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ERIC Number: ED553641
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Sharing the Load Denver Public Schools' Differentiated Roles Pilot
Aspen Institute
To assist system administrators as they pursue their own teacher leadership initiatives, this profile from Leading Educators and the Aspen Institute details the steps Denver Public Schools (DPS) took to design and implement its Differentiated Roles pilot. Specifically, it examines the initiative's opportunities and challenges within the context of the blueprint for teacher leadership that were proposed in "Leading from The Front of the Classroom: A Roadmap to Teacher Leadership that Works". That blueprint provides a guide for implementing teacher leadership that advances student achievement, and it highlights key phases for system administrators to navigate as they leverage teacher leadership to address their highest priorities. To build teacher leadership that works, system administrators need to clarify the purpose of teacher leadership-what Aspen Institute calls designing for impact. Concurrently, Aspen advises leaders to know their context in order to address potential challenges and opportunities. To ensure deliberate, strategic leadership development, systems must then define the measures before implementation begins and monitor progress throughout implementation. Finally, systems need to build strategically by designing clear teacher leader roles and responsibilities. This includes effective selection and training processes for teacher leaders as well as strategies for supporting principals and principal managers throughout the changes of roles and responsibilities. Central to the blueprint is the idea that effective teacher leadership marries form with function in order to create transformative change in schools. Function, means that the teacher leadership initiatives are not isolated programs but are integral in advancing other pressing priorities. Form means that the teacher leader roles themselves are clearly defined with sufficient time, support, and resources to be effective. DPS' Differentiated Roles pilot provides an opportunity to evaluate the blueprint in action. After discussing the district's efforts to identify a function for teacher leadership that advanced its top priorities, the profile considers how DPS aligned its resources to support the pilot, its approach to defining measures and methods for monitoring performance, and its process for strategically building and implementing its teacher leader roles.[To access "Leading from The Front of the Classroom: A Roadmap to Teacher Leadership that Works" see ED553639. This paper was written with the writing and editing contributions of Walter Stern, Chong-Hao Fu, Maria Bourgeois, and Steph Bates.]
Aspen Institute. 1 Dupont Circle NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 410-820-5433; Tel: 202-736-5800; Fax: 202-467-0790; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers; Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: Joyce Foundation; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Aspen Institute, Education & Society Program; Leading Educators
Identifiers - Location: Colorado