Monday, November 4, 2013

The Missing Link

As many of you know KASB has been partnering with McREL and the Educational Service Centers this past year.  It has been a productive relationship that has benefited many Kansas school districts and of course students.  It has been amazing to watch the McREL Teacher/Leader Evaluation System become so widely adopted.  The Educational Service Centers are noticing an increased demand for McREL Power Walkthroughs as well as Classroom Instruction That Works.  We believe an understanding of the power of the “system approach” has had a major impact on participation.  It just makes sense to adopt a model that is researched based and is proven to help student outcomes.

The power comes from a systems approach when districts develop common leadership and instructional vocabulary, resulting in better communication.  This common instructional and leadership vocabulary makes it possible to clarify expectations, and provide aligned support.  When systems have clarified expectations, aligned supports to those expectations, this allows leaders within the system to focus on reducing the variability often found with instruction from classroom to classroom, and between schools within the system.  In the end if we can reduce the variability among classrooms and schools we will see our systems improve to the benefit of our students.  

Equipping educational leaders to reduce the variability in their systems is no small feat.  As districts are starting to take the systems approach we are seeing a renewed demand for Balanced Leadership training.  The Balanced Leadership training that we offer focuses on the McREL research around the Balanced Leadership Framework.  This training is designed to equip educational leaders with the art and science of leadership that ultimately will help them improve their organizations.  Understanding the Balanced Leadership Framework should be at the core to aligning your system.  We are wrapping up a session at Smoky Hill this month but we are getting ready to start new sessions in Shawnee Mission and at Greenbush South.  We have also just started a small, but engaged group here at KASB in October.  

Leadership impacts everything we do in education and as the research shows, Leadership Matters!