VISMT-HE Archives

September 1996


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
David Gibson <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 23 Sep 1996 21:37:17 -0400
TEXT/PLAIN (117 lines)
FYI...This looked highly relevant to readers interested in educational reform at 
all levels...

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 17:01:21 -0400

From: [log in to unmask] (Kirk Winters)
To: Multiple recipients of list <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Leader's Role in Sustaining School Reform

     WHAT IS THE SCHOOL LEADER'S ROLE in sustaining school reform? 
     And what "habits of mind & heart" help school leaders guide
     successful school change over time?  

     These questions (& others) are answered by dozens of
     successful education leaders from across the country in "The
     Role of Leadership in Sustaining School Reform: Voices From
     the Field" (July 1996).  The full text of the report is
     available in our Online Library at:

     BELOW ARE EXCERPTS from the report.  The first excerpt looks
     at "key dimensions of leadership for sustaining reform."  Two
     others present a few of the many direct quotes from school
     leaders.  The final excerpt is a list of "ideas for assessing
     success in...creating a school culture that could sustain
     change after the leader leaves & building meaningful school

     NOTE:  This report is the culmination of a project directed by
     our 1994-95 principal-in-residence, Adel Nadeau.  It was
     written by Mary Leighton.  Please note that opinions in the
     report don't necessarily reflect positions or policies of the
     U.S. Department of Education.

 Excerpts from "The Role of Leadership in Sustaining 
 School Reform: Voices From the Field" (July 1996)

Key Dimensions of Leadership for Sustaining Reform
identify key dimensions of leadership for sustaining reform.  Their
responses fall into five general categories: 

  *  Partnership and voice.  Effective reform leaders cultivate a
     broad definition of community and consider the contribution
     that every member can make to helping children meet
     challenging standards.  They hear the voices of many
     stakeholders -- families, businesses, and other groups and
     institutions.  Their ability to develop plans that reflect the
     legitimate influence of others draws in many authentic
     partners, whose personal convictions as well as community
     spirit energize participation.  They look for evidence of
     widespread participation in important aspects of change. 
     Establishing partnerships and listening to a chorus of voices
     are leadership skills that permeate many aspects of reform.

  *  Vision and values.  Effective reform leaders are dependable
     and committed "keepers of the dream" of student success
     generated by faculties, families, and the community.  They
     know that realizing the dream hinges in part on applying
     certain agreed-upon values to decision making.  They know that
     the dream is continuously evolving and that it belongs to
     everyone.  In different ways they ask themselves daily: does
     this decision help realize the dream?

  *  Knowledge and daring.  Effective reform leaders develop
     relevant information bases and cultivate human resources to
     minimize failure while encouraging risk taking.  They study,
     count, send staff to workshops, bring in experts and mentors,
     consult their own insight and experience, and in a hundred
     other ways increase capacity to make good decisions.  Then
     they step into the unknown and encourage staff to do likewise. 
     Their risks are carefully calculated to push the boundaries of
     what is known and commonly done without threatening long-term

  *  Savvy and persistence.  Effective reform leaders know how the
     system works and they can take a lot of flak (if they must). 
     They know how to interact with the central office, the local
     community, and others outside the school.  They know how
     certain school structures nurture or discourage attitudes and
     behavior.  They can put up with resistance inside or outside
     the building, but they eventually find ways to win
     cooperation.  They are good managers.  They monitor their
     understanding of the nature and operations of systems, and
     they maintain a network of supporters to lean on in times of
     particular stress.

  *  Personal qualities.  Effective reform leaders put to good use
     an array of personal qualities that many feel may be innate,
     but are often underutilized.  A well-developed sense of humor
     was often mentioned as a priceless asset.  Leaders use
     language that signals their understanding of human variation
     and the ways their own gifts can be used well.

     To subscribe to (or unsubscribe from) EDInfo, address an 
     email message to:  [log in to unmask]   Then write either
     SUBSCRIBE EDINFO John Doe in the message, or UNSUBSCRIBE 
     EDINFO (if you have a signature block, please turn it off).  
     Then send the message.               
            Kirk Winters
            Office of the Under Secretary
            U.S. Department of Education
            [log in to unmask]

Forwarded by:

wWw - wWw - wWw - wWw - wWw - wWw - wWw - wWw - wWw - wWw 
David Gibson <[log in to unmask]>  
VISMT Professional Development Specialist (802) 244-8768
Montpelier Schools Director of Curriculum (802) 223-6366
WEB Project Director (802) 229-4660