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February 1, 2011
Vol. 68
No. 5

Educational Leadership Themes for 2011–2012

Educational Leadership Themes for 2011–2012 - thumbnail

September 2011

Promoting Respectful Schools

Students who feel safe, valued, and hopeful in school are more likely to learn. This issue will explore how schools can promote respect for self and others—in both students and teachers.
Which programs reduce bullying and promote respectful relationships? How can schools address prickly issues related to race, culture, and religion and teach such crucial skills as empathy and cultural sensitivity?
We're interested in articles from teachers who are making classrooms safe places where students can learn from mistakes and articles from school leaders who are making staff feel valued and supported. We welcome international contributions and real-life stories of how schools have created physically, emotionally, and intellectually respectful learning environments.
Deadline: April 1, 2011

October 2011

Coaching: The New Leadership Skill

Education policymakers today are focusing on teachers and administrators as the key to improving schools. Raising effectiveness, however, requires a new kind of professional development that is personalized, job-embedded, context-specific, and collaborative.
This issue will explore how educators can develop core coaching skills. How can principals learn to conduct difficult conversations with teachers that change the school culture? How can they combine the roles of evaluator and coach—or should they? We welcome stories from schools that have developed effective instructional-coaching or peer-coaching programs and those that have integrated coaching into their overall mentoring programs or professional development plans.
Deadline: May 2, 2011

November 2011

Effective Grading Practices

Grading today is not as simple as A, B, C. Schools are adopting grading systems that go beyond the traditional letter grades or that use those letters in nontraditional ways. Some schools are abandoning letter grades in favor of standards-based report cards. Others have eliminated the zero and the F. Still others are rethinking exactly what should be graded. How, for example, should student effort and participation factor into final grades?
This issue will explore the myriad grading practices schools have adopted. Articles may address report cards, homework grades, rubrics, and tests. We're also interested in how schools and teachers have transformed their grading systems. How did you educate students and parents about the change? What was the response, and how has the change affected teaching and learning?
Deadline: June 1, 2011

December 2011/January 2012

The Resourceful School

Many schools are experiencing shrinking resources, hiring freezes, and continued accountability pressures— and are responding by using time, material resources, and educators' skills in innovative ways.
We are looking for lessons from schools that have successfully redirected their efforts to improve and excel. What lessons can educators whose schools have struggled to make adequate yearly progress share with colleagues? How are schools not only raising basic proficiency rates, but also providing a rigorous, well-rounded, 21st century education for an increasingly diverse student population? What kinds of efficiencies and enrichment can technology provide?
We welcome articles from innovative schools that are doing more with less—or doing better through ingenuity.
Deadline: July 1, 2011

February 2012

For Each to Excel

High standards—personalization. Are these two education trends really in opposition? Because of today's expectation that schools bring all students to high levels of achievement, many educators believe that it is more important than ever to get to know students as individuals, identify their needs, and target instruction to each student's strengths and interests.
This issue will explore how schools are personalizing learning to help all students reach common curriculum standards. We are looking for articles on new ways in which teachers are differentiating instruction and providing student choice and challenge at all grade levels. What does neuroscience tell us about the power of personalized learning? What are the benefits of the common core curriculum, and how can standards and personalization mesh? And what new possibilities for customized education are being created by technology, online courses, and virtual schools?
Deadline: September 1, 2011

March 2012

Reading: The Core Skill

The ability to read skillfully and with comprehension is the foundation of student achievement across the curriculum. Yet many students still come to the upper elementary grades without basic reading proficiency.
This issue will look at what students at every grade level need to become strong readers. Articles will deal with preschool experiences that help build essential reading readiness skills, primary-grades approaches that get early readers off to a solid start, and interventions that are most effective for students who struggle with literacy in both the elementary and secondary grades.
We welcome articles on how teachers can connect reading to the content areas, identify struggling adolescent readers and provide effective remediation, develop students' vocabulary, use both fiction and nonfiction texts, help English language learners, use technology to support deep reading, and work with literacy coaches and reading specialists.
Deadline: October 3, 2011

April 2012

College, Careers, Citizenship

"College and career ready" has become a catchphrase for public schools. But what does it actually mean? It makes sense for schools to hold themselves accountable not just for student proficiency scores and graduation rates but also for students' success after graduation. But many educators are concerned that high schools are now treating college as the only desirable option and are neglecting career and citizenship goals.
We are looking for articles describing how high schools are helping all students set and achieve high college, career, and citizenship goals; providing challenging career-readiness courses, apprenticeships, career academies, and partnerships; and furthering 21st century learning skills.
Deadline: November 1, 2011

May 2012

Supporting Beginning Teachers

Beginning teachers, both recent college graduates and second-career teachers, face a host of challenges. Often placed in a classroom to sink or swim, they must take responsibility for their students' learning, even as they are learning to manage the basics of their new role.
This issue will examine common characteristics and needs of new teachers. What training should prospective teachers receive before they enter the classroom? Do alternative certification programs provide adequate preparation? What are the most effective ways schools can support new teachers, whatever path they took into the profession? When so many teachers stay in the profession for fewer than five years, how can schools retain the beginning teachers with the most potential?
Articles by teachers in their first five years of teaching are especially welcome. What do you wish you had known when you began your career?
Deadline: December 1, 2011

This article was published anonymously, or the author name was removed in the process of digital storage.

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