Friday, April 25, 2014

Cutting Through the Hype: Principals as Instructional Leaders | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Cutting Through the Hype: Principals as Instructional Leaders | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:



Cutting Through the Hype: Principals as Instructional Leaders


Jane David and I wrote a book called Cutting through the Hype: (Harvard Education Press, 2010). This is one chapter on principals. I have updated some references and language.
Effective manager? Savvy politician? Heroic leader? School CEO? Reformers press for principals who can not only play these roles but also raise test scores and do so quickly. These days principals can earn thousands of dollars inbonuses for boosting student achievement.
Principals are expected to maintain order, to be shrewd managers who squeeze a dollar out of every dime spent on the school, and astute politicians who can steer parents, teachers, and students in the same direction year after year. They are also expected to ensure that district curriculum standards are being taught, as well as lead instructional improvement that will translate into test score gains.
Being a principal is a tall order. As one New York City small high school principal put it: “You’re a teacher, you’re Judge Judy, you’re a mother, you’re a father, you’re a pastor, you’re a therapist, you’re a nurse, you’re a social worker.” She took a breath and continued: “You’re a curriculum planner, you’re a data gatherer, you’re a budget scheduler, you’re a vision spreader.” Yet, at the end of the day, the pressures and rewards are for raising test scores and graduation rates, today’s measure of instructional leadership.
Where did the idea of instructional leadership originate?

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