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JSL Vol 28-N3

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Embedding Performance Assessments for Leaders into Preparation

ePub

Margaret Terry Orr

Liz Hollingworth

Janice Cook

Embedding Performance Assessments for Leaders into Preparation

A Comparison of Approaches, Candidates, and Assessment Evidence

ABSTRACT: This article presents pilot study results of two leadership performance assessments, designed for a California principal preparation program and embedded in preparation using two learning approaches. The pilot study had two purposes: to evaluate the assessments’ content validity and to evaluate the candidates’ leadership skills as demonstrated through their assessment products and an independent self-assessment tool. The evidence showed the tasks to be valid and useful tools for formative leadership development for different candidates and school settings. Participant feedback on the assessments’ benefits and independent self-assessment ratings provided construct validation. We concluded that these are promising assessment tools for programs’ use in candidate assessment.

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Looking Behind the Curtain

ePub

Eleanor Drago-Severson

Patricia Maslin-Ostrowski
Jessica Blum-DeStefano

Looking Behind the Curtain

Principals’ Internal Experiences of Managing Pressing Challenges

ABSTRACT: This article extends mixed-methods longitudinal research with school and district leaders (2008–present) about their most pressing leadership challenges. Here—through in-depth, qualitative interviews—we explore how a subsample of 30 principals described and understood their internal experiences of addressing pressing challenges. More specifically, using an adaptive/technical lens, social-emotional frameworks, and constructive-developmental theory, we illuminate how principals’ social-emotional and developmental capacities influenced their leadership, and highlight findings with in-depth mini-cases. By focusing on the inner workings of principals’ leadership for managing change, this article offers implications for professional practice and school-wide change locally and globally, leadership preparation, policy, and future research.

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(Re)constructing the Language of the Achievement Gap to an Opportunity Gap

ePub

Osly J. Flores

(Re)constructing the Language of the Achievement Gap to an Opportunity Gap

The Counternarratives of Three African American Women School Leaders

ABSTRACT: This article situates the counternarrative of three African American female school principals and their leadership practices toward equity using a critical race theory framework (CRT). The data come from a larger exploratory study that addressed the understanding of the so-called achievement gap by school leaders. Four prevalent themes emerged through the use of a CRT analysis: (1) Mind-set toward opportunity gap; (2) recognizing issues: race, racism, and interest convergence; (3) holistic approaches toward “Our” students; and (4) the (real) opportunity of loss. I conclude with four contexts for implication for school leadership practice.

Key Words: School Leadership, Critical Race Theory, Counternarrative, ­Opportunity Gap, Social Justice

Introduction

The persistent discourse on the achievement gaps in educational circles demonstrates the challenge in the United States of providing adequate learning opportunities for all its students. The National Center for Education Statistics (2015) refers to the use of the so-called achievement gap terminology as occurring “when one groups of students (such as, students grouped by race/ethnicity, gender) outperforms another group and the difference in average scores for the two groups in statistically significant.”
The 44th annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll (2012) on the public’s attitudes on public schools, for example, revealed that 89% of the national participants recognized that the closing of the achievement gap was something of a milestone (Bushaw & Lopez, 2012). Indeed, during the last couple of decades, the elevated federal and state accountability policies (Fusarelli, 2004) have further underscored and communicated how our public K–12 educational institutions have struggled to improve the educational achievements of our black and Latina/o students (Diamond, 2006). The extended focus and prominence on the achievement gap, however, has brought unfavorable conditions for some students. The terminology has become so readily accepted to suggest the cause of educational disparities to be inherent in black and Latino students’ (Venzant Chambers, 2009).

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Student Bullying, Teacher Protection, and Administrator Role Ambiguity

ePub

W. Sean Kearney

Page Smith

Student Bullying, Teacher Protection, and Administrator Role Ambiguity

A Multi-level Analysis of Elementary Schools

ABSTRACT: This investigation examines the impact teacher protection and principal role ambiguity have on elementary school student bullying. Data were collected from 1,554 teachers and 198 campus administrators from 104 elementary schools in Texas. HLM analyses are employed to identify the effect that teacher protection, administrator role ambiguity, school size, and socioeconomic status have on student bullying. The findings indicate when teachers espouse a belief in protecting students from bullying and administrators clearly understand their roles, bullying incidents decrease. Thus, enhancing teacher protection and administrator role clarity may serve as useful tools to help educators reduce incidents of school bullying.

KEY WORDS: Student bullying, Teacher protection from bullying, Administrator role clarity

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Urban Principal Narratives on Including Black Boys with Emotional Disabilities

ePub

David E. DeMatthews

Urban Principal Narratives on Including Black Boys with Emotional Disabilities

ABSTRACT: Black boys in racially segregated urban schools are vulnerable to the trappings of the school-to-prison-pipeline. In this article, I use narrative inquiry and critical race theory (CRT) to examine the stories of two elementary school principals struggling to create more inclusive schools for Black boys with emotional disabilities (ED) in a racially segregated and low-performing district. Each principal narrative describes efforts to transition a student with ED from a district-created self-contained program to a full-time or near-full-time placement in an inclusive general education classroom. Despite the principals’ overall success in creating more inclusive schools for most students with disabilities in a challenging district context, each principal narrative ends with a student being unsuccessful in an inclusive setting and returned to a segregated program. The findings highlight how principals who recognize the vulnerability of Black boys in special education are compelled to create more inclusive schools, but can confront significant institutional, organizational, and social and emotional challenges. Applying CRT to these cases provides additional insights into how principals can develop inclusive schools and challenge segregated programs. While some inclusive leadership practices aimed at improving the educational outcomes of Black boys are identified throughout these narratives, the significance of the study lies in documenting and understanding how principals experience the barriers and challenges to creating more socially just and inclusive schools.

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