Support for transforming learning and instruction

Hiring Principals…There’s No Guarantee

I was excited to see Brandon Palmer’s blog about hiring principals and his reminder that the processes we use matter.  When I was a school district superintendent, hiring principals was one of my most important responsibilities.  It was also one of my most difficult tasks.  I think Palmer’s assertion that the hiring practices for principals have not changed much over the years while the responsibilities of principals are ever-evolving is pretty darn accurate.  Palmer further points out that hiring practices have rarely been the focus of related research.  The article promises some tips for making hiring practices better, and I read the blog eagerly awaiting a few good tips.  However, when I got to the “list” of pointers, I saw that I had actually implemented every single one of them.  It was disappointing to me because I realized you can update your hiring practices, put in place these suggestions to improve your principal hiring practices…and still, there is no guarantee you’ll get a good principal.  Unfortunately, I used the same process as suggested in the article to hire both a really good principal and one that turned out to be really not good.  Even though there’s no foolproof method of hiring, Palmer’s suggestions are a good start to changing principal hiring practices if you haven’t updated them to account for the changing role principals are required to play.

Are you focused on the right stuff?

I've been extremely remiss about posting comments.  I am making a new year's resolution before the new be better about writing and keeping up.  I'm starting with a quick discussion of a Scott Cochrane blog about keeping  your "eye on the … [Continue reading]

Is your job stimulating?

My husband recently took a new job because he was ready for a new challenge. When I read this blog by Liz Ryan entitled "Seven Signs You're Too Smart for Your Job," it got me thinking.  It is pretty easy to settle into a work rut because a job is … [Continue reading]

Sometimes there are cool things on Facebook!

I go a little crazy reading all the crazy things on my Facebook feed some days.  But occasionally I find something really moving, very wise, or quite funny...not crazy at all.  A couple of days ago, I saw this John Green quote posted by a high school … [Continue reading]

Brown v. Board–what has changed?

Well, a lot has changed since the Supreme Court reversed an earlier decision and said "separate is inherently unequal."  Certainly we've made great strides as a nation toward equality in education, but a great deal of work remains to be done.  Here … [Continue reading]

The CCSS Circus

Not long ago I wrote that I don't always agree with Michelle Rhee.  Well, sometimes I soooo agree with her.  Here's an example in her tweet: Michelle Rhee ‏@MichelleRhee  8m We must not bury a sensible idea (#CommonCore) in hysterical claims & … [Continue reading]

Parents do matter….right?

I remember interviewing for a superintendent's job.  We were at the public forum where I was asked a question about parental involvement.  I said something to the effect of "we certainly welcome parents' involvement in the education of their … [Continue reading]

When it becomes all about adults…

I don't always agree with Michelle Rhee.  That's probably not too startling.  However, in this blog post, Rhee makes some excellent points about how adults have taken the focus away from kids when it comes education reform.  She points out that … [Continue reading]

Learning While Teaching

I am taking on a new challenge.  I'm teaching an on-line graduate course in educational leadership.  I don't mind telling you, it has indeed been a challenge.  I'll also tell you I'm not very good at it yet, so I'm actually taking an on-line class to … [Continue reading]

Advice for Parents of Athletes

As a former coach, wife of a coach, daughter and daughter-in-law of coaches, and mother of a coach, we have plenty of crazy parent stories to share.  It seems like the "encounters" coaches have with angry parents get more frequent.  That might be a … [Continue reading]