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ERIC Number: EJ1082777
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
Navigation Aids: 9 Shifts in Practice Smooth the Transition from School to Central Office
Van Soelen, Thomas M.; Harden, Debra
Journal of Staff Development, v36 n5 p22-25, 38 Oct 2015
No longer is the central office a place for educators' careers to meet a dead end. Nor can it be where ineffective leaders are transferred to lessen impact. It cannot be "the blob," as coined by William Bennett (Walker, 1987). The Wallace Foundation notes that the central office has never been more important for system and individual school improvement (Honig, Copland, Rainey, Lorton, & Newton, 2010). Marzano, Waters, & McNulty (2005) articulated 21 responsibilities of school-level leadership, then turned their attention to the superintendency. This meta-analysis (Waters & Marzano, 2006) resulted in four major findings: (1) District-level leadership matters; (2) Effective superintendents focus their efforts on creating goal-oriented districts; (3) Superintendent tenure is positively correlated with student achievement; and (4) Effective superintendents may provide principals with "defined autonomy"--that is, setting nonnegotiable goals for learning and instruction yet allowing schools to decide how to reach those goals. This research has informed superintendent preparation programs and evaluation processes for almost a decade. According to the Education Commission of the States, 45 states have superintendent preparation programs offered by universities, associations, or a combination of the two (Education Commission of the States, 2015). In 2008, the Georgia State Superintendents Association decided to take on the issue of district office leader quality. Having successfully implemented the Superintendent Professional Development Program for 18 years already, the association had both the credibility and experience to organize the effort. In fact, the association's own data argued for the program's need. This article outlines the 9 shifts in practice that need to take place to make a successful transition, using vignettes that describe real experiences by Georgia educators. Some of these stories demonstrate a successful transition; others highlight an ongoing challenge.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A