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JSL Vol 24-N4

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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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A Latina Principal Leading for Social Justice

ePub

Frank Hernandez

Elizabeth T. Murakami

Patricia Quijada Cerecer

A Latina Principal Leading for Social Justice

Influences of Racial and Gender Identity

ABSTRACT: In this study, the role that racial identity plays among Latina school principals is examined through a case study of a principal in a K–3 elementary school. Based on a Latina/o critical race framework and a phenomenological research approach, the study explores the degree to which having a strong understanding of one’s racial identity formation may fuel leadership practices geared toward social justice. The sociocultural and historical implications of how race, class, and gender get operationalized in the identity of this Latina leader are surfaced through the following: growing up living and understanding students’ experiences; understanding the Latino family and advocating for community engagement; having high expectations for students of color by creating bridges between White teachers and students of color, as well as between families of color and White teachers; and having high expectations for students and an acute awareness of discriminatory practices in education. This study brings lessons related to improving the conditions of students of color through principals who are willing to reflect on their values, beliefs, and practices and to explore how these values and beliefs influence their work with students, families, and communities.

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Planning for Principal Succession

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Jennifer Lin Russell

Lou L. Sabina

Planning for Principal Succession

A Conceptual Framework for Research and Practice

ABSTRACT: Many school districts struggle to recruit sufficient high-quality principals for their schools. A variety of conditions contribute to this challenge, including the retirement of the baby boom cohort and diminishing interest in administrative careers due to the expanded responsibilities of school principals. In response, districts enact a range of policies and programs explicitly aimed at identification and development of school leaders. Our study examined the actions taken by six districts drawing on the succession-planning perspective, which is common in the public and private sector management literature but less represented in education research. We found that intentional succession planning enabled districts to develop a pool of high-potential administrative candidates through integrated attention to candidate selection and development. While analyzing the effectiveness of “homegrown” leaders is beyond the scope of this inquiry, leaders in our six focal districts believed that they were able to increase the quality and effectiveness of their principals through intentional succession planning. We present a model for principal succession planning in education based on our empirical findings and on literature-based principles that can guide program design and future research.

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Lessons Learned From Secondary Schools Using Technology for School Improvement

ePub

Barbara B. Levin

Lynne Schrum

Lessons Learned From Secondary Schools Using Technology for School Improvement

It’s Just Not That Simple!

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this article is to describe lessons learned from studying the leadership in eight award-winning secondary schools and districts that were recognized for successfully leveraging technology as part of their efforts for school improvement. Data were collected through observations, interviews, and document analysis in schools and districts with ethnically, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse students in communities facing the types of challenges that many schools face today. Based on the cross-case analysis of eight intrinsic case studies, this article offers numerous examples and lessons learned about the role that leadership and vision, technology planning and support, professional development, curriculum and instructional practices, school culture, funding, and partnerships play in leveraging technology for school improvement.

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Considerations for 21st-Century Disciplinary Policy and Practice

ePub

Joshua M. Englehart

Considerations for 21st-Century Disciplinary Policy and Practice

ABSTRACT: While the conceiving of 21st-century schools has rightly included much discussion on curriculum and instruction, changing demands and conditions also present necessary changes in the way that student behavior is managed. A review of the literature on student discipline over the past decade reveals three particular issues that warrant attention in the context of adapting to changes among and around the students we serve: bullying and harassment, the discipline gap (the disparity in disciplinary consequences between White and non-White students), and zero-tolerance policy (the use of strict predetermined consequences in response to offenses regardless of the circumstances surrounding the event). For each issue, central concerns are discussed along with implications for policy and practice. To conclude, two common themes that run through these issues are described—namely, the importance of context and the need for student-centered approaches.

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Cultivating Collaborative Data Practices as a Schoolwide Improvement Strategy

ePub

Shelby Cosner

Cultivating Collaborative Data Practices as a Schoolwide Improvement Strategy

A Phase-Based Model of School Leadership Supports

ABSTRACT: Emphasis on improving student learning has brought increased attention to the execution of schoolwide instructional reforms in general and the use of data by teacher teams in particular as an expected element of a school’s instructional reform strategy. With this in mind, the purpose of this article is to focus important attention on the work of school leaders as key developers of collaborative data practices by teacher teams—an area that has received insufficient scholarly attention. Informed by various scholars who have examined organizational change processes and the leadership that underlies organizational changes and drawing from empirical and theoretical data use literature, this article advances a phase-based model of school leadership supports for those tasked with the introduction and cultivation of collaborative data practices in their schools. In so doing, this article provides a testable model for researchers who seek to better understand the work of school leaders in collaborative data contexts. This model should also prove instructive for practicing school leaders as well as those who prepare and develop school leaders.

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Principals’ Socialization

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Ed Bengtson

Principals’ Socialization

Whose Responsibility Is It?

ABSTRACT: This conceptual article attempts to answer the question, who should be responsible for the socialization of principals? In reaction to the criticism targeting educational leadership programs in the United States, this article discusses how individuals moving into the leadership role, educational leadership preparation programs, and school systems engage in the socialization process. The literature on anticipatory, professional, and organizational socialization is reviewed and used as a framework to argue that the socialization of principals should indeed be shared by the individual, the leadership preparation program, and the school system. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

University educational leadership preparation programs in the United States are under attack from school system leaders, scholars, policymakers, politicians, and the general public as the search continues to find a place to lay blame for underachieving schools (Hess & Kelly, 2007; Levine, 2005). While this conceptual article does not debunk the fact that leadership preparation programs can and should improve, it does examine the socialization of principals as being an overlooked component in the elusive recipe for successful school leadership performance. It can be argued that the lack of emphasis placed on organizational socialization might well undermine the professional socialization (i.e., leadership preparation programs) and that there can be solutions to the problem through a mutual understanding of responsibilities for the socialization of school leaders.

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Closer to Learning

ePub

Yi-Hwa Liou

Alan J. Daly

Closer to Learning

Social Networks, Trust, and Professional Communities

ABSTRACT: researchers, educators, and policymakers suggest the use of professional learning communities as one important approach to the improvement of teaching and learning. However, relatively little research examines the interplay of professional interactions (structural social capital) around instructional practices and key elements of professional learning communities (relational and cognitive social capital) from the lens of social capital. We employed a mixed-method design that draws on social network analysis, surveys, interviews, and observations to understand what accounts for the pattern of professional interactions within four high-performing professional learning community schools. The results indicate that teacher trust, principal trust, professional dialogue with the principal, and years of teaching in the school play a significant role in explaining teachers’ close network relationships. Implications and limitations are discussed.

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