recruitTEXAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS QUARTERLY PUBLICATION
Excellence in teachin “recognized”
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The Spring Branch Corporate University: Development to Intellectual Wealth
2 0 02 VOLUME 16,
A Fundamental Change from Staff
by Jeffrey Oliver Shares how the competitive business of education inspired Spring Branch ISD to create the Spring Branch Corporate University—a partnership consortium consisting of the district and six universities—to attract, retain, and recruit the very best teachers in America
Can Your District Have Exemplary Campuses?
Richardson ISD Takes a Significant Step: Performance
by Elvis Arterbury and Judy Travis Reveals results from a Region V Assessment Center program and an independent study project and survey of exemplary principals that identify “what” exemplary principals do differently to impact the teaching/learning process in a positive way
Tying Employee Pay to Student
by Kristine Hughes Discusses Richardson ISD’s variation of the state’s principal appraisal system, placing greater emphasis on students’ test scores and growth
Book Summary: Life Cycle of the Career Teacher
Technology Leadership Academy: Two Years of Success
Tribute to Louann Martinez
by Betty Steffy Describes a life cycle model of the classroom teacher that offers a framework for personalized, professional growth linked to district goals and illustrates how to maintain excellence for a lifetime of teaching
by Ellen V. Bell and Lyn Mefford Gives an overview of the TASA/Texas Leadership Center Technology Leadership Academy, including participant profile, training model, curriculum, 2001–2002 preliminary evaluation results, and anticipated changes for future academies
Offers a tribute to TASA Associate Executive Director Louann Martinez, who will be leaving TASA after 14 years of significant contributions to the growth and progress of our association as an advocate for public education in the legislative and state policy arena
SUMMER 2002 3
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Texas Honor School Boards announced, finalists named for 2002 Superintendent of the Year award, Wayne Rotan carries on the family business of education
Gain the Leading Edge
Executive Director’s View
TASA and CCL partner for results, review of Leading Beyond the Walls: How High-Performing Organizations Collaborate for Shared Success, board briefs
Don Gibson, President, Wall ISD Dawson R. Orr, President-Elect, Pampa ISD Michael Hinojosa, Vice-President, Spring ISD Leonard E. Merrell, Past President, Katy ISD
Dana S. Marable, Marble Falls ISD Hector Montenegro, Dallas ISD Debra K. Nelson, Frisco ISD Ronald Peace, Victoria ISD
Editorial Advisory Committee
Eliseo Ruiz, Jr. , Los Fresnos, 1 Henry D. Herrera, Alice ISD, 2 Tom R. Jones, Jr., Tidehaven ISD, 3 Rick Berry, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, 4 Gail Krohn, Nederland ISD, 5 Dorman C. Jackson, Crockett ISD, 6 Dee W. Hartt, Tatum ISD, 7 R. Lynn Marshall, Pittsburg ISD, 8 Randel R. Beaver, Archer City ISD, 9 Kay Waggoner, Red Oak ISD, 10 Vernon N. Newsom, Mansfield ISD, 11 George Kazanas, China Spring ISD, 12 Ron Reaves, New Braunfels ISD, 13 Rick Howard, Comanche ISD, 14 Billy Jack Rankin, Bangs ISD, 15 Danny R. Cochran, Boys Ranch ISD, 16 Ken McCraw, Lamesa ISD, 17 David Kennedy, Terrell County ISD, 18 Paul Vranish, Tornillo ISD, 19 Alton J. Fields, Pleasanton ISD, 20
Don Gibson, Wall ISD, chair Alton J. Fields, Pleasanton ISD Michael Hinojosa, Spring ISD Rick Howard, Comanche ISD John R. Hoyle, Texas A&M University Debra K. Nelson, Frisco ISD Vernon N. Newsom, Mansfield ISD Dawson R. Orr, Pampa ISD
TASA Headquarters Staff Johnny L. Veselka, Executive Director Ellen V. Bell, Associate Executive Director, Professional Development Louann H. Martinez, Associate Executive Director, Governmental Relations Paul Whitton, Jr., Associate Executive Director, Administrative Services Dian Cooper, Assistant Executive Director, Professional Development Ann M. Halstead, Assistant Executive Director, Communications & Information Systems Amy T. Turner, Assistant Executive Director, Governmental Relations Pat Johnston, Director, Special Services Gina Friedman, Public Relations Coordinator Emily Starr, Design/Production Karen Limb, Editorial Coordinator Neal W. Adams, TASA General Counsel, Adams, Lynch, & Loftin—Bedford
Advertising For information on advertising in INSIGHT, contact Ann Halstead, TASA, 512-477-6361. INSIGHT is published quarterly by the Texas Association of School Administrators, 406 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas, 78701-2617. Subscription is included in TASA membership dues. © 2002 by TASA. All rights reserved. TASA members may reprint articles in limited quantities for in-house educational use. Articles in INSIGHT are expressions of the author or interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of TASA. Advertisements do not necessarily carry the endorsement of the Texas Association of School Administrators. INSIGHT is printed by Thomas Graphics, Austin, Texas.
SUMMER 2002 5
Texas Honor School Boards Announced Five Texas school boards have been named Honor Boards in the 2002 School Board Awards competition sponsored by TASA: Bronte ISD (Region 15) Cypress-Fairbanks ISD (Region 4) Llano ISD (Region 13) Northwest ISD (Region 11) Quinlan ISD (Region 10)
Each of the five Honor Boards will be interviewed during the 42nd Annual TASA/TASB Convention in Dallas, at which time the 2002 Outstanding School Board will be selected. The Honor Boards will be recognized and the Outstanding Board announced at the conventionâ€™s First General Session on Saturday, September 28. In addition to the five Honor Boards, two other boards are recognized as Regional Honor Boardsâ€”Bullard ISD (Region 7) and Mathis ISD (Region 2).
Finalists Named for 2002 Superintendent of the Year Award TASB has named five finalists for the annual Superintendent of the Year (SOTY) award: Rick Schneider, Pasadena ISD (Region 4) Margaret Davis, Pleasant Grove ISD (Region 8) Michael Hinojosa, nominated by Hays CISD (Region 13), now at Spring ISD Elizabeth Abernethy, nominated by Hereford ISD (Region 16), now at Region 7 Patrick L. Henderson, Lubbock-Cooper ISD (Region 17) The 2002 Superintendent of the Year will be announced September 29 during the Second General Session of the 42nd 6
Annual TASA/TASB Convention in Dallas. The winning superintendent will receive a professional development award funded by Balfour Company. In addition to the five finalists, regional winners nominated by their districts and education service center regions include Roberto Zamora, La Joya ISD (Region 1); Roberto E. Garcia, San Diego ISD (Region 2); John a Hall, Cuero ISD (Region 3); Samuel F. Lucia, Bridge City ISD (Region 5); Michael Holland, Magnolia ISD (Region 6); Dan Noll, New Diana ISD (Region 7); Jack E. Singley, Irving ISD (Region 10); Jeff N. Turner, Burleson ISD (Region 11), now at Coppell ISD; James M. Baize, Gatesville ISD (Region 12); and Gary R. Sherman, Christoval ISD (Region 15).
Wayne Rotan Carries on the Family Business of Education We’ve all heard that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. No one knows this better than Gary Rotan, superintendent, Stafford MSD. In June, Rotan’s son, Wayne, assumed the role of superintendent in Forsan ISD.
When choosing an engineering firm, it’s best to go by the numbers.
“I’m very pleased and proud of my son’s accomplishments,” Gary Rotan said. “As I plan to retire next year, it feels good to know that he will be carrying on the family business.” Wayne Rotan credits his interest in education to his family. “Since I was a young boy, I’ve known that this is what I wanted to do,” he said. “My family instilled the importance of learning at an early age.” It appears that education is in the Rotan blood. Gary Rotan’s brother, Arvel, served as superintendent of Valley Mills ISD until his retirement in May. Together these three educators have more than 75 years of service in education. Other members of the Rotan family also are involved in education. Gary’s wife, Rita, is a middle school administrator and counselor; Arvel’s daughter, Pam, is a counselor and educational diagnostician; and Wayne’s wife, Stephanie, is an elementary school teacher. The Rotans believe that the impact educators have on students— the future leaders of our communities—is immeasurable. They set high expectations for themselves and their students. Their goal is to achieve excellence. Wayne Rotan sums up the Rotan philosophy, “Education is what set us apart from other countries; for the United States to continue to be the most powerful nation in the world, we must continue to strive for excellence in our educational system. To be successful in today’s society, every student must have a quality education.”
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SUMMER 2002 7
2002 H-E-B Excellence
i n Te Te a c h i n g A w a r d s
awards W i n n e r s
H-E-B congratulates the winners of the 2002 H-E-B Excellence in Teaching Awards. Winners were selected from more than 1,500 applications and judged by a panel of distinguished educational professionals. Please join us in recognizing these outstanding men and women for their invaluable service to Texas children, families and communities.
More than 20 years of
George Sanchez Elementary Austin
Jeremiah Rhodes Tech. Academy San Antonio
Each winner received a $25,000 cash prize plus a $25,000 grant for their school.
10 to 20 years of
# classroom experience
Each winner received a $10,000 cash prize plus a $10,000 grant for their school.
Ezekiel â€œZekeâ€? Perez
John Foster Dulles Middle School Sugarland
Sugar Grove Elementary Houston
RISING STA R:#
Less than 10 years of
# classroom experience
Anne Webb Blanton Elementary Austin
Each winner received a $5,000 cash prize plus a $5,000 grant for their school.
Fredericksburg High School Fredericksburg
REGIONAL FINALISTS Lifetime Achievement
Dr. Mary Nied Phillips
Lyndon B. Johnson High School Austin
Lake Waco Montessori Magnet School, Waco
Gonzalo Garza Independence High School, Austin
Sidney Lanier High School, Austin
Juan Linn Math & Science Magnet School Victoria
Rose Shaw Special Emphasis School Corpus Christi
Roy Miller High School, Corpus Christi
Dawn Boriack Luther Jones Elementary, Corpus Christi
Danielle Jordan Pettus Secondary School, Pettus
Joanna Y. Sturm
Vanessa L. Cortez
Memorial High School - Senior Campus Victoria
C.L. Milton Elementary, Laredo
Bertha Lucio Caballero
Dr. Arnulfo L.Oliveira M.S., Brownsville
Hubert R. Hudson Elementary, Brownsville
Weslaco East High School, Weslaco
Edna Hular Angco Kennedy - Zapata Elementary, Laredo
Kenneth Kaser W. P. Clements High School, Sugarland
Scott Sherman Perkins Middle School, Brownsville
Sandra Jan Geisbush
Helms Community Learning Center, Houston
Encino Park Elementary, San Antonio
Criselda Valdez Ashley Clayburn E.S. Post Elementary, Houston
Ashley Pryor Otice Parker Intermediate School, Houston
Oak Grove Elementary, San Antonio
Sandra Day O'Connor High School, Helotes
David Crockett Elementary, San Antonio
Gain the Leading Edge As the new TASA president, I want to welcome and invite you to join me on the leading edge of education. As we embark on the 78th Texas Legislative Session, there are vast challenges facing public education. There is a growing need and demand for educators to demonstrate their willingness to speak in support of our public schools and provide the leadership necessary to make changes that are desperately needed. As we begin a new school year, few Texans realize that as many as 400 of the 1,040 school districts—educating more than half of the students in Texas—are at the $1.50 property tax cap. These districts have no alternative but to begin cutting programs as their financial burdens increase. In addition, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) will be implemented in the spring of 2003 for the first time. Early indicators suggest that a higher percentage of Texas pupils are likely to fail this test than failed the previously used Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS). With classrooms that already are overcrowded and have a growing shortage of qualified teachers, Texas schools are struggling to prepare students for the all-important TAKS. In an effort to lay the groundwork as the 2003 Legislative Session approaches in January, TASA and the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) have initiated a grassroots campaign seeking support from legislators to increase the state’s share of funding for public education. “Take the Pledge” is designed to educate and persuade legislators that additional revenue for public schools must occur during this legislative session if students are expected to reach high levels of achievement. The purpose of the grassroots campaign is to encourage administrators and school board members to meet with their local lawmakers to discuss the current school funding process and explain why additional revenue is so desperately needed. All members of the House and Senate, including the governor, lt. governor, and speaker, will be asked by our members to hear our story and sign a card that pledges their support for new dollars for public education. As school leaders we must embrace accountability and understand and participate in the political process. We must actively participate in the Texas Association of School Administrators. Let us help you to continue to develop your leadership edge. Membership in TASA gives all of us the opportunity to connect with one another and provide peer support. Take time—make time—to sharpen your skills with the unparalleled leadership opportunities provided by your association. You’ll be glad you did!
SUMMER 2002 9
(ma•s n•re) Building Schools
Knowledge Masonry Exceeding your expectations. Satisfying your clients
Executive Director’s VIEW
New Initiatives As we begin another school year and, at TASA, another membership year, 2002-2003 presents many exciting opportunities for your professional association to serve you. Several new initiatives are underway, and the 78th Legislature is just several months away. As I write these remarks, we are tallying the results of TASA’s biennial legislative survey. These results will be presented to the TASA Legislative Committee at the end of September and will provide the cornerstone for the association’s legislative priorities to be developed later this fall. Foremost among the items on our legislative agenda is the grassroots campaign seeking support from legislators to increase public education funding during the 2003 legislative session. “Take the Pledge” is a joint effort of TASA and TASB that is designed to educate and persuade legislators that additional revenue for schools is an absolute necessity if our students are to continue to have access to high quality instructional programs. The “Report Card on Texas Education” portrays a vivid picture for policymakers and the general public about the ever-increasing budget constraints faced by local districts. We enlist your support in this important effort as we approach the coming session. One of the ways to achieve success on critical policy issues is through timely, effective communication with our members. Recently, superintendents received an announcement that the state level content on our electronic communications and document management system, the Texas EduPortal, is now available at no cost to TASA members in school districts and regional education service centers. This tool, coupled with an online forum that is now being tested with participants in TASA’s Technology Leadership Academy, will provide access to the latest legislative information and impact analyses during the coming session. Please take advantage of the opportunity to enroll in the Texas EduPortal at the online enrollment center on the TASA Website. TASA’s other technology initiatives, including the multi-language translation library of forms to enhance parent and student communication, the online job application and applicant management system (Texas REAP), and the ongoing Technology Leadership Academy for superintendents and principals, offer one-of-kind, cost-effective opportunities for Texas districts. Stop by the TASA services booth at the TASA/TASB Convention or call our office for more information. Finally, as we approach the 2003 legislative session, I want to express my gratitude, on behalf of all TASA members, to Louann Martinez for 14 years of untiring service and commitment in her advocacy of legislative and state policy issues for the association. Her efforts have made a difference for Texas public schools and the children we serve! We look forward to seeing you in Dallas and to serving you in the year ahead.
SUMMER 2002 11
The Spring Branch Corporate University: A Fundamental Change from Staff Development to Intellectual Wealth by Jeffrey Oliver and future-focused teachers to Spring Branch ISD by providing opportunities to attain master- and doctorate-level degrees in Spring Branch ISD facilities. Many of the courses undertaken at SBCU fulfill staff development needs and matriculate into college credits from accredited universities. Teachers in turn receive standard pay raises based on their higher-level degrees, and students in the classrooms experience environments characterized by motivation and highly educated teacherleaders. Through our early research, we have found that many aspects of the SBCU create an intrinsic motivation for teachers to stay with the district. A few of these factors include camaraderie between the scholars, global understanding of the workings of the school district, opportunities for pay raises based on higher-level degrees, and a better knowledge ecause Spring Branch ISD believes that base for teaching and leading others. Finally, school systems are in unique positions to the SBCU recruits the highest-quality teachers sense and respond to the changing through the concept of “growing our own.” Specifically, high school demands in education as they students interested in relate to the global marketplace, “The Corporate careers in education are we see education as our business provided dual-credit and quality scholarship as our University attracts that yield flagship product. School syshighly motivated and opportunities transferable credits tems are competing with corfuture-focused from Houston porate America in attracting Community College. high-quality workforces. In teachers to Spring Thus, our students are addition, graduates from school districts compete with each Branch ISD by providing provided the opportuother in the marketplace for opportunities to attain nity to graduate high as second-year jobs, careers, and other oppormaster- and doctorate- school college students. These tunities; and quality education provides the competitive edge level degrees in Spring students then continue their second and third that our graduates need in Branch ISD facilities.” years of college in order to be distinguished in any Spring Branch facilities course they select in life. This competitive business of education inspired through undergraduate programs offered by a Spring Branch ISD to create the Spring select partnering university, and they begin their Branch Corporate University (SBCU), the student teaching in Spring Branch ISD in year nation’s first corporate university in a school three after high school graduation. The district then has the option to hire the student teacher. district setting. The SBCU removes the barriers between our The goal of the SBCU is to attract, retain, and system and institutions of higher learning while recruit the very best teachers in America. The continuously attracting, retaining, and recruiting Corporate University attracts highly motivated the highest-quality educators in the nation. continued on page 15
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teaching field. In addition to our graduatelevel and high school students, more than 250 district paraprofessionals will be enrolled in the SBCU by 2003. The Corporate University is managed through a systems-thinking approach and ensures quality control through digital communication and a tracking system that monitors all SBCU scholars’ professional activities and the progress of students in their classrooms. In addition to these mechanisms for ensuring quality, the SBCU leadership articulates standards expectations to every partnering university. The primary expectations include the following:
continued from page 12 Through extensive research, we have identified more than 1,000 corporate universities in private industry, but we have not been able to identify a single corporate university established by a public school system. The SBCU is a partnership consortium consisting of Spring Branch ISD and six universities. Each of the collaborating universities provides unique contributions based on its program strengths as well as the projected training needs of the district. Among the responsibilities of Ray Garcia, current dean of the SBCU and adjunct professor at both the University of Houston and Texas A&M University, is to identify forthcoming district educational and training needs. He then communicates these opportunities to the SBCU Advisory Committee and jointly they select the partnering university offering the best program for a specific area of need. The partnering university provides training and credited classes in Spring Branch facilities. Our Corporate University partners include Texas A&M University, University of Houston, St. Thomas University, Houston Baptist University, Sam Houston State University, and Houston Community College. The SBCU currently has an enrollment of more than 255 graduate-level scholars and offers 8 masters and 1 doctorate program. More than 650 students in Spring Branch ISD are currently enrolled in dual-credit classes, and 180 students have indicated interest in the
• Each SBCU course or training session is correlated to a set of state and national standards. • Content is delivered through several phases of scholarly activity, including discovery methodology, teaching integration, and application of knowledge. • All scholars engage in an internship program that culminates in making a longstanding and unique contribution to Spring Branch ISD. • Throughout the duration of their graduate program, scholars maintain an electronic portfolio for each course undertaken. • All scholars identify a professional mentor to consult with throughout the duration of the program. Spring Branch ISD designed the Corporate University as a replicable contribution to the national field of education. Numerous school districts throughout the United States have contacted our school district indicating interest in creating their own corporate universities, and, in August 2001, Jim Nelson, then Texas commissioner of education, met with the first cohort of SBCU scholars and endorsed the program. Through the SBCU, higher education is now a product that is delivered at the customer’s request.
“The SBCU currently has an enrollment of more than 255 graduate-level scholars and offers 8 masters and 1 doctorate program.”
Jeffrey Oliver is administrator of the Spring Branch Corporate University at Spring Branch ISD. SUMMER 2002 15
Can Your District Have Exemplary Campuses? by Elvis Arterbury and Judy Travis
e are aware that the socioeconomic status of the students, the quality of the teaching staff, the support of the parents, the background of the parents, and many other variables impact the ability of a campus to score well on the TAAS test. According to research, however, no variable is as important to campus success as the leadership style of the principal. If we believe the research, then it would also follow that a campus that consistently gains a state accountability rating of exemplary must have a principal with excellent leadership skills. It also is reasonable to assume the exemplary campus principal is doing something different from a principal on a campus that gains an acceptable or recognized rating. The identification of â€œwhatâ€? the exemplary principal does differently and the determination of how to develop those principal skills would lead a district to alter its professional development program for administrators.
Region V Assessment Center Results ESC Region V in Beaumont received State Board for Educator Certification approval to conduct principal assessments in July 1999. The Region V Principal Assessment Center was started in September of that year. The majority of the principals attending the assessment center were in charge of campuses that had an AEIS rating of acceptable or recognized. The principals were involved in a two-day program that required them to respond to in-basket type problems, respond to a grievance and a career opportunity, develop a plan for improvement and bring a video of a site-based team meeting for evaluation. While all aspects of the assessment were effective and beneficial, the video of the principals conducting a Campus Education Improvement Committee (CEIC) meeting to discuss no more social promotion was especially revealing. As a group, the principals were less effective in conducting the CEIC meetings than with other aspects of the assessment. From a 16
summation report of the assessment center compiled by Sandra Ellington, assessment center director, and Dorman Moore, assessment center appraiser, the conclusion drawn was that the area of facilitation skills (including collaboration and aligning of instructions) was the area of least effectiveness for the principals. They also noted that this was the area of greatest discrepancy between the principalâ€™s self-assessment and the observations of the assessment team. The principals consistently thought they were more effective in the area of facilitation skills than the assessment team observed. In other areas of assessment, the principals tended to rate themselves about the same or below the observations of the assessment team. The self-assessments of the assistant principals in the area of facilitation skills deviated above the observations of the assessment team even more than the principals. Conversely, the few principals assessed from exemplary campuses tended to conduct a different type of CEIC meeting and exhibited facilitation skills that led to collaboration and commitment to action. These meetings were marked by group self-assessment and those reflections led to more plausible solutions to no more social promotion.
Survey of Exemplary Principals The fact that a few exemplary principals exhibited facilitation skills led to the question of whether most exemplary principals had those skills. Judy Travis, a graduate student in the Department of Educational Leadership at Lamar University, developed an independent study project to find the answer to the question. She decided to survey all of the principals in Texas who led campuses that had an AEIS rating of exemplary three or more years in sequence. Judy developed a survey instrument that reflected the six categories of skills assessed by the center. Each category had three supporting skills represented on the survey instrument. The categories were as follows:
• Organize • Analyze problems (data) • Make judgments (solutions) • Communicate • Facilitate/collaborate • Group self-assessment The survey instrument was reviewed by a panel of experts and revised based on the panel’s input. The survey was mailed to 496 exemplary campus principals, and 108 responses were returned. An analysis of the returns was most revealing, because the two skills identified as being most important to their success were to analyze problems (data) and facilitate/collaborate. The fact that nearly everyone listed these two skills—108 identified analyze problems,
and 106 identified facilitate/collaborate—and the additional fact that the responses were basically equal is significantly important. These results were consistent with the findings of the assessment team when viewing the few exemplary principals participating in the assessment center program. Why do the authors see the results as significantly important? What an administrator does is apply skills to an area of needed improvement. For example, if the board adopts a new policy, you use your administrative skills in an attempt to implement it successfully. The principal does the same thing in attempting to impact the teaching/learning process in a positive way.
“An analysis of the returns was most revealing, because the two skills identified as being most important to their success were to analyze
The teaching/learning process model depicted above illustrates that the process includes three components: what you teach, how you teach, and the culture of the classroom. The question to be answered is whether we can identify how administrative theory is applied to the process. While there is extended discussion about the proper way to depict administrative theory, two components are present in nearly all thoughts on the subject; i.e., the work and the worker. If you had the proper emphasis in your leadership style, you would exhibit an equal emphasis of both the work and the worker, and if a line were drawn to illustrate your style it would be at a 45 degree angle.
problems (data) and facilitate/ collaborate.”
SUMMER 2002 17
The above illustration shows how you apply the work skills of organize, analyze data, and make judgments; and the worker skills of communicate, facilitate/collaborate, and group self-assessment to the theory model.
The illustration above depicts how principals on campuses that attained AEIS ratings of acceptable or recognized tended to apply their administrative skills to the teaching/learning process. The line drawn to indicate the application of their skills is at approximately a 35â€“40 degree angle rather than a desired angle of 45 degrees. When addressing an improvement in the academic program, these principals tended to emphasize the work side of the issue more than the worker side of the issue.
The exemplary campus principals indicated an application of skills that was nearly equally divided between the work and the worker. And as previously stated, they used two skills more frequently than others to attain success and also used them about equally. Those skills were analyzed data (work) and facilitate/collaborate (worker). The above illustration shows a 45 degree angle to depict these facts.
commitment, which requires collaboration, which requires facilitation skills. The principal who possesses facilitation/collaboration skills has the additional prerequisites needed to lead a campus to an exemplary status. These skills logically lead a principal toward the group self-reflection required to have
“As administrators, we do not have control over many of the
It has been advocated for some time by the Texas Education Agency, education service centers, and others that it is imperative to disaggregate the data and then use additional data to determine if a teacher is teaching the content necessary to address the objectives being tested on the TAAS test and also the content the students have not mastered (what you teach); i.e., the work. It is of equal importance to examine the “how you teach” side of the teaching/learning process; i.e., the worker. The principal has impact on both of these components by establishing a culture (the way we do things around here) that addresses both of them.
dialogue about how “we” will teach a particular concept that is creating a problem for students. This thought process is evidenced by lesson plans that are “reflective” of how our staff thinks we need to teach a specific concept. The answer to excellence is not “out there” but within us.
Establishing a culture to address “how you teach” requires what Peter Senge refers to as a learning organization. To have a learning organization requires dialogue, which requires reflective thinking, which requires
As administrators, we do not have control over many of the variables that make it difficult to attain excellence, but we do have control over our leadership style and the skills that support it. It is possible to improve our skill level to
variables that make it difficult to attain excellence, but we do have control over our leadership style and the skills that support it.”
SUMMER 2002 19
facilitate a meeting that results in collaboration that results in reflective thinking. Garmston’s and Wellman’s book entitled The Adaptive School is a good resource to guide an administrator in a positive direction.
“Asking a principal to expand to non-preferred skills is the equivalent of asking a person to develop the ability to write their name legibly with their non-preferred hand.” The key, however, lies in the principal’s ability to expand his or her skill preferences when addressing an administrative issue. When a principal initiates an improvement effort that addresses the teaching/learning process, preferred administrative skills are often applied; i.e., analyze data, organize, and make judgments (solutions). Asking a principal to expand to non-preferred skills is the equivalent of asking a person to develop the ability to write their name legibly with
their non-preferred hand. The principal that is uncomfortable attempting to facilitate dialogue that creates reflective thinking will usually revert to his or her comfortable (preferred) skills when under pressure. These “mental models” are difficult to change. You must introduce new data or ideas to the principal that sound reasonable and are accepted. The accepted data alters beliefs, which in turn alters behavior. It is often easier for a less experienced administrator to make this transition than a more experienced administrator. Motivation and determination to improve are necessities for principals wanting to alter their leadership style and the skills that support it. Those who persevere will, however, create a new culture on their campuses that will result in reflective practices that create a learning organization capable of producing exemplary results.
Elvis Arterbury is a professor at Lamar University and Judy Travis is a consultant at ESC Region V.
Richardson ISD Takes a Significant Step: Tying Employee Pay to Student Performance by Kristine Hughes ichardson school district officials have taken a significant step toward tying employee pay to student performance. A variation of the state’s principal appraisal system has been created that will place greater emphasis on students’ test scores and growth. It will be used to evaluate principals and assistant principals next year, and later for administrators and other staff.
“We wanted an appraisal system that more accurately reflected what we expect,” said Patti Kieker, assistant superintendent of human resources. Down the road, she and other administrators said, the results will impact employee salaries and raises, something board members favor. “We’ve been discussing this for years . . . but we couldn’t do it until we had a system in place,” Trustee Anne Barab said initially. “This is the foundational work that had to be done to let the money follow where the [achievement] is.” A committee of principals, assistant principals, and central support staff has been meeting monthly since last August to review state requirements and other districts’ appraisal systems and to decide what to include in Richardson’s plan. The committee presented the proposed system to trustees on June 3, and the board endorsed it. “It’s a visible commitment to the board’s goal of student learning,” board Secretary Stephanie Hirsh said. “It shows we walk the talk.” The state’s appraisal model considers eight domains: instructional leadership, school/organizational climate, school/organizational improvement, personnel management, administration and fiscal/facilities management, student management, school/community relations, and professional growth and development. A ninth domain, academic excellence indicators and campus performance, was added a few years ago, but local administrators thought it didn’t go far enough.
“To consider student performance as oneninth of the evaluation of a principal really does not reflect our expectations,” Kieker said. “We’re all about student performance and student growth.” Richardson’s new appraisal instrument will base 33 percent of its score on student performance and growth. The rest of the score will be based on those factors in combination with others. The appraisal process first calls for a meeting between the principal and his or her supervisor at the beginning of the year to set goals and objectives based on indicators for each of the eight domains. Then, before the evaluation takes place, information is gathered from myriad sources and judged based on each of the prescribed measures. Data studied includes enrollment, attendance, and failure rates; staff observations; performance and growth data; and even letters from parents. Debbie Jacob, director of secondary schools for the Garland school district, said Garland schools have used a similar system for 11 years, with student performance weighted even higher at 37 percent. State officials say Richardson and Garland are the exception rather than the rule. continued on page 23
SUMMER 2002 21
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continued from page 21 Paul Whitton, TASA associate executive director, Administrative Services, said he hasn’t heard of any other districts making the same move. “But it makes sense,” he added, calling the action the start of a trend. “Accountability is the name of the game now.” Whitton also praised Richardson for “jumping out there and doing it.” “I’m a firm believer that it takes the entire campus to get the best performance out of your student body,” he said. Richardson principals’ reactions so far have been positive. They received basic information about the plan at a recent principals’ meeting.
they are assigned to. Schools that have more economically disadvantaged students, for instance, tend to have lower scores than schools with more homogeneous populations. Nancarrow said some equalizers are already in place, such as the priority schools program. Through the program, the district provides additional money to schools that have the highest numbers of students at risk of failing, and there are few restrictions on how it should be spent.
“When they pass that test it means we’re doing our job well, that we’ve taught our curriculum well. The test has especially helped us focus on kids who might have fallen through the cracks.”
“The instructional component is going to weigh more than any other component,” said Jeff Oldham, principal of Lake Highlands Freshmen Center. “I think it’s a good idea. Principals need to be held accountable for how their instructional program runs.”
“It goes a long way toward leveling the playing field,” Nancarrow said. However, she added, “No amount of money is going to equal having a supportive family that takes kids traveling in the summer, that exposes them to opportunities. Nothing we do in the school day is going to equal that.”
Margie Nancarrow, principal of Richardson West Junior High School, said it makes sense to base evaluations on how students perform on state assessment tests because those tests measure specific knowledge and skills. “When they pass that test it means we’re doing our job well, that we’ve taught our curriculum well,” she said. “The test has especially helped us focus on kids who might have fallen through the cracks.”
Nancarrow said she anticipates a drop in her school’s Texas Education Agency rating this year from “recognized” to “acceptable,” the second-lowest rank on a four-level scale. “Exemplary” is the highest, and “low performing” is the lowest.
Both Oldham and Nancarrow are confident the district will find ways to evaluate all employees equally, no matter which school
Richardson West’s student scores improved in almost every category, but a small subpopulation, which nearly doubled in size over the SUMMER 2002 23
previous year, did poorly on the writing portion and had a big statistical impact. “Your resources go further with a class of 200 than with a class of 300,” Nancarrow said. In addition, almost half of Richardson West’s students are considered economically disadvantaged because they qualify for the federal free- and reduced-lunch program. Charles Pickett, principal of Richardson North Junior High School and a member of the steering committee, said the new process will help principals see if their efforts are succeeding. It will look at a variety of factors from individual student performance and growth over previous years to student mobility and socioeconomic factors.
subpopulation that had a big impact—but it was able to pull back up to the “acceptable” level the next year. “There are many, many things that can cause a school to increase or decrease in rank. You have to look beyond that label,” he said. Before asking the board to approve the new system, Superintendent Carolyn Bukhair said, “It’s going to recognize the good work that’s going on by our administrators.” Evaluations will be conducted in December or January rather than June, so the results will be available before contract renewal time. “When we did evaluations in June, the accountability data wasn’t in by then, so we were always a year in arrears,” Bukhair said.
“That’s a key element. You may have students that are scoring very low but are continually moving upward, or students that score well but are stagnant,” he said.
Training for principals and appraisers began in August.
Pickett’s school dropped to “low performing” status two years ago—also because of a small
Kristine Hughes is a staff writer for The Dallas Morning News.
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Book Summary: Life Cycle of the Career Teacher by Betty Steffy
t is no secret that many teachers feel that current staff development activities do not meet their professional needs for continued growth and development. Life Cycle of the Career Teacher describes in detail a life cycle model that offers a framework for personalized, professional growth linked to district goals; and provides readers with specific professional development strategies for each phase of teacher career development outlined in the model. The model is about maintaining excellence for a lifetime of teaching and providing all students with access to competent, caring, qualified teachers.
The model rests on the foundation of six critical conceptual components. 1. Recognizes that teachers approach teaching with different motivations that change during their careers 2. Rejects approaches towards improving performance that fail to deal with the whole teacher 3. Starts with the human element and moves to the organization’s goals 4. Re-conceptualizes the relationship between the individual and the organization 5. Recognizes that the burden of change is not all upon the teacher, but also includes the school system and its officials 6. Concentrates upon intrinsic motivators rather than extrinsic rewards The illustration on the opposite page shows a model of the life cycle of the classroom teacher. It was developed by Steffy (1989); expanded by Steffy and Wolfe (1997); and further defined by the edited work of Steffy, Wolfe, Pasch, and Enz (2000). The phases of the model relate to how teachers grow professionally over time. This growth is perpetuated by professional development activities designed to promote transformational learning. Transformational learning takes place when a cycle of reflection, renewal, and growth is embedded in professional development opportunities for teachers. Teachers at different phases of the life cycle model must be provided 26
with professional development opportunities that are aligned with their career phase. Novice Phase. This first phase begins in preservice training when the students begin to encounter practicum experiences as part of the teacher-training program. Apprentice Phase. Teachers at the Apprentice Phase are ones who have secured teaching positions and are now beginning their teaching career. Teachers at this phase need massive, focused, intensive, personalized support. Without it, apprentice teachers may experience forces leading to withdrawal or exit from the field. Currently, approximately 30 percent of all newly hired apprentice teachers leave the field within five years. Given the present arena of teacher shortages, this is an unacceptable situation. Professional Phase. The vast majority of teachers in America today could be classified as teachers at the professional level. These are teachers who do a good job but because of the social forces operating in schools and the environmental context of the work environment, they fall short of being able to demonstrate that all children are achieving at high levels. Current federal legislation, an outgrowth of President Bush’s education initiative, requires “no child left behind.” Unfortunately, about one-third of all children beginning kindergarten in the United States are “left behind” in some way. The current cadre of professional teachers, present design of public education, social context in which schools function, and leadership of school administrators have not yet been able to meet the intent of the Bush mantra. While there are many reasons for this situation, including environmental, economic, and social, there is much the profession can do to enable more teachers to achieve the next phase of the model. Expert Teacher Phase. Expert teachers are defined as ones who consistently enable most children to achieve at high levels no matter
what measure of achievement is used; and teachers who, if they chose, could qualify for national certification. Clearly, there is a need for more expert teachers. We contend that one of the reasons we do not have more expert teachers is that school administrators have not demanded that teachers must achieve expert status in order to remain employed, nor have districts provided the professional development support structure needed to achieve this goal. Distinguished Phase. Distinguished teachers are those who exceed our high expectations for expert teachers. These teachers are often recognized at the state and national level for their contribution to the field. It is not expected that all teachers will achieve this level of expertise. We added the phase to recognize those few who clearly are outstanding in our field. Emeritus Phase. These teachers are ones who have retired from the field, but remain active in a productive way to assist in the mission of all children learning at high levels. The contribution of emeritus teachers may be through volunteerism within a single school or serving as a political advocate for needed social changes. We added this phase to recognize a valued, untapped resource to our field. The development of this book was a massive effort to involve professional educators across the country in expanding the model. “This project became a labor of love for a group of teachers and teacher educators. Four editors worked with 18 authors and three contributors for a year” (Steffy. Wolfe et al. p. ix). The resulting book was described as one about maintaining excellence for a lifetime of teaching. The four editors made the following comment. “It is
time for Life Cycle of the Career Teacher to be shared widely with a profession in search of recognition for making a positive difference in people’s lives. This book will inform the conversation that must occur for teaching to be a career-long commitment to continued growth and development leading to fulfilling the dream of “no child left behind” and “all children learning at high levels.” Betty Steffy is a national consultant with Curriculum Management Services, Inc. (CMSi). She has served as a school administrator and university professor in six states. She can be reached at email@example.com. SOURCES CONSULTED Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative dimensions of adult learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (1996). What matters most: Teaching for America’s future. New York: NCTAF. ERIC ED 395 931. Steffy, B. (1989). Career stages of classroom teachers: Maintaining excellence for a lifetime. Lancaster , PA: Technomic Steffy, B. & Wolfe, M. (1997). The life cycle of the career teacher: Maintaining excellence for a lifetime. West Lafayette, IN: Kappa Delta Pi, an International Honor Society in Education. Steffy, B., Wolfe, M., Pasch, S., & Enz, B. (Eds.) (2000). Life cycle of the career teacher. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press.
SUMMER 2002 27
Technology Leadership Academy: Two Years of Success by Ellen V. Bell and Lyn Mefford providing a challenging curriculum for all students. TASA began technology training for administrators in 1997 and has greatly expanded its efforts with new funding.
he need for continuously offering technology leadership development is enormous, as more than 100 (10 percent) new superintendents are appointed every year in Texas, and even greater turnover occurs in the principalship. Moreover, many areas of Texas are growing rapidly; technology is changing constantly; and, increasingly, students have access to technology in their homes.
Expectations for school administrators continue to rise, particularly in more systematic use of data and technology. Texas administrators working in a standards-based, results-driven, data-rich system can use technology to ensure success for all students. The TASA/Texas Leadership Center (TLC) Technology Leadership Academy provides the opportunity for principals and superintendents to further extend a system Texas has built over the last decade in which educators are accountable for 28
Funded through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a statewide project with significant support from three Texas foundations (Meadows, Sid W. Richardson, and Houston Endowment Inc.) and corporate partners, the Academy training objectives include personal productivity, systems change, leadership, and technology integration components. The four days of training during the school year are scheduled as a two-day seminar in the fall with a two-day follow-up session in the spring (summer sessions of four consecutive days also have been added). Cohort groups attend sessions throughout the state at ESCs or in large districts that have arranged with TASA to provide the training. With the exception of Harris County, where Houston Endowment Inc. has provided additional funding to include assistant superintendents and assistant principals, the Academy is open only to active superintendents and principals in public, private, and charter schools in Texas. Approximately 1,700 administrators have participated in the Academy to date, with another 2,500 projected to participate before the end of the four-year grant (50 percent of the state’s principals and superintendents). The Executive Committee of the Academy is chaired by Mike Moses, superintendent, Dallas Public Schools; with representatives from the Governor’s Office, the Governor’s Business Council, the Texas Association of Elementary Principals and Supervisors, the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals, the Texas Business and Education Coalition, the Texas Computer Education Association, the Texas Education Agency, and Texas Tech University, The impact of the Technology Leadership Academy is evident in the comments from participants when they complete their daily online evaluation of the sessions:
“I am excited about taking what I have learned and sharing with the teachers.” “The scope of the Technology Applications TEKS (state curriculum framework) is overwhelming. Every district should have this to know how to implement the TA TEKS.” “I am ready to go back to implement more technology.” Many participants state that without the sanctioned time to learn technology leadership development skills, they would not take time from their demanding jobs to
learn the use of technology to enhance student learning.
Academy Participant Profile Demographic data from an online questionnaire indicate a distribution of participation from across the state as reported by regional education service center areas; i.e., the Academy is accessible to all parts of the state. Participants represent schools/school districts of all sizes from very small to very large in fairly equal percentages with private and charter schools making up approximately 6.9 percent of the total representation.
Participant Report of School Size UIL School Size Designation
Demographic Information Gender
Associate or Assistant Superintendent
Assistant Principal Part of a team
Note: Percentage totals may be slightly greater or less than 100 percent due to rounding. As a percentage, and compared to Year One, more principals are participating in the Year Two Academy; more administrators are attending as individuals; and more females are attending. Representation is fairly evenly distributed across small to large districts, as seen in UIL School Size Designation, with more registrants from the large 5A districts.
One matching funds grant, from Houston Endowment Inc., has allowed leaders other than the superintendent and principals to register. Beginning in 2001–2002, associate superintendents, assistant superintendents, and assistant principals, as well as superintendents and principals, were encouraged to enroll from Harris County, specifically due to
In 2001–2002, each administrator in the Academy received four days of Academy training, online support, and a notebook computer with their registration fee of $875. (The registration fee is $775 for Year Three of the grant.) Participants must complete a personal action plan in technology leadership and three assessments, including the TAGLIT (Taking a Good Look at Instructional
Houston Endowment Inc. matching funds. In both years of the Academy, 128 administrators have attended from Harris County. The development of “layers of leaders” in the Harris County districts has provided a strong model for the project.
SUMMER 2002 29
“The Texas Computer Education Association also contributes to the Academy by providing two on-site facilitators to help administrators at their computers and technical assistance regarding Academy computer specifications.” Technology), during the Academy. They are expected to read and be prepared to discuss professional articles on Days One and Three. By partnering with the 20 regional education service centers, and now with large districts with 30 or more principals who register for the Academy, TASA has used a training model that takes more than 90 percent of the sessions out of Austin and into the urban, suburban, and rural areas of the state. The education service centers and districts provide a training room; a co-trainer; and technical staff to establish the wireless network, ensure the operability of the notebook computers, and provide technical assistance on site. Since the ESCs and districts are the primary support system for administrators, the benefit of their staff knowing the Academy objectives and curriculum bodes well for continued participant learning when the Academy is over.
experiences to share knowledge and best practices, pose questions, gather data, and obtain support regarding systems change, leadership development, and the use of technology • Model and define an effective professional development program for helping teachers integrate technology into the curriculum, including results-based training, evaluation of results, adult learning theory and subsequent practices, and continuous learning rather than one-shot sessions • Design a unique action plan for their district or campus, reflecting their leadership in systems change and using technology to enhance student success and system effectiveness Each Academy activity and resource is keyed to the Academy outcomes and developed in two curriculum CDs. The CDs are divided into folders for Class Activities, Resources, Presentations, and Workshops. Participants
Curriculum The collaborative partners for the Academy established that participants, upon completion of the program, will: • Be able to articulate the premises of systems change and the role of leadership in a standards-based, resultsdriven, data-rich educational setting • Be familiar with examples of how technology enhances high student performance, excellent teacher performance, and administrative effectiveness • Understand how to develop an organizational structure that integrates curriculum and assessment with technology • Participate in networking and online 30
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also use the Academy Web site for resources and an outline of the Academy daily agenda. The Texas Business and Education Coalition (TBEC) and Texas Tech University (TTU) are partners with TASA/TLC in delivering the Technology Leadership Academy. TBEC staff provide extensive curriculum material on the use of Baldrige criteria for data-driven decision making and continuous improvement. Texas Tech University conducted an online survey of principals and superintendents regarding whether they knew about the Academy; reasons they did not register if they knew about it; their interest in an online component of the current Academy; and whether an advanced, online Academy would be appealing to Academy graduates. Results of the survey indicate many administrators did not know about the Academy, and most participants continue to prefer an on-site Academy but are open to online threaded discussions, which will be added in Year Three. For Year Three, Texas Tech will develop a system for threaded discussion between Phases One and Two as well as a database of resources for the TASA trainers. The Texas Computer Education Association also contributes to the Academy by providing two on-site facilitators to help administrators at their computers and technical assistance regarding Academy computer specifications.
To improve Academy participants’ knowledge of personal productivity tools, the trainers offer optional after-hours skills classes during the Academy. The classes are in PowerPoint, Creating Web Pages Using Netscape Composer, and Manipulating Data on an Excel Spreadsheet. Administrators who take advantage of the skills classes are grateful for the sanctioned time to learn and ask questions.
“Administrators who take advantage of the skills
For accountability purposes, and to provide an opportunity to apply what the participant is learning, each participating administrator prepares and implements a personal action plan. A template for the plan is explained in Phase One, following Michael Fullan’s three stages of initiation, implementation, and institutionalization. Examples of Academy personal action plans include learning more about the Technology Applications TEKS and looking for ways to use the TEKS in the classroom, revising campus technology plans to reflect what is learned in the Academy, incorporating national professional development and technology standards into campus plans, assessing the technology skills of new staff members, customizing technology professional development, and learning additional personal productivity skills. Participants bring their final plans to the last phase of the Academy in a presentation format, such as a PowerPoint presentation or a Web page.
classes are grateful for the sanctioned time to learn and ask questions.” Trainers also model the use of technology by bringing their own digital cameras and taking pictures of the participants for the TASA Web page, conducting informal discussions with the participants on the use of personal digital assistants and other personal productivity technology, and using appropriate instructional strategies during the seminars.
2001–2002 Preliminary Evaluation Results Academy participants complete three online assessments, including the national TAGLIT (Taking a Good Look at Instructional Technology) and daily online evaluations of SUMMER 2002 31
the Academy. The first assessment is the pre-Academy questionnaire, completed before beginning the Academy or on site at Phase One. Participants complete the postAcademy questionnaire at the conclusion of the Academy. The TAGLIT state report is presented on Day Three, when the participants bring their own Data Summary, and the principals discuss how they will use their TAGLIT data at the conclusion of the Academy. The results of the pre-Academy questionnaire and the daily evaluations are reported here. Pre-Academy Questionnaire. The online pre-training questionnaire was designed to provide self-reported participant demographic data; baseline data on participant knowledge, attitudes, skills, and experiences; and participant perceptions about technology and its role in schools. Planning and Professional Development. Data from the questionnaire indicate that a great majority (86 percent) of the participants reported their district had a detailed technology implementation plan and that the plan was generally integrated into and aligned with
district or campus planning. However, technology professional development was slightly less likely to be aligned with either the technology plan or the district/campus plan, and suffered from lack of variety in delivery and formal evaluation, especially as it relates to impact on student achievement. Personal Technology Profile. Data indicate that most of the participants use the computer on a frequent basis to produce work (particularly in the office), communicate, and connect to the outside world. However, much lower percentages of the respondents claimed frequent, sophisticated use of technology such as to develop presentations or participate in online discussions. These data, collected prior to the training, influenced the project team to offer optional “tool” training sessions before and after the required training agenda. Narrative comments on the session evaluations validate this decision. Although the intention of the curriculum is not on developing personal technology skills, these leaders consistently comment on the importance of having some skills development and express interest in including more time for developing skills and for practice.
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Personal Technology Profile N=649 Daily/Frequent
Once a Week
Use computer in office Use computer at home (professional) Use computer at home (projects) Use computer at home (entertainment)
Word processing Spreadsheet Database Presentation Web development Multi-media projects
87.5% 25.4% 16.5% 3.9% 1.1% 1.3%
4.5% 8.5% 12.0% 4.0% 1.2% 1.3%
8.0% 66.1% 71.5% 92.1% 97.7% 97.4%
Browser General online research Library online research
80.4% 31.9% 15.3%
9.6% 19.1% 10.5%
10.0% 49.0% 74.3%
E-mail Online discussion Online courses
92.8% 3.4% 3.7%
2.8% 3.2% 4.3%
4.4% 93.4% 92.0%
Communication & Learning
Note: Percentage totals may be slightly greater or less than 100 percent due to rounding.
Not all data from the post-Academy questionnaire were available for this article. However, data available indicate overall participant growth in some of the areas of personal technology use. While almost all respondents reported daily or frequent use of their computers in the office, the post-Academy results indicate a significant increase (from 55.5 percent to 72.5 percent) of use at home for professional purposes. Participants also reported noticeable increases in use of presentation software, database, and e-mail tools. Narrative Data. Responses to two questions: “How is technology integrated into the K–12 curriculum in your school or district?” and “Besides time and money, what are your district or campus’ most pressing issues regarding technology?” yielded some interesting patterns in the respondents’ perceptions. Although they reported earlier in the instrument that technology planning and professional development were focused on integrating technology into the curriculum, superintendents and principals
described practices that appeared more skills-based than integrated in response to the first question. Data clustered around the following uses: • Computer lab to practice or reinforce skills • Classroom computers to practice or learn skills (e.g., Accelerated Reader) • Internet or Web research • Computer literacy/proficiency or keyboarding • Library research • Teacher presentation • Support or enrichment of classroom objectives • Use of software and tools to prepare or complete assignments • Professional development for teachers Participants responded with even more certainty to the second narrative with almost half the participants mentioning ongoing professional development or training for teachers as the most important issue with other responses clustering around related topics such as professional development for administrators or other SUMMER 2002 33
“The training showed (that) the teachers had great evidence of adult learning styles and needs. The presenters were patient, persevering, and humorous. Thanks!” staff. Other important issues to these administrators clustered around keeping technology current and providing for technical support. Rank order of issues by frequency: • Ongoing professional development or training for teachers • Keeping current with technology/ updating/retrofitting • Technology installation, maintenance, and support • Consistent and widespread integration of technology/computers into the classroom • Knowledge and application of technology skills • More technology/computers in each classroom • Teacher attitudes about change/confidence to change • Infrastructure decisions/master technology infrastructure plan • Professional development/training for administrators and other staff • Full utilization of the technology we have
This training was tremendously valuable in moving me forward as a technology leader.” The sample of comments below gives a flavor for the ways these leaders plan to do things differently: • “Change the way technology is taught in my school” • “Model the use of technology and provide more professional development” • “Provide technology information at every staff meeting” • “Align budget with technology and staff development planning” • “Use my computer everyday” • “Have my teachers submit their own personal action plans for technology” • “Focus on integration” • “Become an advocate for change” • “Use TAGLIT survey to revise our Technology Plan”
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In the post-Academy questionnaire, two parallel questions were asked. In the first, participants were asked what they would plan to do differently as a result of the Academy. A quote from one participant summarizes the commitment reflected in many of the participants’ comments: “I am committed to being a better model of technology use. I am also going to plan for ongoing staff development models using various resources presented during this training. 34
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The second post-Academy narrative question asked the participants how they would use additional (hypothetical) money targeted for technology. More than three-fourths of the respondents indicated they would use the extra money for additional/better professional development or incentives for teachers who were integrating technology into their classrooms in an appropriate way. Many also said they would purchase new or different hardware, including wireless labs and classroom presentation stations. The new or different hardware references seemed to have been influenced by the use of both wireless and presentation hardware as part of the Academy and by the introduction of AlphaSmart as a writing tool. Session Feedback. A seven-question, Likert-style feedback form (which also included two narrative questions) was developed and administered online at the end of each training day. Since the training sessions were conducted in a wireless access environment and the instrument was easy to complete, most participants took the opportunity to respond at the end of each session. Presenters and the project team used numeric and narrative feedback to adjust the focus and pace of the training for subsequent days. They reported the results from the previous day’s session to the participants, indicated their interpretation of the data, and provided participants with adjustments to the training agenda. In addition, they alerted the participants to the
fact that this was a model for data-driven decision making, which was a part of the training curriculum. Narrative Responses. Data captured after each session indicate a strong desire to know more about applications and tools as they apply to the everyday work of the school administrator. In response to the question about topics for future workshops, participants requested more hands-on practice and technology and productivity software training; more information on funding and grants and implementing new/cutting-edge approaches to technology in schools and communities; information on designing technology professional development; ideas for helping teachers integrate technology into their curriculum; and an opportunity to share with other administrators. These responses provided evidence that participants were ready to know even more than the curriculum or time would allow. To the “Other Comments” prompt, there were some comments about pace—slow down, speed up, more practice, less practice—but the overwhelming majority of the comments were positive about the content, technical assistance, quality of the presenters and presentations, climate and rapport, and overall productivity/relevancy of the sessions. continued on page 37 SUMMER 2002 35
continued from page 35 Quotes taken from the narrative responses validate the overwhelming positive reaction to the Academy: • “A great experience.” • “I very much enjoyed this workshop. I am glad I attended. It was worth the time spent out of the building.” • “The training showed (that) the teachers had great evidence of adult learning styles and needs. The presenters were patient, persevering, and humorous. Thanks!” • “I am looking forward to doing my action plan.” • “The article assigned for homework was relevant.” • “I have enjoyed the learning process and sharing with peers.” Likert Responses. Data were generated by participants after each session in response to seven questions about the training. Respondents were given four answer choices to each of the questions: Exceeds Expectations (3), Meets Expectations (2), Below Expectations (1), or N/A (No Answer). For responses to questions 1–3 and 5–7, 90 percent or more of the participants indicated
that the session met or exceeded their expectations. Responses to question 4 dealing with workshop pace were somewhat lower compared to the other responses on the same days. Even then, only Day 3 responses fell to 85.2 percent satisfaction on question 4. Session organizers and presenters have tried to adjust the pace to better meet participant needs, but much of the participants’ perception about “pace” comes from their own familiarity with the technology and the topics that are a part of the curriculum. When the narrative data collected on that same day were reviewed, some participants found the session pace too slow, while others felt it was too fast. Even with the slight fall-off at question 4, the Academy session evaluations showed a remarkably high, sustained level of satisfaction with the experience throughout the four days.
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SUMMER 2002 37
Academy trainers and Texas Computer Education Association facilitators report that fewer requests for down-the-hall computer labs and repetitive, one-size-fits-all software have crossed their desks since the administrators participated in the Academy. More administrators are purchasing computers on wheels (COWs), especially wireless labs, and making them available to teachers to bring into the classroom for regular and extensive student use.
administrator technological proficiency all support several changes for the Technology Leadership Academy in Year Three. Clearly, administrators are becoming more comfortable with technology. An enormous increase in the number of administrators using e-mail and surfing the Internet has occurred since TASA began offering the Academy in 1997 (prior to foundation funding). Increasingly, the administrator who is uncomfortable maneuvering between e-mail, word processing, and computer files is becoming the exception in the Academy rather than the norm.
Curriculum: The emphasis in the Academy is on leadership and technology. In Year Two we used the enGauge six dimensions (http://engauge.ncrel.org) as the curriculum organizer, with a focus on vision, educator proficiencies, effective teaching and learning practices, and systems thinking. In Year Three we will develop our own Texas model, with extensive reference to the material on the enGauge Web site. As the lead trainers and TASA/TLC staff plan each spring, we examine the evaluation data, review each curriculum area, and strengthen each section of the program. For example, in Year Three, we will add a section on technology trends to help administrators envision a high level of technology use. We also will add a “homework” assignment between Phases One and Two in which administrators observe in classrooms using a rubric of levels of technology use. Finally, we will add cohort online threaded discussions between Phases One and Two. The greatest challenge of the Academy is for administrators to know what to look for in classroom technology integration. They are generally unaware of the Technology Applications TEKS, part of the state curriculum framework, having concentrated on TEKS for reading and mathematics. They know teachers need more professional development in technology, and want to learn what is appropriate beyond skills training. With discussion between Academy participants and trainers, positive examples in the curriculum, and a host of resources listed in the Academy curriculum, administrator awareness of what it takes to truly integrate technology use into classrooms is increasing. The Year Three curriculum will provide a “Levels of Integration” model, more examples of technology integration into the curriculum, and an
“More administrators are purchasing computers on wheels (COWs), especially wireless labs, and making them available to teachers to bring into the classroom for regular and extensive student use.”
continued on page 41 38
TASA’s Texas Regional Education Applicant Placement (REAP) Program
Texas REAP is the online application system Texas educators have been dreaming of! • • • •
Instantly gain a national audience of potential candidates One simple application for all job applicants Candidates apply to as many participating school districts as they choose Easily create customized searches through a national database of applicants For more information, contact Ann Halstead, 800-725-TASA (8272), SUMMER 2002 39 AHalstead@TASAnet.org.
continued from page 38 assignment to observe at least three classrooms for the level of technology use. The classroom observation data, coupled with the TAGLIT data and presentations on appropriate professional development, will equip administrators to help teachers fully integrate technology.
Access: The Technology Leadership Academy will continue to be offered in summer sessions as well as in the two two-day session format during the regular year. Also, district-only sessions will be offered to districts where 30 or more principals register. Already Dallas, Houston, and North East ISDs have scheduled district-only sessions. Twenty-five Academy cohort groups are planned for 2002–2003.
In addition to technology integration, a continued emphasis in Year Two has been on using data-driven decision making and assessment data. Participants continue to examine their student achievement data and become familiar with the Texas Education Agency Web site. The TAGLIT is explained at the beginning of the Academy and participants discuss their results. In Year Three trainers will place more emphasis on incorporating the TAGLIT results in the participants’ personal action plans.
To register for the Technology Leadership Academy, go to www.TASAnet.org and choose Online Registration for Year Three Technology Leadership Academy. To schedule a district-only session, contact Ellen V. Bell, 512-477-6361 or 800-725-8272.
Ellen Bell is associate executive director, Professional Development, TASA; and Lyn Mefford is project evaluator for the Technology Leadership Academy and project director, ESC Region 10.
Finally, the Year Three Academy curriculum will include more examples of multimedia use in the classroom. Texas TAGLIT results show that teachers are less familiar with the use of multimedia than with other technology learning tools.
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Louann Martinez Louann Martinez, associate executive director of governmental relations, will leave the Texas Association of School Administrators in late September. After 14 years of dedicated service to the association, Martinez has decided to establish an independent legislative consulting business.
Virginia Collier, senior lecturer, Texas A&M University, and past TASA legislative chair said, “For more than 10 years, I have watched Louann use her personal knowledge and skills to advance the cause of Texas school superintendents. She firmly believes in public education and she respects the work of school administrators.”
Martinez joined TASA in March 1988—seizing the opportunity to develop a comprehensive governmental relations program. “When I joined TASA, there wasn’t a GR department—I basically started from scratch,” Martinez reflects. “Now, 14 years later, TASA has a governmental relations division with three full-time staff members, two legislative consultants, and a full-time intern during the legislative session.”
According to friends and colleagues, Martinez is disciplined, energetic, and resolute. She combines a keen political instinct with a penchant for the particulars of policy.
One of Martinez’ goals was reached when TASA established a political action committee, edPAC—the first and only school management political action committee—giving TASA the ability to contribute to legislators’ campaigns and participate in election activities. Martinez also helped initiate the development of the TASA/TASB Special Committee on Revenue and School Funding—providing the associations with a formal process to coordinate legislative issues and positions. Martinez also has been instrumental in delivering the message of public school educators to members of the legislature and other state leaders. Through her efforts, TASA has initiated the successful passage of numerous bills, including the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP), which allowed TRS members to create a supplemental annuity account; legislation that allowed retired public school teachers to return to the classroom without penalty if they were teaching in an acute shortage area; and the $1.2 billion school employee health insurance bill passed during the 77th Legislative Session. In addition, TASA has become a strong voice in defeating legislation that would have negatively impacted administrators, including a bill that would have established at-will employment status for superintendents.
Dawson Orr, superintendent, Pampa ISD, and past TASA legislative chair said, “Passion, commitment, and intuition are what set Louann apart and made her such a valuable part of TASA. She was unwavering in her support of improving education for children and in eliminating barriers to superintendent leadership.” Martinez acknowledges that even as she has mellowed, she still can seem dogmatic. “Years ago,” she quips, “during one particularly successful legislative session for school administrators and school boards, a colleague of mine and I were dubbed ‘the princesses of darkness’ by opposing teacher unions. They even sent us black capes—which we still own.” Before Martinez joined TASA, she served as administrative assistant for former State Representative Cliff Johnson; chief clerk/administrative assistant for former State Representative Gerald Hill; legislative aide for former State Representative Jerry Clark; legislative reporter for Capital Information Service, Inc.; legislative aide for Janet Fookes, MP, House of Commons; project assistant for United States Senator Lloyd Bentsen; and public affairs coordinator for Kraege Polan Consulting Corporation. In accepting her resignation, TASA Executive Director Johnny Veselka said, “Louann has been a valuable member of the TASA staff. She has tirelessly advocated for public education and for our members. We appreciate her commitment and wish her well in her future endeavors.”
SUMMER 2002 43
TASA and CCL: Partnering for Results by Karen M. Dyer It’s no secret that the viability and the vitality of an organization, whether education, corporate, or nonprofit, is highly dependent upon the degree of investment that is made in human capital—the individuals and groups who work within to make those organizational visions, missions, and goals a reality. Committed to this shared belief, TASA is partnering with staff from the Center for Creative Leadership to provide Texas school leaders with a unique professional development experience—the Leadership Development Program for Educators (LDPE). This customized program has been designed to build the capacity of education leaders to capitalize on their most important resource—people.
high-pressured environments. Anchored in the belief that leadership development is the cornerstone of organizational effectiveness, CCL has combined cutting-edge research and relevant action to produce a portfolio of programs, assessment tools, publications, and other services designed to help build, extend, and revitalize the practice of leadership. Each year more than 27,000 leaders participate in CCL programs. Of these,
“They participate in realistic, intensive, ‘action learning’ simulations that bring alive their typical responses within the contexts in which they work and lead.”
The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), with campuses in Greensboro, North Carolina; Colorado Springs, Colorado; San Diego, California; Brussels, Belgium; and Singapore, is a nonprofit educational institution that is an internationally recognized resource for understanding and expanding the leadership capabilities of individuals and organizations. Founded more than 30 years ago, CCL is today one of the largest institutions in the world that focuses solely on leadership. CCL’s mission is “to advance the understanding, practice, and development of leadership for the benefit of society worldwide.” For the second consecutive time, CCL has been ranked number 1 for leadership by BusinessWeek magazine. School administrators, like their business counterparts, are consistently called upon to find creative solutions to the complex challenges that face them in today’s fast-paced, 44
approximately 6 percent are educational leaders who come from a broad spectrum of school districts, regional and county offices, state departments of education, and universities. Educators experience the same CCL programs available to corporate clients, but with an important difference: they are customized to focus on contemporary educational leadership issues. Through activities specially designed to sharpen insights about the impact of behaviors upon others, leaders are provided with opportunities to reflect upon their
strengths and weaknesses by seeing themselves as others in their school community see them. They participate in realistic, intensive, “action learning” simulations that bring alive their typical responses within the contexts in which they work and lead. Leadership development doesn’t just happen. It occurs because an individual acknowledges a need to change. Improving the practice of leadership, however, involves more than just changing perspective. It requires changing behavior. CCL has found through its pioneer work in the use of 360-degree assessment and feedback— the practice of getting multi-rater information about behavior—that assessment is a necessary and effective starting point for leadership and growth, and that it can serve as both a catalyst and a map for change. Program participants, through feedback from several different assessments, are exposed to not only information about their inter- and intrapersonal skills, but are challenged to move from knowing to action. TASA is the umbrella organization through which CCL’s Leadership Development Program for Educators is coming into Texas. To date, partnerships have been formulated with ESC Region 1, which provided LDPE for selected principals and community leaders in October 2001; and ESC Region 11, which has an LDPE session planned for September 2002. In addition, CCL will train a team of trainers in October 2002 to provide LDPE in Texas under CCL supervision. Karen Dyer is manager of the Education Sector at the Center for Creative Leadership.
theLeader Book Review
News from the Texas Leadership Center
Leading Beyond the Walls: How High-Performing Organizations Collaborate for Shared Success Edited by Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and Iain Somerville
Published ISBN: 0-7879-5555-8
Reviewed by Jody M. Westbrook, consultant The first book in the Wisdom to Action series published by the Drucker Foundation, Leading Beyond the Walls: How HighPerforming Organizations Collaborate for Shared Success, focuses on what leaders of all types and in all industries must do to be effective leaders: we must take ourselves beyond the walls that inhibit personal effectiveness. Further, the featured authors and editors explore what is needed to surpass the organization, social, and political boundaries that inhibit us all. Their appeal is for us to engage with others in new ways, in sincere ways, and in ways to diminish formal, hierarchical boundaries.
enhance your reading of the book, or perhaps just the review. In chapter 16, entitled “Leading Successful Change Initiatives,” Christopher Cappy and Robert Anthony make several points worthy of our review. Their first contention is that most successful organizations have created aggressive “processes of engagement” to get the right people together to “confront and resolve the most challenging issues.” By using the right people, they not only make successful change, they build leadership capacity in the participants. Secondly, change initiatives often fail because leaders don’t do what they should do: expect implementation of the change through clear goals and definitions, and have real action plans
In chapter 11, “Leadership Beyond the Walls Begins with Leadership Within,” Eli Cohen and Noel Tichy purport that “leading is teaching and learning.” While it is a fairly common practice in most industries to offer leadership development programs, it is rare for those courses or programs to be taught by the internal leadership. They challenge leaders to examine their calendars, noting that a large portion of time and energy should be dedicated to teaching others to be leaders. On a final note, the editors admonish us to note that we shall succeed through a “web of relationships” because no task is performed well without the influence of humans and the environment in which they work. Study Questions: 1. What huge and challenging issue needs to be resolved and are the right people working on that resolution? 2. Think of a recent implementation that didn’t happen the way it should. Were there clear goals and roles? Was an Innovation Configuration developed for clarity in expectations? 3. When implementing a major change, is there a change agent who has been given the role and the training to accomplish the task? 4. How much time and energy do you, as a leader, spend teaching others to be leaders?
“…the editors admonish us to note that we shall succeed through a ‘web of relationships‘ because no task is performed well without the influence of humans and the environment in which they work.”
The editors and authors represent a variety of leaders of business and civic organizations, some former teachers and professors, a missionary, and independent business consultants. The book includes 23 thought-provoking and interesting chapters. This review focuses on two chapters that give specific and sound advice for educators. The end of the review includes some study guide questions that may
that include designated accountability for results. Thirdly, they purport that “lack of leadership, not resistance, is most likely to derail sustained change.” Their advice: “. . . prime the pump for change leaders with specific roles and training built into the change initiative.” This confirms advice we’ve heard before from Hall & Hord (2000) and Fullan (1997): there has to be pressure and support for successful change to occur.
SUMMER 2002 45
Board Briefs The following are highlights of the Texas Leadership Center board of directors meeting held June 24, 2002, in conjunction with the Summer Conference on Education. UPDATES • Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) Leadership Development Initiative CCL will provide a training-of-trainers October 1–4, 2002, in which representatives of ESC Regions 1 and 11 and TASA/TLC will become Texas trainers in the project. • Technology Leadership Academy The board received reports of total enrollment for Year Two of the Technology Leadership Academy of 1,023 administrators; and for 2000–2001 and 2001–2002 of nearly 1,700 administrators, including 300 administrators who attended summer academy sessions. Enrollment has opened for Year Three of the academy and currently 400 administrators have enrolled. Curriculum revisions for Year Three include adding threaded discussion between Phases One and Two, a scoring rubric for administrators to observe in 3–5 classrooms for levels of technology use, and TETN videoconferencing for some of the systems change presentations.
The National Staff Development Council selected the academy for a site visit in April 2002; a report of the projects visited will be disseminated in fall 2002. • Leader to Leader: Meeting State and Federal Accountability Requirements Two national meetings for the Leader to Leader project are scheduled: one in Dallas October 15–16, 2002; and another in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, November 19–20, 2002. Superintendents and state leaders from all over the United States will learn what Texas and North Carolina school leaders have accomplished in implementing increased accountability measures. In addition, participants will learn from each other’s experiences. Funded by the Fund for the Improvement of Education, U.S. Department of Education, the Leader to Leader project also will produce a book to include results from a survey of Texas and North Carolina superintendents on lessons learned in the accountability movement, and what is shared at the two national meetings. In official business, the board of directors approved the minutes of the January 28, 2002, meeting; the board terms of office; and the financial statement of the center.
Texas Leadership Center UPCOMING EVENTS Leadership Development Process Two-Day Training of Trainers TASA Headquarters Building • September 24 & 25, 2002 • December 9 & 10, 2002
D.E.C.I.D.E. Six Steps in Conflict Resolution (Training of Trainers) TASA Headquarters Building • October 1, 2002 • April 29, 2003
Building Vertical Teams (Training of Trainers) TASA Headquarters Building • November 11 & 12, 2002 • February 4 & 5, 2003
TASA CORPORATE PARTNERS
Presidentâ€™s Circle Apple Classwell Learning Group Platinum CompassLearning, Inc. PLATO Learning and NetSchools SHW Group, Inc. Gold ARAMARK/ARAMARK-SERVICEMASTER Microsoft Silver Scantron Corporation Palm, Inc. TIAA-CREF Bronze Academic Systems 3D/International, Inc. Brainchild Corporation Cole Marketing Gateway Computers Scientific Learning Sodexho School Services TCG Consulting, Inc.
Please note: This list is current at the date of publication: 9/9/2002
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Published on Apr 28, 2014