The School Administrator

Nov 09 Cover

November 2009 Number 10, Vol. 66Reimagining KindergartenPersonal development vs. formal instruction in the early years

Features

  • Reimagining Kindergarten

    by ELIZABETH GRAUE

    From her position with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, the author wants schools to restore a developmental approach for their youngest learners, resisting demands to turn playtime into structured formal instruction. She asks: “Has kindergarten lost its identity … ?”

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  • A Village Route to Early Childhood Education

    by JULIO ALMANZA, ETHEL REYNOLDS, KATHY SCHULTE AND BETTY LONG

    The Davenport, Iowa, district has partnered with its community to improve kindergarten readiness. The district created the Children’s Village model, providing preschool classes taught by certified early childhood instructors. The district serves children from six weeks to five years of age in all-day, year-round programming.

    Similar Reading: How several small districts formed a consortium

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  • Reframing the First Day of School

    by REBECCA A. SHORE

    A truly seamless free and appropriate education for all children should begin on the maternity ward, says this researcher on early childhood education. Only through redefining our educational boundaries can we expect to close the learning gap.

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  • A Miracle in the Mountains

    by OLIVER THOMAS

    How did one of Appalachia’s poorest schools, with a student body that once qualified for 100 percent coverage of free and reduced school meals, become one of its most successful? A foundation head tells the tale.

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  • The Making of a Weak Teacher

    by STEVE W. GRUENERT and TERRY M. McDANIEL

    Consider this preposterous notion: School leaders do everything in their power to craft a work environment so unsupportive to turn effective teachers into struggling, frustrated employees. The authors see it happening in schools.

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Profile

    Keeping Cool as the Temperature Rises by Jay P. Goldman


    Lillian Lowery’s capacity for empowering others and remaining cool in heated moments serves her well now as Delaware’s state secretary of education.

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    Departments

    Board-Savvy Superintendent

    Dare You Ask Your Board for Management Advice? by DON McADAMS


    The last thing superintendents want is board members recommending management decisions or second-guessing decisions already made. Yet there are appropriate times when superintendents ought to consider limited and carefully managed requests for advice from board members.

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    Guest Columns

    A Personal Touch for Staying Connected by DAVID P. SKLARZ


    A superintendent gives his undivided attention to his school district’s teachers — in their own classrooms. He’s become a known quantity in his schools.

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    The Artful Leader: Reflections on Creativity and Innovation by ZACH KELEHEAR


    Instead of hiring superintendents to manage the business and operations, now more than ever we need to carve out space for creative, aesthetic leadership, a style that uses sensory experience to inform decision making in Thomas Friedman’s “flat world.”

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    Fishing Blindly for Quality Teaching by STEPHEN FINK


    The author’s periodic experiment that leads administrators on a virtual classroom walkthrough to rate the teaching on display never ends in agreement. That says a lot about the state of evaluating classroom instruction.

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    Run to Daylight by PATRICK W. MARTIN


    Inspired by the legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, this superintendent relates the importance of seizing the moment to capitalize on colleagues who are fired-up about a new notion.

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    Punchback: Answering Critics

    Charter Schools: Racing to the Top … or to Nowhere? by WILLIAM J. MATHIS


    Grant criteria from the federal government call for states to remove caps on charter schools, yet the preponderance of evidence does not show charters work well as a reform strategy.

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    Focus

    Do’s and Don’ts in Harsh Budget Seasons by PAUL C. GAGLIARDUCCI


    Economic realities may control your destiny at budget-building time, though following some simple guidelines used by this superintendent can lessen the stressful moments.

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    President's Corner

    Putting Yourself on Pause by MARK T. BIELANG


    Allow yourself time to find a place free from distraction and reflect on the many things for which you can be thankful, counsels AASA’s president.

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    Executive Perspective

    Aligning Behind the Total Child by DANIEL A. DOMENECH


    AASA’s position paper, “Educating the Total Child,” has a direct connection to the messages of Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and The Tipping Point, and Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone. Both will be keynote presenters at AASA’s national conference in February.

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    People

    People


    The latest round of professional moves in school system leadership circles, while the Sidelight features a superintendent whose weekend passion involves the pursuit of wild turkeys.

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