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Jsl Vol 1-N1

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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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11 Articles

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Letter from the Editor

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Education reform has created an era of uncertainty among educators who are faced with the inevitability of revolutionary change. Our personal challenge appears unavoidable—learning to embrace change from a variety of sources. By embracing change we can become proactive in the development of our future society, which is currently experiencing a global transformation. To assure future success, individuals should be given the educational opportunities that will enable them to be competitive in a global economy. Educators must respond to demands from all perspectives—internationalism; information systems; innovations; and people, including parents, community leaders, students, business and industry leaders, and society in general. To address this rapidly changing, competitive environment, school leaders must learn to love change—particularly as we prepare to enter the 21st century.

The Journal of School Leadership is designed to provide educators with the opportunity to share in the multiple changes in education, and to provide a proactive voice in addressing the new challenges and opportunities. Educational change is talked about by many people, but it is our hope that information from the journal will encourage school leaders to decrease the rhetoric and take action. Given the complexity of education, any change or reform must be an interactive effort among all educators and members of society.

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An Optimist’s View of Educational Administration

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JOHN T. GREER1

ABSTRACT: The recent waves of educational reform have prophesied a pessimistic view of the future of educational administration, almost to the demise of the profession. However, there is another view—an optimistic view of the profession, as outlined in this article. Citing numerous examples, the author graphically illustrates the reason for his optimism in the future of educational administration.

What a time for an optimist! The challenges that face educational administrators have never been greater. The optimist views such challenges as opportunities. The others view the challenges with alarm.

The perspectives and challenges of the paper are not prophecies. Such efforts are best left to the gifted thinkers of the profession. These musings are those of an optimistic person looking at present conditions within the profession and projecting those factors into the last decade of the present century and the first decade of the next.

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Superintendents Favor Information Passing Rather Than Change in School Communications

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GEORGE J. MICHEL1

ABSTRACT: Communication within schools and school systems is becoming increasingly sensitive and complex. Research suggests that there are different purposes for communications, but that there is little agreement on a common definition or best methods to increase effectiveness. The author reports on communication methods currently used by superintendents and the implications for using the chosen methods.

School communications is a complex area of school administration. It is an important part of school and community relations, but an accepted definition is difficult to formulate. Dance (1970) compiled a collection of nearly 100 attempts to define communications. He found that the most accepted definition of communications is a constant movement forward and backward that keeps enlarging and expanding from its starting point, in greatly expanding circles, to infinity.

Saxe (1984) also identified a very broad definition of school communications to include all that happens both inside and outside the school. His view is that all the behavior related to the school is communicating something about the school. Kindred, Bagin, and Gallagher (1984) found that communications theory applied in the public schools is also based on the cognitive-rational model with a sender, receiver, the use of a channel, a common language, and some reaction to the message. They also suggested that school communications must contain a component of attitude change.

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Inter-University Networking: Collaborating to Improve the Clinical Preparation for School Administrators

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KENNETH E. LANE1

MICHEAL R. MOFFETT2

ABSTRACT: The improvement of clinical preparation programs requires universities to collaborate with each other, the practitioners in the field, and the business community in the establishment of a networking system. This inter-university networking enables research institutions and regional state institutions to work together jointly while maintaining their individual identities and purposes. The practitioners are involved in this endeavor by their contributions to and participation in the programs designed to help them improve as effective leaders in their schools. The business community is involved by using their expertise in the areas of management, public relations, leadership, and finance. The authors advance the Louisiana LEAD program as an example of how inter-university networking improves the clinical preparation of school administrators.

The history of preparation programs for school administrators is one of individual institutions/universities outlining a set of courses which taken in an orderly sequence presumably provide an individual with the knowledge and skills to perform effectively as a school administrator. The content of the courses at the individual institutions are usually developed by each institution’s faculty without contributions from or coordination with other institutions which have similar programs. Equally lacking is any involvement from practicing school administrators in the development of course or program content. In essence, each institution does its own thing. This premise is true intrastate as well as interstate. Even when a state by law or state regulatory board policy mandates courses or competencies, there is no significant between institutions in developing programs to meet the preparation needs of the school administrator.

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Mentoring: Bridge over Troubled Waters

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MARIA SHELTON1

ABSTRACT: Higher education has a language, a culture, and performance standards uniquely different from public schools. As new professors enter this divergent world they need the assistance of those professors whose experience and knowledge should be shared. The author calls for a mentoring system that provides success for all professors.

After 20 years as a public school teacher, counselor and principal, I crossed the bridge and stepped into the professorial world. I assumed that public schools and universities would be quite similar because they are both “knowledge industries”; however, I was immediately struck with the tremendous differences in:

It took me over a year to come to some understanding of higher education culture. I was not alone in finding transition from public schools to higher education a big challenge. Upon visiting with other junior faculty members, I heard their disparaging words of despair, anxiety, frustration, confusion, loneliness, and anger. I want to share one colleague’s remarks.

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Collaboration Is Not Meeting with the Enemy: An Analysis of a Successful University–School Districts’ Relationships

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WILLIAM C. BOZEMAN1

ROBERT A. ROTHBERG1

ABSTRACT: Working with the enemy in war time is labeled “collaboration.” Too often, College of Education and school district relationships resemble a battlefield between “town and gown.” The purpose of this paper is to identify the relationships developed and the significant programs that have resulted from a positive joint venture with one university and its surrounding school districts.

As schools seek programs and systems of continuing change and improvement, the importance of linking organizations that can contribute to these efforts becomes critical. Indeed, such partnerships between schools and other public organizations—including, but not limited to—the university can contribute to the overall success or failure of school improvement activities. The concern of this paper is the important linkage between the school or school district and the local university. As Lipham (1977) wrote over a decade ago, “there is no doubt but that the most powerful relationships for improving education is that which exists between colleges and universities and local schools” (p. 36). Goodlad (1985) supports this belief when he stated, “It is becoming increasingly clear that if we are going to have good schools, we are going to have collaboration” (p. 6). Although much has been written about school district and university cooperative efforts since that time, few notable demonstration projects exist. Whereas the literature is replete with exhortations regarding the need for university–community school relations, little is offered regarding analysis of an operational partnership project or an examination of factors that may facilitate or impede successful school–university linkages and collaboration.

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School Administration in the Twenty-First Century

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DONALD F. DEMOULIN1

ABSTRACT: As we approach the 21st century, changing sociological trends and technological advances will make it necessary for our university system to prepare graduates for careers as administrators. It is a given fact that school administrators entering the 21st century will have to have special skills far above those abilities that most administrators now possess. It will not be enough for school systems or states to appoint unqualified teachers to school administrator jobs to be equally unqualified administrators. States and universities within them will have to unify and redirect energies toward competency of administrative certification, and in the process, tighten standards.

Administration in today’s society is a complex process consisting of a myriad of extraneous factors trying to influence the direction of educational outcomes. Administrators must be able to wear many different hats; they must be able to provide sophisticated provisions for education to allow for blatant acts or laws resulting from reoccurring changes down through the centuries. For instance, early societies made provisions for education as in the Code of Hammurabi and the Twelve Tablets in Rome. The early supposition was that when you require people to learn, you are making provisions for education. However, a requirement is usually associated with some form of dictatorship or law; thus, the legal structure began its slow trek to becoming a major influence in education.

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State Government Influence on Public Education: Tennessee’s Project STAR

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C. M. ACHILLES1

M. NAN LINTZ2

ABSTRACT: Thirteen million should get attention! That is what Tennessee is investing in a major policy study. Do smaller classes increase student test scores? Tennessee is studying class-size issues via a state-wide experimental and longitudinal class-size project—STAR (Student–Teacher Achievement Ratio). The Tennessee legislature authorized and funded STAR (HB 544, May, 1985) to consider the effects of class size on pupils in primary (K–3) grades.

Researchers for Project STAR analyze pupil achievement and development in three class types: small (S), with an average of 15 pupils per teacher; regular (R), with an average of 23 pupils per teachers; and regular with a full-time aide (RA). Researchers follow a cohort of pupils from kindergarten (K) through grade three, starting in 1985–86 with K. STAR is funded and coordinated by the State Department of Education, but operated through a four-university consortium. Of considerable interest, however, is the state role. The state funded this study to provide information about class size in the state. The state, which has invested heavily in this cooperative endeavor, has asked the researchers for a thorough study.

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Teacher Collegial Groups: A Structure for Promoting Professional Dialogue Conducive to Organization Change

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JOHN L. KEEDY1

KATHLEEN ROGERS2

ABSTRACT: To improve public education we first may need to change and improve the prevalent culture of schooling. Current assessments describe school culture as lacking intellectual depth-despite the fact that Ted Sizer, a prominent school reformer, contends that the students’ intellectual growth should be the main purpose of schooling. From the organization development perspective, we might identify structures conducive to promoting professional dialogue among administrators, teachers, and students. Teacher collegial groups (TCGs) may be such a structure. In this article the co-authors define TCGs; then the principal-based on her own experience—suggests how a TCG can be implemented. The authors conclude with the principal’s observations on the effect of the TCG on a school’s organization culture.

Teaching is an isolated profession (Lortie, 1975; Sarason, 1968). Teachers traditionally have had little opportunity to interact with each other about successful teaching practices. Without opportunities for professional dialogue, how can teachers become the reflective practitioners needed for the site-based management and restructured schools of the future? Teacher collegial groups (TCGs) may be such a structure capable of promoting professional dialogue. In this article we will: 1) frame TCGs within the organization development perspective; 2) define TCGs; 3) explain how Rogers (the co-author) implemented a TCG in her school; and 4) conclude with an analysis of how a school’s culture became more professionalized. This article has a practitioner orientation. Its intended audience is all personnel responsible for the instructional improvement of teachers: principals, assistant principals, instructional lead teachers, grade and subject-level chairs, and central office staff and line personnel.

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Principal Evaluation: A Definitive Process

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W. RICHARD GARRETI1

JACK L. FLANIGAN2

He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils, for time is the greatest innovator.

—Francis Bacon

ABSTRACT: The principal evaluation model described in this paper is the result of administrators attempting to fulfill both a state mandate and a local need. The model utilizes information obtained from teachers, parents, and district administrators who evaluate the effectiveness of practicing principals. The model has been tested and has provided beneficial, practical results that could be used by principals, district administrators, the community, and teachers.

Why did a school district in South Carolina choose to examine an alternative model of principal evaluation? The answer lay partly in the need to attract and retain the best possible administrators and also partly in response to the mandates of South Carolina’s Education Improvement Act (EIA). Subdivision D, Subpart 1 of the EIA specified “the establishment of a statewide program for the evaluation of all principals.”

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Relating Theory to Practice: Instructional Leadership and the Principal

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DWILLIS G. WALLMAN1

ABSTRACT: This is a period of change with new challenges for the leaders of schools. The opportunity to be creative and innovative in the approach to organizing and administering programs for teaching and learning is available today as never before. This paper includes leadership and management issues as they impact the principal’s daily work as an instructional leader.

Finn (1990) referred to the old paradigm of education as a “process and system, effort and intervention, investment and hope” (p. 586). The primary thought was: just try harder. However, a new paradigm of education is being thrust upon schools and school leaders. “Result achieved, the learning process that takes root when the process has been effective” (p. 586). Finn proposed a new definition of education in terms of what is attempted, as product instead of process. Principals have been taught to use a set of behaviors, strategies, and methods to observe teaching and learning. Likewise, teachers have been taught teaching strategies and the process of teaching. An aura has developed around the processes of teaching and learning, as it has been “off­limits” to use outcomes for evaluating teaching and learning. Assessment has been used to adjust strategies within the accepted processes, in the appropriate facility during the existing school day, and with the materials and resources provided. Teachers have tended to view learning in relationship to the processes and reject the notion that they can intervene in matters outside the school.

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