The Commissioner’s Leadership Academy
The relationship between quality school leadership and student achievement is strong. Principals and assistant principals who can effectively lead teachers can lead schools to high effectiveness.
The Commissioner’s Leadership Academy, which as been generously funded by State Farm for three years, is a year long, job embedded, research based program for school principal development. The initiative has three projected outcomes:
1. Deepen school leaders’ knowledge and skill in identifying high quality instruction along with the professional learning necessary to support teachers’ own learning.
2. Deepen school leaders’ skills in observation, analysis and feedback through on-site support, coaching, and modeling.
3. Develop school leaders’ skills in providing targeted feedback for teacher growth.
The Academy’s work is grounded in the Center for Educational Leadership’s theory of action: Student learning will not improve until the quality of teaching improves, and the quality of teaching will not improve until school leaders understand what constitutes high quality instruction and the role they play in improving teacher practice.
Selected school leaders participate in three institutes and five “learning walks” with a regional cohort to develop and practice observational skills and leadership and coaching skills. Now, several participants have been trained to conduct “learning walks” designed to observe and inspire quality instruction. These leaders are now prepared to expand the impact on the program throughout their schools and districts.