Educational Leadership

portrait-of-a-group-of-asian-elementary-school-children-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
portrait of a group of asian elementary school children
Photo by imtmphoto on Adobe Stock

Why Do Singapore Students Outperform the Rest of the World?

Research reveals that the most significant influence on student academic achievement is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. Singapore has the highest performing children in the world. Is it possible they have the best teachers? What is Singapore doing dramatically different that the U.S. can emulate? Read More ›
drawing-tools-lying-over-blueprint-paper-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
Drawing tools lying over blueprint paper
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Preparing to Reopen Schools

The American Enterprise Institute just released its Blueprint for Back to School report, recommending that state and federal leaders be prepared for another atypical school year by offering regulatory flexibility regarding seat time, graduation requirements, and procurement rules to permit schools to remain operational in unprecedented circumstances. Read More ›
Small Brave Goldfish With Shark Fin Costume Leading Others Through Stormy Seas - Leadership Concept
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Will Education Leadership Adapt?

The Coronavirus has caused great uncertainty and change — especially in schools.  It has also given us an opportunity to pause and think about how we can improve education in America. Ryan Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of Qualtrics, wrote in a recent Forbes article, “Data shows that workers are looking to their own employers and managers to lead even more than they are looking to governments and other organizations.” Unfortunately, one of key features of today’s public education system is a lack of effective leadership that can help us navigate these stormy waters. ACTE program chair Don Nielsen explains that we have an ineffective system of training, hiring, and promoting leaders within public education.  The core of the problem is Read More ›

Woman walking over the edge of the cliff on seaside without looking
Woman walking off of a cliff with the eyes covered
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Progressivism Fails to Clear the Gap

A recent report, The Secret Shame, shows the deleterious effects of progressive policies on education outcomes of minorities. The report concludes that the top 12 progressive cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Detroit have larger educational achievement gaps between whites and minorities than the top 12 conservative cities, such as Fort Worth, Anaheim, Virginia Beach, and Oklahoma City. Specifically, “progressive cities, on average, have achievement gaps in math and reading that are 15 and 13 percentage points higher than in conservative cities.” To determine the progressive and conservative cities, the report relied on independent political scientists Chris Tausanovitch and Christopher Warshaw who “pooled data from seven large surveys of U.S. public opinion to rank the nation’s biggest Read More ›

Lonely chair at the empty room
Lonely chair in the spot of light on black background at empty room
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Innovative Leadership: An Emptiness In Public Education

One of the largest cities in the country once applied corporate solutions to the public education problems. The time frame was 2003-2017, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg worked with Joel Klein, Chancellor of New York City Public Schools, in bringing about a training academy for school principals, a concept we at ACTE have been promoting. The NYC Leadership Academy was in search of a change agent, an educational entrepreneur who thinks of doing school differently—a leader who is not satisfied with the status quo. With a limited supply of innovative leaders in public education, Bloomberg invited Jack Welch, former GE executive, to chair the Academy. Welch linked educational leadership to that of the corporate world: “We used to say in the Read More ›

man with binoculars looking at Success banner on a mountain top
person with binoculars looking at the path to reach a Success banner on top of a mountain
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Visualize Becoming a Visionary

Bravo to Ben Rodriguez, the new principal of Buckeye Union High School in Buckeye Arizona. He recognizes that you “become the visionary as the principal.” These words echo what Don Nielsen, program chair to the American Center for Transforming Education, writes in his book, Every School, “A visionary principal always leads an effective school.”   However, too often schools are not left in the hands of visionaries, but with managers. Why is this? The answer is two-fold. The present system advances education leaders not on proven leadership , but upon who wants to be an education administrator. As Nielsen argues, “Leadership development in public education is a process-driven system, not a competency-driven system. Further, the quality of leadership training provided Read More ›

math problems
math problems on graph paper with pencil
Licensed from Adobe Stock

What is Missing in the Equation of “Reinventing” Schools?

“Change occurs in schools, often for the better, but it’s almost always gradual and incomplete.” So concludes Chester E. Finn, Jr., Senior Fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in a recent essay on the difficulties of “reinventing” schools. Finn focuses on “break the mold” schools of the “America 2000” plan of the late President George H.W. Bush. Finn brings to light the fact that the “break the mold” schools concentrated solely on creating brand new schools while other programs focused entirely on transforming existing schools. He notes the deficiency of this approach: “In the former situation, ‘it ain’t broke,’ so why change it? In the latter situation, it’s tantamount to taking an education sow’s ear and striving to turn Read More ›

Mom and daughter hands, outdoors
Mom and daughter hands, outdoors
Licensed from Adobe Stock

We Need Leaders and Parental Choice

Idaho Ed News recently published an article focusing on charter schools and leadership, highlighting two separate charter public schools’ experiences.  Devin Bodkin notes that “starting next year, Bingham Academy and Blackfoot Charter Community Learning Center will no longer share a director or ‘head administrator.’ The schools will instead operate under separate leadership according to emails between the schools’ board chairs and the commission.” Bodkin states, “Blackfoot declared an “area of need” for the middle school principal position.” The hiring of the new principal, “coincides with a new law that relaxes hiring requirements for charter school administrators. Typically, a principal must hold a master’s degree. But Senate Bill 1058 allows Idaho’s charter schools to permanently bypass the normal hiring requirements for Read More ›

shutterstock_257412499

New Version of Every School

An all-new version of Don Nielsen’s Every School, One Citizen’s Guide for Transforming Education can now be purchased on Amazon here! In this updated version of his book, Nielsen, Senior Fellow and Program Chair of Discovery Institute’s American Center for Transforming Education (ACTE), writes about the urgent need to transform our education system. Updating every chapter with new information, the book also adds a new chapter that provides a “game plan” for a state to implement the changes he advocates. Nielsen’s inspiration for the original version of the book, published by Discovery Institute in 2014, was that it would provide a unique and distinctive approach to education reform—dealing with  the overall “system” of public education rather than subjects like curriculum, Read More ›