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A New Vision for Leadership in Schools Through Innovative Teacher Education: The Case of One University/School Partnership
Unformatted Document Text:  A New Vision for Leadership in Schools through Innovative Teacher Education: The Case of One University/School Partnership Session Content Statement of the Issue The new focus on accountability following the No Child Left Behind Act has increased pressure on school principals to raise student scores on mandated assessments. From this results-driven environment and the multiplicity of principal responsibilities outside of instructional leadership emerges the need for broadening school leadership to include other constituent groups, especially teachers. The purpose of the proposed session is to share how a large, Research I, land-grant university developed a model to address this issue. The model was created as part of a project funded for one year through a state-level grant to improve teacher education. The primary goal of the project was to expand leadership capacity in participating schools through a structured, semester-long professional development program aimed at addressing concerns about student achievement. Teachers and administrators from three elementary-level schools in the partnering school district participated in the project because of their desire to improve students’ understanding of mathematics and to raise scores on state-mandated tests. The project was based on the premise that teachers who strengthened their expertise and addressed pressures associated with accountability would serve as instructional leaders, and that through collaboration, teachers and administrators would be poised to increase the leadership capacity within and across schools. Literature Review Almost a decade ago, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) urged educators and policy-makers to seriously examine the link between school success and effective teaching and suggested that schools were not structured for success (NCTAF, 1996). Although much has been written since then about the value of focused, sustained professional development as a way to improve teacher effectiveness (e.g., Borko, 2004, Darling-Hammond, 1998, Feiman-Nemser, 2001), there is little evidence showing how systemic professional development builds the kind of leadership capacity needed to change the structure of schools in ways that improve student achievement and invest teachers in their work. In addition, there is insufficient evidence showing that university teacher education programs have meaningfully helped teachers succeed in the current high-stakes accountability environment. In an article discussing the redesign of teacher education and school renewal, Zimpher and Howey (2005) suggested that graduate programs have not related well to the curricular needs of schools and teachers. Contribution

Authors: Brennan, Sharon. and Mazur, Joan.
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A New Vision for Leadership in Schools through Innovative Teacher Education:
The Case of One University/School Partnership
Session Content
Statement of the Issue
The new focus on accountability following the No Child Left Behind Act has increased
pressure on school principals to raise student scores on mandated assessments. From
this results-driven environment and the multiplicity of principal responsibilities outside of
instructional leadership emerges the need for broadening school leadership to include
other constituent groups, especially teachers. The purpose of the proposed session is to
share how a large, Research I, land-grant university developed a model to address this
issue. The model was created as part of a project funded for one year through a state-
level grant to improve teacher education.
The primary goal of the project was to expand leadership capacity in participating
schools through a structured, semester-long professional development program aimed at
addressing concerns about student achievement. Teachers and administrators from three
elementary-level schools in the partnering school district participated in the project
because of their desire to improve students’ understanding of mathematics and to raise
scores on state-mandated tests. The project was based on the premise that teachers who
strengthened their expertise and addressed pressures associated with accountability would
serve as instructional leaders, and that through collaboration, teachers and administrators
would be poised to increase the leadership capacity within and across schools.
Literature Review

Almost a decade ago, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future
(NCTAF) urged educators and policy-makers to seriously examine the link between
school success and effective teaching and suggested that schools were not structured for
success (NCTAF, 1996). Although much has been written since then about the value of
focused, sustained professional development as a way to improve teacher effectiveness
(e.g., Borko, 2004, Darling-Hammond, 1998, Feiman-Nemser, 2001), there is little
evidence showing how systemic professional development builds the kind of leadership
capacity needed to change the structure of schools in ways that improve student
achievement and invest teachers in their work. In addition, there is insufficient evidence
showing that university teacher education programs have meaningfully helped teachers
succeed in the current high-stakes accountability environment. In an article discussing
the redesign of teacher education and school renewal, Zimpher and Howey (2005)
suggested that graduate programs have not related well to the curricular needs of schools
and teachers.
Contribution


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