Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Re-Read: Review of the Research--The Relationship between Principal Practice & Teacher Effectiveness 2012

Gina Ikemoto, Lori Taliaferro, & Erica Adams PLAYMAKERS:--How Great Principals Build and Lead Great Teams of Teachers

“Iconic coaches are remembered for their ability to take talented individuals and bring them together into a well-oiled team with a relentless drive to succeed” (pg. 5). The authors compare this thinking with a decade of supportive research on what is needed to be an effective school principal. Here some of the highlights of the research and their conversation.

·       School leadership accounts for approximately 25% of the impact of student achievement. (Marzano, 2005, Louis, Leithwood, Wahlstrom & Anderson, 2010)

·       Schools with strong leaders were seven times more likely to substantially improve achievement in math, and four times as more likely to substantially improve achievement in reading than schools with weak leadership. (Bryk, 2010)

·       School improvement of low performing schools does not occur without strong leadership. (Bryk et al., 2010, Louis et al., 2010)

·       Emerging research suggest that principals’ impact on student achievement is largely indirect, through their impact on teacher effectiveness. (Branch et al., 2012; Louis et al., 2010; Supovitz et al., 2010)

·       Schools leadership impacts student achievement by strengthening a school’s professional learning community, where teachers work together to collaborate teaching and learning. (Louis et al., 2010)

Their playbook includes three types of ‘plays’ that principal make to enhance teaching.
  1. Developing Teachers: “Highly-effective principals work explicitly to improve instruction in the classroom in the form of conducting observations and giving feedback, leading professional development sessions, leading data-driven instructional teams, and insisting on high expectations for all students” (pg. 11)
  2. Managing Talent: “Highly-effective principals worked hard to hire effective teachers and match staff with strengths and school needs, and hold teachers accountable” (pg. 18).
  3. Creating a Great Place to Work: “Successful principals made sure teachers knew they were valued and fostered a strong community among colleagues. They delegated leadership and responsibility, and in doing so, gave teachers ownership over school decisions and initiatives (pg. 26). 

The research was collected and the list was made to support policymakers in making informed decisions. Although I used it as a reminder of the specific, purposeful, and responsible actions needed to facilitate success and to close the achievement gap for all of our students. 

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