Medium 9781475811322

Jsl Vol 11-N6

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The Journal of School Leadership is broadening the conversation about schools and leadership and is currently accepting manuscripts. We welcome manuscripts based on cutting-edge research from a wide variety of theoretical perspectives and methodological orientations. The editorial team is particularly interested in working with international authors, authors from traditionally marginalized populations, and in work that is relevant to practitioners around the world. Growing numbers of educators and professors look to the six bimonthly issues to: deal with problems directly related to contemporary school leadership practice teach courses on school leadership and policy use as a quality reference in writing articles about school leadership and improvement.

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Is This Dialogue Falling Upon Deaf Ears? Exploring the Deliberative Process Among School Administrators

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CHEN SCHECHTER

ABSTRACT: This case study explores the deliberative process involved in the conceptualization and implementation of a new and innovative program in one school. After introducing the concept of deliberation, the case study focuses on the communal deliberative process that occurred in the school. The themes that emerged offer insights for schools and deliberative communities regarding the deliberative process.

In order to promote the reorganization of schools and the reconceptualization of schooling, the Israeli Ministry of Education initiated the experimental schools program. The program permits any school in Israel to submit a detailed proposal for creative school restructuring. Schools that are accepted into the program are entitled to additional academic and monetary resources for a period of five years. During the 5-year period, the school is granted the right and privilege of implementing its new program. In order to sustain its status as an experimental school it must be able to show progress from the implementation of the program.

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A Model of Planning for School Improvement and Obstacles to Implementation

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DIANNE L. TAYLOR
ABBAS TASHAKKORI
LINDA CRONE-KOSHEL

ABSTRACT: Criteria are needed to help schools develop improvement plans and to evaluate those plans. This article describes a rubric created to provide such criteria. We also present findings from an evaluation using the rubric and report a study of practitioner perceptions regarding improvement planning and plan implementation. Evaluation findings indicate that the plans were generally of inferior quality. Perceptual data suggest causes of this finding include weak internal linkages within plans and lack of teacher involvement in establishing school goals and instructional priorities. The data show troubling disparities in perceptions between administrators and teachers regarding planning and plan implementation.

Over the past several years, state and the federal governments have increasingly targeted low performing schools for attention, resources, and in some cases, penalties, with the intention of promoting school improvement. The focus of these improvement efforts has been on the school as a whole, rather than on discrete aspects of the school, such as new curricula (Cichinelli & Barley, 1999). This whole-school focus is evident in federal law reauthorizing Title I, which encourages schoolwide programs based on the development of a school improvement plan (Wong & Meyers, 1998). The Obey-Porter legislation, which builds on the Title I law and funds Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration (CSRD) programs, also promotes a schoolwide approach to improvement.

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Special Section: Student Perspectives on Schools and School Leadership

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LYNN H. DOYLE

ABSTRACT: There is much to be learned from the candid comments of young students. Within their straightforward language are complex ideas of what leadership is and is not. To determine students’ beliefs about leadership and the application of these beliefs to schools, interviews were conducted with 28 middle school students. While their perspectives put a new spin on existing theories, they also reveal key elements that are missing. Students described leadership as shared and reciprocal, but this was primarily with teachers. In their eyes, principals manage schools rather than lead them toward visions of critical democracy and instruction that flows from that vision.

The principal is like the foundation of a pyramid. He’s at the bottom, but he always tries to construct it up. He’s like right there. We don’t know what effect he has on us. If he’s not there though, the school falls because he’s our foundation.

—Seventh-Grade Student

For years, we in educational administration have been using the pyramid analogy to describe our school organizations and their leadership. We have typically, however, placed the principal at the top and then struggled to knock him or her off of this pedestal in our quest for more collaborative schools. How refreshing it is then to hear this different perspective, one from a young student.

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