I’ve never heard an educator in a high poverty school or district dispute whether his or her school needs to improve. The discussion is always about how and how much. And in all sorts of communities, while some people are satisfied with incremental improvements, others will not rest until every child experiences the nurturing and challenge he or she deserves. When we set our sights high for children, we believe that education facilitates social justice. School communities that are serious about improvement address the learning needs of students and adults. When educators pursue justice, they shape professional development, starting with the needs of the underserved in mind. The basics of professional learning Consistent, excellent teaching is the single greatest factor in improving student achievement over time

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Sonia Caus Gleason

Sonia Caus Gleason ( is an educational consultant.


Hallinger, P. & Heck, R. (1996, February). Reassessing
the principal’s role in school effectiveness: A review of
empirical research, 1980-1995. Educational Administration
Quarterly, 32(1), 5-44.

Haycock, K. (1998, Summer). Good teaching matters
… a lot. Thinking K-16, 13(2).

Kannapel, P.J., Clements, S.K., Taylor, D., &
Hibpshman, T. (2005, February). Inside the black box of
high-performing high-poverty schools. Lexington, KY: Pritchard
Committee for Academic Excellence.

Leithwood, K., Louis, K.S., Anderson, S., &
Wahlstrom, K. (2004). How leadership influences student
learning. New York: TheWallace Foundation.

Leithwood, K. & Jantzi, D. (2000). The effects of
transformation leadership on student engagement with
school. Journal of Educational Administration, 38(2), 112-129.

National Staff Development Council. (n.d.) NSDC’s
definition of professional development. Available at

Reeves, D. (2004). Accountability in action: A blueprint
for learning organizations. Denver, CO: Advanced Learning

Sanders,W.L. & Rivers, J.C. (1996, November).
Cumulative and residual effects of teachers on future student
academic achievement. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee
value-Added Research and Assessment Center.

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Sonia Caus Gleason consults and coaches on collaborative adult learning and measurement efforts that pursue equity, innovation, and continuous improvement.

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