Published from 2005 to 2013, this newsletter focuses on strengthening leadership practices and
leading learning among all members of the school community.


From passive resistance to direct pushback, the most effective way to turn resistance into useable energy is through skillful communication. Read how principals who become expert communicators can add valuable tools to their toolkit.

The Learning Communities standard documents the role of collaborative learning in helping practitioners reach their individual and collective goals. See how School Leaders Network brings networks of principals together to identify, reflect on, and accelerate critical leadership skills using a research-based learning approach that focuses on student achievement. Learn how they share best practices, challenges, and issues that foster or inhibit their individual leadership efforts while building a culture based on trust, collaborative learning, and collective responsibility.

The teacher’s ability to assess student learning, analyze outcomes, and adapt instruction to meet student needs may not always show up on a state standardized exam. However, principals who pay attention to a range of measures of teacher effectiveness can provide more meaningful teacher evaluations that promote teacher growth. Read about several areas in which principals can concentrate to ensure growth-oriented evaluations.

The principal of a large urban middle school in the Midwest asked for Bradley A. Ermeling's guidance as a researcher and advisor to help make their teams’ collaboration times more productive. While some might have suggested team-building activities to exorcise the hostile social dynamics standing in the way of effective collaboration time, Ermeling instead employed five key principles based on the assumption that behavior change leads to attitude change. Read how these principles helped him move a group of teachers from argumentation to collaboration that improved teaching and learning.

Despite an intense focus on instructional coaching and teacher leadership, little attention is paid to principal coaching and its role in leadership development. Read how coaching for principals translates into student success and how it helped one principal gain confidence and reduce stress during her first year.

According to the newest MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, 64% of teachers are reporting seeing an increase in the number of students and families needing health and social support services, while 28% of teachers have seen reductions or eliminations of those same services. As a result, schools may be faced with redefining their school counselors' roles by necessity, and in the process may find better ways to leverage the counselors' contributions to teachers and to student achievement.

Research shows that effective leaders are shifting from management and control to strategic support. The assistance matrix is a planning tool to help principals or administrative teams offer the differentiated assistance they provide across multiple teams and team leaders. Discover how this new tool leverages the full range of existing settings and contact points within a building and translates them into opportunities for assistance.

While the principal sets the vision, a good leadership team can set the course and coordinate faculty work to reach the goal. Learn how principals distribute leadership to bring teacher voices into professional learning planning and assessment.

College Summit is a nonprofit organization that partners with schools across the country to increase college enrollment rates for low-income students by encouraging schools to build strong college-going cultures. Read about the principal's role in building educator and student capacity and how College Summit's efforts result in an 18% increase in college enrollment rates for partner schools.

By Tracy Crow

What learning looks like: Instructional rounds help define and achieve systemwide improvement

School leadership: Effective instructional leadership puts research into practice

School leadership: Just how forward thinking are you?

Opening doors to success: Making a case for effective leadership

Clarify the coach's role: Solid partnership with principal is key to effectiveness

Instructional coaching builds strong support in Oregon district

Kids at the center: 21st-century learning carries school towards excellence

Data analysis is a courageous look in the mirror

Framework for improvement: Effective school leadership translates into increased student learning

Efficacy can overcome classroom barriers