviewed by
Philip E. Geiger

 Book_Focus

Focus
by Mike Schmoker
Reviewed by Lylia King

Book_EducPartner

A Guide to Building Education Partnerships
by Matthew T. Hora and Susan B. Millar
Reviewed by Lylia King

 Book_LeadingInstruction

Leading for Instructional Improvement
by Stephen Fink and Anneke Markholt
Reviewed by
Edythe Austermuhl


 AASAInsight

PRESIDENT’S CORNER
Sowing the Seeds of Honesty
BY PATRICIA E. NEUDECKER
When nurtured well, the seeds that leaders plant in their communities can truly blossom into relationships of considerable importance.

EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE
Appreciation of Our Schools From Vietnam
BY DANIEL A. DOMENECH
AASA’s executive director and his traveling partners on a study mission in Southeast Asia gained a fresh appreciation for the redeeming qualities of America’s public schools.

AASA SCHOOL SOLUTIONS
Curbing Health Care Costs Through Eligibility Audits
BY RICHARD J. FLAHERTY
How an upstate New York consortium of school districts saved more than
$3 million in health care costs following a dependent eligibility audit.

PEOPLE WATCH
The Sidelight shines on Tom Narak, who causes quite a stir whenever he visits classrooms with an unusual pet, Rosie the tarantula.

PROFILE
Xavier De La Torre
BY MARIAN KISCH
Superintendent Xavier De La Torre is sparking a turnaround in the West Texas community of Socorro that includes the recent passage of a state record $297 million bond for facility work. National observers are taking notice, too.

Plus

READER REPLY (Letters) 

 

LEADERSHIP LITE

 

 

 

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