Teacher professionalism from the superintendent’s perspective 

School system leaders can’t do everything, but they can do a lot to make teaching jobs more professional.   If you haven’t yet read journalist Dana Goldstein’s 2014 book The Teacher Wars, I [...]

November 27th, 2017|

The paradox of standardized testing

Standardized achievement tests are deeply flawed, and test-based accountability has been terribly damaging to public education. Even so, such tests have their uses. At the beginning of the school year, [...]

October 23rd, 2017|

Using Advanced Placement as a lever for social justice

Encouraging and allowing students to enroll in rigorous courses is a critical first step in providing more equity in high schools.  The former school superintendent of Hartford, Conn., Beth Schiavino-Narvaez, [...]

September 24th, 2017|

To lead for equity, learn how the system works

It’s not enough to be passionate about social justice. School leaders can’t make positive change unless they know how school systems really work. By Joshua P. Starr I recently attended [...]

August 29th, 2017|

Organizing for adaptive change management

If schools are going to adapt and improve in meaningful ways, then central office leaders must lead the way by being facilitators, funders, advisers, evaluators, and quality assurance agents. One [...]

May 1st, 2017|

Culture, tweets, and change

When I was transitioning from being superintendent in Stamford, Conn., to being superintendent in Montgomery County, Md., I knew that while the title was the same, the jobs were very [...]

March 27th, 2017|

The talent narrative

Leaders can change the narrative about teaching at-risk kids through their deliberate words and actions. To gauge a school system’s commitment to social justice and equity, all you have to [...]

February 27th, 2017|

Spending dollars to make a difference

Make a stronger case for greater resources by first doing a deep dive on how you’re using resources already on hand. School superintendents rarely get fired for moving too slowly [...]

January 23rd, 2017|

Content is king

Every school and district express their values through the content that students learn; leaders shape that content through policies, contracts, and regulations. Change efforts in school systems are often organized [...]

November 28th, 2016|

Values: Why do we believe what we believe? 

Leaders must have language that drives their actions; that begins with identifying their personal core values and those of their district. What do we believe is important, why do we [...]

October 25th, 2016|