Two new books, Leadership Development for Educators (Rowman and Littlefield, 2009) by Rubenstein, Miles and Bassi of Colorado, and Teaching As Leadership (Jossey Bass, 2010) by Steven Farr of Teach for America open up a new avenue for improving the PreK-12 schools of the United States. These books in their own unique ways call on our educational establishment to train teachers in leadership skills.
Teach for America has been teaching leadership development to its corps members for twenty years. The Center for Inspired Teaching in Washington, DC, part of the new alternative certification movement designed to address filling the upcoming 1,000,000 openings in education we can expect over the next five years, provides leadership development training for its teachers. The Auerback Central Jewish Agency for Education and its newly merged partner, the Jewish Outreach Project in Philadelphia has created an entire collection of book on leadership training for educators to support its work.
In Charter Schools teachers are being trained in leadership. In religious schools teachers are being trained in leadership. In private secular schools, teachers are being trained in leadership. Today such training is provided to, and even required for, librarians.
However, leadership training is not provided to public school teachers in the U.S. in their teacher preparation programs, in their teacher certification programs, nor in the teacher re-certification programs. One of the authors of Leadership Development for Educators, and a person who would be deeply involved in this pilot program, Mike Miles, does provide leadership training to some of his teachers where he serves as Superintendent of the Harrison School District. Since beginning this leadership development training in his school district for a sample of his teachers, the school district has shown some of the highest gains in student outcomes (test scores) in the State of Colorado.
As shown in both Leadership Development for Educators and Teaching As Leadership, Teacher leadership has its own context which must be understood in order to provide effective leadership development training to teachers. The public K-12 school system is a unique environment, with many stakeholders, and a culture of its own. This culture varies greatly among different urban, rural and suburban schools, and across different geographical areas.
While there is talk of “teacher leadership” and even a book by that name by Charlotte Danielson (ASCD, 2008), usually when this phrase is used it is meant to focus on “instructional leadership” or “curriculum development leadership.”
Teacher leadership is one of the four key aspects of the Race To The Top, and is an important part of the STEM program, but in these efforts teacher leadership again focuses primarily on instructional leadership. We find that virtually no where in the entire PreK-12 public school system are the teachers, the greatest asset of the educational system, trained in leadership development.
Yet, there has never been one recognized study of how improving the leadership skills of teachers can systematically improve student outcomes. This proposed pilot study would fill that gap with rigorous social science research and program evaluation, detailed and public curriculum development, and help 10,000 teachers reach competence in a critical teaching component, leadership development.
That is the current context in which this proposal has been created. Our strategy, to train teachers throughout the United States to be better leaders builds on our 20 years of work both in public school systems and in being authors and leaders in the leadership development movement embraced by business and many educational fields, including the field of library science. Now it is time to give teachers those skills they have been lacking in the classroom, in their schools, and in their communities – leadership skills.
Leadership Development for Educators (Rowman and Littlefield, November, 2009) written by Rubenstein, Miles and Bassi is a book that creates an entirely new platform for the training of teachers in public schools. Teachers who sign up for Teach for America are taught leadership skills. Teachers in PreK-12 public schools are not. As G. Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution stated on January 20, 2010, “Where is the body of evidence that improving the leadership skills of teachers will improve student outcomes?” His question is not meant or designed to denigrate the idea of training teachers in leadership development, which he states is, in his opinion, a good idea. It is a statement that our educational system has overlooked how to train teachers and how to evaluate teachers in key aspects of leadership development.
Educational leaders such as Senator Michael Bennet gives speeches calling for improving teacher leadership. Yet, there is not one program in the United States that teaches leadership theory, leadership best practices, teaches teachers how to begin to identify themselves as leaders, and teaches them how to improve as leaders. This pilot program, offered by the nonprofit organization, THE LEEEGH, INC., a Colorado nonprofit organization, in conjunction with key partners, in six school districts across America, will fill this gap.
This book and the courses to be created based on this book vividly point out the obvious fact that teachers are leaders in their own lives, in the classroom, in the eyes of their students, and the parents of their students. The book clearly makes the point that in many schools, teachers are also leaders in their own schools.
On January 27th, when State of Colorado Education Commisioner Dwight Jones talked about “educational leadership,” or “school leaders” or “school leadership,” he basically was talking only on principals and assistant principals, school board members, superintendents and assistant superintendents, and the “upper echelon” of the educational establishment. Upon questioning by the audience, Commissioner Jones stated that he did believe that teachers were leaders and had worked with co-author Mike Miles to create the leadership courses for teachers in the Colorado Springs area discussed earlier in this proposal. Should this pilot program move forward, we would reach out to Commissioner Dwight Jones to be on our Advisory Board and be very active in this endeavor.
Teachers are leaders and they deserve, and more importantly, they need leadership development training.
The authors of Leadership Development for Educators believe it is long past time to give teachers the training they need in leadership skills, leadership theory, and leadership practice, since teachers are leaders. Teachers are struggling and our public PreK-12 schools are struggling. They are considered hierarchical and top down in their management and leadership. Teachers are often viewed as mere functionaries who are supposed to teach a certain item on a certain day because a certain test is right around the corner.
Virtually everyone across the political and educational spectrum agrees that the time has come to try something very new in our schools. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in October, 2009 called for a “revolution” in the way teachers are trained. We agree.
We believe our direct approach through our book and the leadership development courses to be developed as part of this Pilot Program, is a key element in improving student test scores, improving the ability of teachers to teach, improving the lives of teachers, and improving our public schools. Some leadership courses have already been taught to teachers by one of our co-authors, Mike Miles, Superintendent of the Harrison School District in Colorado. These courses have contributed to recent positive results in the Harrison School District where student achievement is up, teacher retention is up, teacher satisfaction is up, teacher absenteeism is down, and the schools as a whole are improving.
Our book and the Pilot Program we envision would not only have 12 hours of leadership development training for each teacher in the selected school districts who elects to take these courses, it would also include detailed leadership development exercises that teachers would employ day in and day out. Further, as the book calls for, the Pilot Program would develop and encourage numerous ways that teachers would be able to help other teachers become better leaders. Each one of these vital components to improving the leadership skills of the PreK-12 teachers should be an integral part of that “revolution” in teacher training and preparation called for by Secretary Duncan.
At the request of Bennie Milliner, a former Denver Public School District School Board Member, who is on the Staff of Senator Michael Bennet, himself, a former School Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, we have prepared a Pilot Program proposal to the U.S. Department of Education to create a six school district Pilot Program on training teachers in leadership. This program will be designed, implemented, and evaluated by people who have worked in America’s public schools for over 30 years, have worked at the National Academy of Sciences, the American Institutes For Research in the Behavioral Sciences, and have developed leadership development courses using numerous training platforms.
The Pilot Program would be bold, at a time when we need innovation and bold initiatives in our public schools. It would improve the most important asset of our schools, our teachers. It has a great chance for success, and little downside risk of failure. The Pilot Program would create many positive spin-off leadership development courses, raise the awareness of principals that teachers should be treated and recognized as leaders, and would go far to help build the capacity of school districts all over the country to train their own teachers in leadership development.
Proposed Timing and Basic Framesork for The Pilot Program
The Pilot Program would be put in place for the school year, 2010-2011. During the Pilot Program whenever a leadership training course is completed and tested, it will be released to the public. The electronic version of the course would be made available for any teacher to take on low cost terms to be determined during the Pilot Program. The syllabi and all curricula documents for the classroom courses on leadership development would be made available to the public immediately upon their being completed and tested. This would allow others, including many retired or current PreK-12 teachers, to learn these materials and be able to teach courses in leadership development for teachers right away.
At this stage, we are not envisioning the Pilot Program training more instructors than those necessary for the delivery of the leadership development training courses called for under the Pilot Program. Training additional instructors could be added to the Pilot Program. All training content used to train the instructors for the Pilot Program will be in the public domain. Where special software is used to create the e-learning versions of the course, we will work to ensure that a license for public use of this software, in exchange for reasonable fees on a per use basis, or a fixed cost basis, becomes available to all teachers who want to take the course, and all school districts who encourage their teachers to take these courses.
The basic framework of the Pilot Program has four basic parts. The first part is the design and creation of leadership development courses themselves. The second is a marketing/awareness set of activities that will encourage teachers to become aware of the courses and to enroll and complete the twelve hours of leadership education provided by the Pilot Program. The third part is the delivery of the leadership development training courses to teachers who voluntarily choose to enroll in these courses in six school districts. These courses will be taught by instructors trained in the Pilot Program. The fourth part of the Pilot Program will be the evaluation of the impacts of the training and the evaluation of the processes used in developing and implementing the training.
The Design of the Pilot Program
The Pilot Program would have an Advisory Board of approximately 12 members who would serve without pay, but would have their expenses paid. Some remuneration, including possibly some stipends for performing duties like speaking engagements, making appearances, or writing articles/reports on behalf of the Pilot Program that are above and beyond the normal duties of an Advisory Board, could be compensated activities. These members would be selected due to their experience and excellent reputation in education, leadership development training, and in government programming.
The Advisory Board would be diverse, and would include at least one student representative. Active and retired PreK-12 teachers would also have representation on this board, as would representatives from numerous educational associations, the business community, school boards, teacher unions, and school superintendents. This Advisory Board would meet both in person and meet using the latest video and information technology. The Advisory Board would help guide the design the Pilot Program, insure proper selection of school districts to reflect a representative and diverse set of school districts, help guide the implementation, the public awareness activities, and the evaluation of this Pilot Program. It would not have voting power to direct the Pilot Program, but it is certainly anticipated by the designers of this Pilot Program that the managers of the Pilot Program will welcome their suggestions and follow their sound advice.
The Advisory Board would help form a strong cadre of people who could help carry the mantle of teaching leadership development to PreK-12 teachers throughout the nation after the conclusion of the Pilot Program. The Advisory Board could reasonably be expected to be champions who could help society see the need to focus resources on this area for the long-term.
Specifically, key aspects of the Pilot Program would include:
- Six School Districts will be selected for participation.
The criteria for selection of the School Districts will be as follows, subject to future modification.
- Two rural, two urban, and two suburban school districts.
- Required full and enthusiastic support for the Pilot Program in each School District selected for participation of the following people/groups:
- School Superintendent
- Teachers’ Union
- School Board
- Other Key Stakeholders
- The capability of the School District to implement the program and send teachers to the leadership development training sessions either taught via classroom on selected dates in their school district or delivered electronically via an e-learning platform.
- Geographic distribution of school districts will be essential.
- Lower performing school districts will be given preference in the selection process.
For purposes of budgeting, we have selected six school districts that may fit all of these criteria. We have not contacted any school district to date to inquire of their interest. The six school districts selected as possible, preliminary candidates for the Pilot Program include:
Urban: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Denver, Colorado
Surburban: Prince George’s County, Maryland and Merced City Elementary School District, California
Rural: Venus Independent School District, Texas and Okeechobee County Schools, Florida
- A second key element of the Pilot Program would be that every teacher in PreK-12 schools in that district will be eligible to take the four three-hour leadership courses that we develop, subject to funding availability. Participation will be on a voluntary basis. Pre- and post-course assessment information provided by each teacher would not be reported individually to the schools or school districts, but school-wide pre-and post-course assessment data would be used in the evaluation and be publicly available.
- Marketing and public awareness campaigns will be critical to the success of the Pilot Program. In three of the school districts, we will design a “light” marketing approach with a limited budget to promote teachers taking the course. In the other three school districts, we will design and implement a more comprehensive marketing and awareness effort. We will carefully evaluate the impact of each level of marketing so that a cost-effective marketing/awareness effort can be implemented on a national scale and funds are not overspent on marketing. We expect to secure a significant amount of “earned media” and journalistic interest in these programs since they will be so new to the educational system of the United States.
- In addition to the development and delivery of the three four-hour leadership development courses, we will establish the following as key ingredients in the Pilot Program:
- Robust website – with leadership development exercises, articles, research findings, etc.
- Blog – so that teachers can communicate with other teachers regarding what works and what does not work in leadership by teachers in schools
- A “linked-in” type group for communication
- Regular meetings between the managers of the Pilot Program with teachers, principals, school administrators, students, parents, and other key stakeholders in each school district
- A national public awareness campaign to let teachers and others in education know that this effort is being tested in 2010-2011 with the intention that it be rolled out nationally in 2011-2012 and beyond.
- Continuous refinement and improvement in the course material and website.
Proposed Evaluation Criteria for the Pilot Program
The Pilot Program would be evaluated on numerous dimensions. These dimensions would be consistent with, but not limited to, the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 (see Appendix A, the explanation of Kirkpatrick Levels of Evaluation from the Encyclopedia of Education at the end of this Pilot Program design).
The first set of dimensions upon which the Pilot Program would be evaluated will include enrollment data and additional evaluative criteria such as:
- Number/percentage of teachers who took the leadership courses
- Numbers of students receiving instruction from teachers who have taken leadership development courses in the Pilot Program.
- Number of teachers who passed the post course-assessment or achieved a significant improvement in their knowledge and understanding of the content of the training .
- Level of satisfaction as reported by teachers in the courses (a quality measure)
- Level of and types of positive impact on teachers who take the courses as reported by these teachers. These self-reported impact measures would include a listing, and discussion by teachers, of the behavioral changes the teachers participating in the program made in the classroom, in their schools, in their lives, and in their communities that they attribute to the program, the readings, the exercises, and working with other teachers to become better leaders that they believe have helped them to be a better leader, more effective teacher in the classroom, and more effective participant in the overall improvement of their school, and their school district.
The second dimension of evaluation would examine the “marketing” or “awareness” effort/incentives that were employed to encourage teachers to take these courses. This part of the evaluation would assist policy makers, program developers and school districts that want to encourage their teachers to take leadership courses. It would help them in determining what marketing/awareness approaches and incentives resonated with teachers and got them teachers to enroll and complete the 12 hours of leadership training courses offered by the Pilot Program. In addition, the marketing/awareness evaluation would identify the barriers that got in the way of teachers taking and completing the leadership development courses during the 2010-2011 school year Pilot Program and identify ways to eliminate or remove these barriers to participation.
The third dimension, and possibly the most important dimension of the evaluation of the Pilot Program would be an impact evaluation, measuring the impact of the leadership development courses on such outcomes as:
- Student test scores
- Graduation/Drop Out rates
- Teacher satisfaction/engagement
- Teacher retention
- Teacher absenteeism
- Other possible measures
Some of these data elements are already collected by school districts. However, the Pilot Program evaluation must be capable of doing primary research on some of these measures and collect this information through surveys of teachers and schools participating in the pilto program.
As a Pilot Program, the unit of analysis would be the school. That is, we would look at data at the school level. For the evaluation, we would never need the names of any teacher who has taken or completed the training, or any identifying information that could ever become publicly available. (For registration purposes, each teacher would need to sign up for the program by name, or some identifying number that would identify the person and the school).
We would assume that some schools in each school district will have a higher percentage of teachers taking the leadership training than others. Therefore, the evaluation would link the percentage of teachers taking the leadership training program in each school to each outcome measure in each school so that one could report, for example, at the end of the Pilot Program:
Schools with a 76% enrollment of teachers in leadership training programs had a average X% increase in:
- Student test scores
- Teacher satisfaction/engagement
- Teacher retention
- Teacher absenteeism
- Graduation/Drop Out Rates
And schools with a 24% enrollment of teachers in leadership training programs had an average increase of Y% in these factors.
Of course, if only a few teachers in a school district take a leadership training course, we would not expect any changes in these dependent variables. The art of evaluating a Pilot Program is not just statistically linking the treatment (taking the leadership development course) data with the outcome data, but also analyzing and explaining data that might not fit the expected results of the program. The Pilot Program evaluation would also include the gathering of qualitative data and information from teachers, principals, and others at each school and school district participating in the Pilot Program so that evaluators will be able to understand all of the other factors going on at each school that are likely to impact the variables studied in the program evaluation.
The fourth dimension of evaluation would be a classic process evaluation. For example, each course and the process of delivering the course would be evaluated on numerous quality and content factors including:
- Availability of the courses at times convenient to the teachers
- Logistics of classroom or elearning or blended platform for course delivery
- Ease of use of pre and post testing and assessment
- Budget planning and compliance
- Schedule planning and compliance
- Similar process evaluation metrics.
Preliminary evaluation results should be available by August 2011 and a final evaluation report would be available six to nine months later. The contract for the evaluation of the program can be part of the Pilot Program contract or be let separately.
Preliminary Budget Narrative
The six school district Pilot Program would include full funding from the federal government for the teachers who want to take leadership development programs up to some limit per district or per school based on budget limitations. The school districts’ contribution to the program would be the time invested by teachers in receiving the training, taking the pre- and post-course assessments, the teachers’ work in assisting fellow teachers become better leaders, and in forming local groups of teachers who meet and communicate regularly to promote leadership development among teachers.
The Pilot Program should have a third party, independent evaluation of this pilot contract. McBassi & Company, Inc. could perform this third party, independent evaluation. Other organizations such as ICF International, (evaluator of Head Start), or Dr. Peter Hartjens, former Director of Program Evaluation for the District of Columbia, could also perform this evaluation.
Preliminary Budget Narrative
Although we have not budgeted out this Pilot Program in great detail, we have some idea of some of the fixed costs, marginal costs, and staff time such a Pilot Program would require.
Fixed Costs would include:
Three full time staff for management including benefits: $240,000
Project director: $100,000 including benefits
Website: development and maintenance for full year $50,000
Overhead @ 10% of total cost of pilot
Training of the classroom instructors: $250,000
Fixed costs for development of each of the three four hour leadership development courses would be:
$140,000 for development of each of the three hour e-learning courses (total $640,000)
$100,000 for development of the in-classroom courses
Assuming 10,000 teachers take the leadership development courses offered from the Pilot Program, with one-half doing in-classroom courses, the cost of delivery of these in-classroom courses would be:
The marginal cost for each teacher taking one three hour e-learning course would be approximately $25 per course for books, copyrighted material delivered via the web, grading and posting the pre- and post-course assessments, server hosting, registration, etc. Assuming 5,000 teachers taking four (three hour) courses, or 20,000 enrollments in the courses, the marginal cost of these courses would be $500,000.
For the classroom courses the costs would be:
$15 per teacher taking the course for printing/books or the licensed use of copyrighted material via the web = $150,000
Assuming 20 person class sizes = 1,000 actual classes (5,000 people taking four (three hour) courses each, with 20 people per course) offered as classroom courses with each 20 person course costing: $2,000 (to cover the cost of the instructor, room, logistics, travel, lodging) per course as delivered (or $100.00 per person for each course). This would cost a total of $2,000,000.
Evaluation would cost approximately $150,000.
Marketing/Awareness would cost as follows:
Light Marketing/Awareness: $10,000 in rural district; $20,000 in Suburban District; $30,000 in Urban District = $60,000
Comprehensive Marketing/Awareness: $20,000 in rural district; $40,000 in Suburban District; $60,000 in Urban District = $120,000
Dissemination of results: $30,000
These preliminary budget estimates suggest that the total cost of the Pilot Program would be approximately: $4,900,000 or $490 per teacher taking the leadership development course if 10,000 teachers take the 12 hours of leadership development courses.
We could limit the in-classroom enrollment to 5,000 people and these budget estimates would hold even if the e-learning course enrollment would exceed 5,000 by some number up to 6,000 or 7,000 teachers.
We would expect to use ICF International, Knowledge Factor, and possibly others in the development of the e-learning/blended courses.
All course work developed by this Pilot Program would be owned by the federal government so that in the future, the federal government could deliver the e-learning courses, or the videos of the in-classroom courses at a cost that would be less than $100 per teacher taking the course, including books and materials costs.
Personnel to Manage The Pilot Program
Herb Rubenstein, lead author of the book, Leadership Development for Educators, would be the Principal Investigator for this project. He has designed and evaluated government programs during his tenure at the American Institutes for Research, the National Academy of Sciences, and the US Department of Health and Human Services. He is also an attorney and would serve as General Counsel to the project.
The other authors of the book, Mike Miles and Dr. Laurie Bassi, would serve as consultants to the project.
Diane Anderson, former school teacher and principal, would be one of the managers of the Pilot Program.
Other managers would be recruited based on their experience in running training and leadership development programs, as well as their experience in dealing with schools, teachers, school districts, and school district superintendents.
Conclusion and Statement of The Basic Philosophy Behind the Leadership Training for Teachers Concept
A five million dollar Pilot Program providing leadership development to teachers in six school districts would provide excellent seed funding to promote leadership development for teachers throughout the nation.
Although this program would be funded entirely by the federal government, with the possibility of some foundation funding, as well, in the future, school districts, foundations, contributions from businesses and potentially other funding sources might be willing to contribute to helping pay for leadership training for teachers. This Pilot Program would create, in the public domain, many excellent courses on leadership development for teachers that will past the test of time and could be made available to all PreK-12 teachers at a very reasonable cost.
Further, the Pilot Program would focus on developing a process whereby each school district could develop its own leadership development courses, procedures for teachers and business community volunteers mentoring teachers in leadership, and its own system for the delivery of leadership development courses for its teachers.
In the long-run, for all teachers, or even a significant number of our 3.7 million teachers in public and charter schools, to take a leadership development course of some kind, whether using the resources and courses developed by this Pilot Program or some other program, school districts must be able to administer their own leadership development programs for teachers. School districts must be empowered to develop internal resources they can rely on in the future to promote the teaching of leadership to teachers. We strongly believe with this Pilot Program school districts will see the benefit of leadership development programs and will build their own internal leadership development programs as part of their professional development programs for their teachers.
We see many positive “spill over” effects of this Pilot Program. First, we see many organizations, including colleges and universities, developing leadership development curricula, courses, workbooks, aids, mentoring planning guides, and other leadership development tools for teachers. Second, we expect that many organizations will develop software and e-learning platforms for teachers to use in their own leadership development.
Third, we see the potential for stronger bonds between the schools and the general community as teachers increase their leadership skills. This could lead to communities throughout the nation being willing to provide more resources to schools, including volunteers and approving bond/funding activities that provide needed resources.
While none of these potential spinoffs or spill- over effects can be properly measured in a quantitative manner in this Pilot Program, we do expect to receive significant and solid anecdotal data that these and many other positive spinoff or spill-over effects have resulted from the Pilot Program. In addition, leadership development programs could raise the stature of PreK-12 teaching as a profession, which could have a dramatic impact on drawing even more qualified and diverse applicants into the teaching pool in the future.
We believe that a result of this Pilot Program and the new emphasis on teaching leadership to current and aspiring teachers would be that hundreds of colleges and universities who prepare teachers for certification and re-certification would begin to develop their own courses on leadership for teachers, using either the materials developed in the Pilot Program, or materials developed by their faculty or from other notable leadership development experts. This would result in additional revenue for these institutions of higher learning that are suffering under State budget cuts caused by the recession.
This $5,000,000 investment by the federal government represents just over one dollar per teacher as 3.7 million PreK-12 teachers are in the US. Leadership development training for teachers is not a panacea and will not cure all of the challenges schools face. More than anything, it will open the door for teachers to be more competent, more creative, and more engaging with students, fellow teachers, administrators and the general community.
Leadership development training would improve the communication skills of teachers, a key ingredient in teacher effectiveness. It would improve a teacher’s ability to create a community in the classroom so that we could move ahead on our national goal of “no child being left out” of an educational process suited to that child. It would lead to a teacher being able to manage more successfully the greater and greater demands we place on teachers as we move into an era of “mass customization” in public schools. It would likely help younger teachers and more senior teachers reduce the divisions that we know currently exist between these groups of teachers. And, it may well reduce tensions between principals and teachers and promote better working relations and more mutual respect by principals and teachers.
We expect that as teachers become better leaders, there will be a greater emphasis and greater likelihood for principals to become better leaders. Only recently have principals, not our target audience in this Pilot Program, started to receive leadership training and McRel’s research shows that improving the leadership capabilities of principals does have a positive impact on student performance. McBassi & Company’s research shows that improving the management and development of teachers improves student performance, as measured by student test scores.
Leadership development for teachers is a new tool to help our teachers cope, succeed, and excel. Many teachers are not able to cope and succeed, so they quit. We will have 1,000,000 vacancies in the public PreK-12 teaching profession in the next four years. We will have “turnover” rates in teaching that are far greater than in almost any profession or occupation other than “call centers.” These facts are not only not acceptable, they hurt our public education system every day and hurt our students in countless ways.
Leadership development for teachers will also likely make teachers more willing to use new technology in the classroom, as it has certainly had this impact on librarians since they began to take leadership development courses in 1998 as a requirement for their own Master’s of Library Science degree and recertification.
Retooling America’s schools is not simply about building new schools, though we need them. Retooling American’s schools is also not only about setting test score standards for schools and calling out schools where students do not perform as well as others. Retooling America’s schools must be about equipping teachers with the skills they need to succeed.
Teachers are leaders, yet we currently give them no training in leadership. Teachers are leaders and our educational system does not treat them as leaders. Teachers are leaders and yet, teachers themselves, often do not consider themselves to be leaders. Students expect to be led by teachers. Parents expect teachers, coaches, librarians, extracurricular activities managers, and even teaching assistants to be leaders of their children. Now is the time to give the teachers the skills they need to exceed as the leaders they are.
This is the basis of our writing the book, Leadership Development for Educator. Yet, our mission is not complete simply with the writing of the book. We intend to be a catalyst for the development of leadership training programs that will be available to every PreK-12 teacher and everyone who aspires to become a PreK-12 teacher. Our focus, and this entire Pilot Program is designed for public schools.
However, we are certain that when leadership development training proves to be effective and popular in the public school setting, it will quickly catch on in the private school setting, in the religious school setting, and in the ever-growing home school setting, thus sending ripple effects throughout PreK-12 education.
We look forward to your comments. Our new nonprofit organization has Rick Lawton as its Executive Director. Mr. Lawton served on the Board of Directors of ProLiteracy for 17 years. He also served the United States as facilities manager of Rocky Flats, managing an eight billion dollar clean-up effort. He has a life and great record of public service.
THE LEEEGH, INC. is willing to work with other nonprofits to carry out the work of this pilot program. We will establish offices or partner with nonprofits and educational institutions in each of the six cities where our pilot program is instituted. Executives of THE LEEEGH, INC. are available to come to Washington to meet with members of Congress to push for the appropriation of funds for this pilot program.
Already Colorado State University and the University of Colorado, the two main institutions of higher learning training teachers in Colorado are developing plans to build courses around the book, Leadership Development for Educators. ETS, the Educational Testing Service, has developed a consortium of 35 institutions to develop a set of model standards on teacher leadership.
The US government is expanding its commitment to PreK-12 education. Student outcomes will be the measure of success as will closing the achievement gap. The Pilot Program we propose is not only consistent with the new movement in PreK-12 education, it can serve as a catalyst to improving teachers all across America.
Funding is always challenging to find. We look to the leadership of Senator Bennet to help make this Pilot Program a reality.
Appendix A –
Kirkpatrick Evaluation Levels Explained
From the Encyclopedia of Education
Level 1 Evaluation – Reaction
Just as the word implies, evaluation at this level measures how participants in a training program react to it. It attempts to answer questions regarding the participants’ perceptions – Did they like it? Was the material relevant to their work? This type of evaluation is often called a “smilesheet.” According to Kirkpatrick, every program should at least be evaluated at this level to provide for the improvement of a training program. In addition, the participants’ reactions have important consequences for learning (level two). Although a positive reaction does not guarantee learning, a negative reaction almost certainly reduces its possibility.
Level 2 Evaluation – Learning
To assess the amount of learning that has occurred due to a training program, level two evaluations often use tests conducted before training (pretest) and after training (post test).
Assessing at this level moves the evaluation beyond learner satisfaction and attempts to assess the extent students have advanced in skills, knowledge, or attitude. Measurement at this level is more difficult and laborious than level one. Methods range from formal to informal testing to team assessment and self-assessment. If possible, participants take the test or assessment before the training (pretest) and after training (post test) to determine the amount of learning that has occurred.
Level 3 Evaluation – Transfer
This level measures the transfer that has occurred in learners’ behavior due to the training program. Evaluating at this level attempts to answer the question – Are the newly acquired skills, knowledge, or attitude being used in the everyday environment of the learner? For many trainers this level represents the truest assessment of a program’s effectiveness. However, measuring at this level is difficult as it is often impossible to predict when the change in behavior will occur, and thus requires important decisions in terms of when to evaluate, how often to evaluate, and how to evaluate.
Level 4 Evaluation – Results
Level four evaluation attempts to assess training in terms of business results. In this case, sales transactions improved steadily after training for sales staff occurred in April 1997.
Frequently thought of as the bottom line, this level measures the success of the program in terms that managers and executives can understand -increased production, improved quality, decreased costs, reduced frequency of accidents, increased sales, and even higher profits or return on investment. From a business and organizational perspective, this is the overall reason for a training program, yet level four results are not typically addressed. Determining results in financial terms is difficult to measure, and is hard to link directly with training.