Each year, Education Week identifies fifteen district-level education leaders who make a difference for students, staff and stakeholders. In this 7-part blog series, you will learn the proven strategies that make them so successful.
Real-World Relevance – Many comprehensive high schools understand the new three R’s – including the need for rigor and the importance of relationships. The third “R” relevance, is the most difficult to implement. Involve business and industry partners to provide relevance.
Expertise, Not Money – Instead of approaching partners to ask for money, ask them to share their expertise and human capital. The business community is eagerly waiting for school districts to approach them.
High Expectations – Don’t underestimate your students. You can expect them to consistently exceed the expectations of the district’s business partners.
Communicate Often – You cannot overestimate the value and importance of communication. The bigger your operation is, the more challenging communication becomes. It’s essential that people understand all the pieces along the way and that you keep them in the loop.
Involve Everyone – The leader cannot dictate from the top down. The leader has to have the vision – the big picture – and engage people in that. It takes buy-in and cooperation. It takes everyone to make that vision successful.
Share the Successes – Find a lot of ways to tell the story of the process as it’s unfolding. Use the stories of success to help other people to develop.
Don’t Set Limits – Give every student the opportunity to become something wonderful. Everybody has that potential.
Set Goals; Use Data – Examine transcripts of students who either achieved or did not; and then walk back through the system to examine what decisions were made and at what grade level. Ask what you could have done differently.
Be Humble – Humility and learning are so compatible. You have to learn from your experience. Surround yourself with people who are better and smarter than you are.