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July 24, 2009


High Ed and K-12… can we share even more?

by Chris Lindholm

I embarked on a new professional development journey today volunteering my time to give evaluative feedback to graduate students working towards a k-12 principals license.   After spending several hours pouring through footage of principal candidates in simulated experiences and typing up notes for the candidates to work through with a university faculty member, I was here to share, debate, and come to consensus on the score each student would receive.  The team was made up of 5 highly educated and passionate individuals who had each served as a teacher and principal and some who had served as a superintendent.  Two members of the team were university faculty members.  What a great experience!!

Solid leadership training for leaders in public education is a significant black hole that must be addressed if student achievement is to improve.  Most school districts train leaders by throwing them the keys and wishing them good luck…  This is mostly due to not making it a priority that school boards and state legislators dedicate resources to – afterall, find me a school principal ot teacher leader that feels s/he has free time to participate in regular reflective sessions on leadership!!  So how can this kind of leadership training - training that includes video footage, reflective writing, reflective coaching, and high stakes scoring – be embedded into the culture of a school district learning community?  Where can the resources be found to make training teacher leaders and administrative leaders a priority?  If universities want students (and the tuition that they pay) and school districts want real, authentic training for their leaders, might there be a win-win in some kind of real partnership that delivers to both organizations?  If districts pay for the graduate level teaching that aligns specifically with district goals – and follow up with performance expectations as a result – could universities provide the expertise in training that I participated in today?  Are there partnership models out there to replicate?

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1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Joyce Mohlin
    Jul 24 2009

    Wouldn’t that be both amazing and inspiring to have this type of partnership between a university and our district!?!? Wow. I love the concept. I have heard of very few districts that offer finacial assistance for their teachers to further education. However, this type of partnership could be amazing!! Love it!


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