The School Administrator

April 07 Cover

April 2007 Number 4, Vol. 64Professional NetworkingMentoring, communities of practice and large-scale change

Features

  • Superintendent Mentoring the State Way

    by Kate Beem

    State associations for school system leaders are increasingly filling a vital role by matching newcomers to the top job with experienced hands in pairings that may last a year or longer.

    Similar Reading: State Affiliates' Superintendent Mentoring Programs

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  • Professional Networks and School Improvement

    by Richard Elmore

    The Harvard University professor applies the medical rounds model to K-12 education to build a community of practice among superintendents committed to sustained instructional improvement. He describes his work with a network in Connecticut.

    Similar Reading: AASA's Institute for Leadership Networks

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  • Seven Questions of Networking

    by David Livingston

    The answers to key questions about networking in the superintendent ranks are answered by the coordinator of one of the best existing models, the Western States Benchmarking Consortium.

    Similar Reading: The Heart of Superintendent Networking and Who are Western benchmarkers? and More Than Social Networking

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  • Beyond Networking: How Large-Scale Change Really Happens

    by Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze

    Systemwide reform always begins with small local efforts that connect to one another, according to the authors, who are affiliated with The Berkana Institute. Change results when networks evolve into intentional working relationships where new knowledge, practices, courage and commitment can develop.

    Similar Reading: Learning Leadership Army Style and Communities of Practice in Schools

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  • Administrative Ecology

    by Augustus C. McGarity III and Wanda Maulding

    Two faculty members at The University of Southern Mississippi analyze the relationship among school leaders, the organization they direct and the community they serve.

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Profile

    Battle Tested But Kid Friendly by Jay P. Goldman


    A street-tough kid from Boston’s Roxbury section is now the superintendent in Winthrop, Mass., just outside Beantown, where he’s perfectly comfortable counseling individual students in need.

    read more

    Departments

    Punchback: Answering Critics

    Why Do Our Myths Matter? by Iris C. Rotberg


    Falsehoods about the quality of K-12 education stem from highly publicized test-score rankings used to argue that U.S. schools cannot compete with other industrialized nations. Our columnist argues these rankings tell us little about the quality of education in any country.read more
    Focus

    The Pluses and Perils of RTI by Perry A. Zirkel


    Responsiveness to Intervention is the new hot-button item, not just for special education but more importantly for regular education leaders, according to a professor of school law.read more
    Guest Columns

    Our Kids Need a Diversity Lesson. Will the Court Allow It? by Marc F. Bernstein


    The U.S. Supreme Court this spring will decide two cases involving race in assigning students to public schools. The author says the rulings will determine how well children in his district will fare in the competitive global economy.read more

    The Bane of My Existence: Grades by Jan G. Borelli


    A principal’s dilemma in reconciling high student grades on report cards with flagging student performance on state assessment exams. This led to a rare edict to teachers: Students not reading on grade level had to be given D's and F's.read more
    People

    People


    A full array of promotions and retirements in the ranks of school system leaders across the country.read more
    Board-Savvy Superintendent

    Pre-Meeting Agenda Planning by Rene Townsend


    Ask the superintendent who was too busy to help shape the agenda for the next board of education meeting. The consequences were dire, consuming the superintendent’s precious time for the next several months.read more
    President's Corner

    Who Are We? by Eugene G. White


    Awareness and understanding come with knowing who you are as a person, says AASA’s president.read more
    Executive Perspective

    Is Possible? by Paul D. Houston


    As a frequent overseas traveler, AASA’s executive director says he is struck by how different Americans are from others. The way Americans handle the unknown is something he finds especially admirable.read more
    Systems Thinking

    Lonely at the Top by Joan M. Raymond


    It may be a lonely existence at the top for superintendents, but in the view of a long-time leader, a wide array of resources are readily available to help make some of the hard decisions more manageable.read more