Educators - How are you managing multiple initiatives and shifting policies?
Articles & Chapters
Elizabeth Leisy Stosich
June 15, 2017
Today, Federal and state policy changes, new standards, assessments, and complex educator evaluation systems, all lead to an environment in which educators are asked to work differently and smarter than they have in the past. In two new research papers, SCOPE Research and Policy Fellow, Elizabeth Leisy Stosich, EdD, evaluates two approaches to addressing these challenges. Each seeks to empower educators by strengthening leadership practices and organizational conditions for educator learning.
Principals Lead Common Core Lerning in High-Poverty Urban Schools
The first paper, Leading in a Time of Ambitious Reform: Principals in High-Poverty Urban Elementary Schools Frame the Challenge of the Common Core State Standards, appeared in The Elementary School Journal. In the related study, Dr. Stosich evaluated how principals lead learning about the Common Core in high-poverty elementary schools. She found that by framing the challenge of new standards as one that requires new learning, principals empower teachers as problem-solvers who need to figure out how to adjust their instruction to better support their students in meeting the ambitious expectations described in the standards. “These findings connect to the idea of empowering educators because I find that when principals frame the challenge of new standards as a “learning” challenge rather than simply an “execution” challenge, they engage teachers as partners in the complex process of instructional change. Consequently, teachers are more likely to make changes in their practice that reflect the goals of standards.”
Building Educator Capacity for Organizational Improvement in Rural District
In the second paper, Building Coherence for Instructional Improvement Through Professional Development, appearing in Educational Management Administration and Leadership, researchers explored how six school leadership teams in a California rural district designed and refined professional development (PD) to build teacher and administrator capacity for engaging in organizational improvement. The research team used a design-based implementation research (DBIR) approach to understand the connection between the design and implementation of the PD model and the impact on participating schools. The team identified three challenges that need to be addressed in designing experiences for educators that strengthen their capabilities to lead instructional improvement: maintaining the connection between organizational processes and instructional practice; approaching school leadership team collaboration as joint work; and utilizing a developmental approach to improvement. The article concludes by exploring the potential of DBIR for designing and refining models for school leaders’ professional learning.
A new book, Global Education Reform: How Privatization and Public Investment Influence Education Outcomes, provides a powerful analysis of these different ends of an ideological spectrum – from market-based experiments to strong state investments in public education.