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February 1, 2012
Vol. 69
No. 5

Educational Leadership Themes for 2012–2013

September 2012

Feedback for Learning

Throughout the school day, teachers provide feedback to their students. From the questions they ask to the comments they write on student work, from the rubrics they devise to the learning targets they state, teachers inform and engage students about the next steps they need to take to improve and achieve. This issue will look at multiple forms of effective feedback. What does research say about the optimal frequency, timeliness, and content of feedback?
Which assessment practices furnish the most effective feedback? Which ones don't? How do teachers effectively respond to student projects and group work? What kinds of feedback from other sources—for example, from fellow students, community experts, social media, or computer programs—push students to grow? How can teachers differentiate feedback to meet the needs of all their students?
Deadline: April 2, 2012

October 2012

Working with Challenging Students

In today's diverse and inclusive schools, many teachers feel daunted by the challenge of educating students whose behavior disrupts the classroom and limits their own and others' learning. Students who act out as the result of external stresses, such as homelessness, family instability, or academic problems, also face their own challenges. Some teachers feel unprepared to meet the needs of students with disabilities, such as attention deficit disorder, autism, or depression. This issue will explore how teachers can support students by developing consistent behavioral expectations, establishing contracts, replacing power struggles with problem solving, and reinforcing acceptable behavior. We welcome articles on preparing teachers to better help students meet the challenges they face, as well as descriptions of effective schoolwide programs.
Deadline: May 1, 2012

November 2012

Teacher Evaluation: What's Fair, What's Effective?

The last two years have seen a dramatic increase in state policies mandating annual teacher evaluations. This issue will examine both the problems and the promises of this trend. Articles will ask, How much should student test scores, including "value-added" measures, count in rating a teacher's effectiveness? How are schools using peer review, classroom observations, and students' and parents' perspectives to provide a comprehensive picture of teacher quality? What training do principals need to become effective evaluators, and how can teachers take ownership of their own evaluation process? How can schools transform evaluation from something that is "done to" teachers into an intrinsic component of their career-long learning and growth?
Deadline: June 1, 2012

December 2012/January 2013

Common Core: Now What?

Now that the common core state standards in mathematics and English/ language arts have been adopted in most of the United States, schools and educators must determine how to shape these changes in a positive way. What modifications to the curriculum will be needed, and what help do teachers need in adjusting their instruction? How will schools assess whether students are achieving standards, and what support will they give students who struggle to meet those standards? What does implementation of the standards mean for English language learners and students with special needs? What unintended consequences might arise from adopting standards? How will the move toward common core standards affect instruction in subjects that do not currently have standards? How do other countries with or without common standards ensure that students have a challenging curriculum?
Deadline: July 2, 2012

February 2013

Creativity Now!

Creativity is often mentioned as an important 21st century skill, but the emphasis on basics and high-stakes testing is squeezing it out of the curriculum. This issue will explore how to foster creative thinking, problem solving, and student engagement. How can teachers make classrooms safe for students to take intellectual risks, to challenge traditional assumptions, and to think outside the box? What specific skills, dispositions, and ways of thinking does research show that students acquire through arts education? How can teachers foster inspiring, creative learning while still focusing on core skills; and how can they assess students' creative work? We welcome descriptions of schools and innovative programs that use the arts, technology, and other tools to unlock the creativity and potential of students who fail to thrive in more traditional school settings.
Deadline: September 4, 2012

March 2013

Technology-Rich Learning

When used wisely in the classroom, technology can promote higher-order thinking, deep learning, collaboration, interactivity, and student engagement. This issue will look at how teachers are integrating technology with best practices to improve learning in all content areas and to help students create authentic work as they collaborate with peers and experts both in and outside school. Articles will look at blended learning environments and discuss how all teachers—both proficient technology users and those just coming on board—can best use technology to support and challenge learners. Articles will also address how to avoid such pitfalls as information overload, plagiarism, the downside of social media, and technology as a distraction from learning.
Deadline: October 1, 2012

April 2013

The Principalship

In times of increasing expectations, decreasing resources, and rigorous accountability, school principals are faced with complex challenges and a huge array of initiatives to implement. These realities have discouraged many principals from staying on the job. How can schools stop the revolving door of the principalship and energize principals to lead? This issue will address approaches that promote career-long growth, such as coaching and mentoring, collaborative learning, and principal peer groups. Articles will look at the autonomies school principals need to do their jobs well, the support they need to initiate whole-school reform, and shared leadership models that build trust. What kinds of evaluations motivate principals to improve? How can principals and teachers mutually support each other?
Deadline: November 1, 2012

May 2013

The Faces of Poverty

A new look at poverty and schools is due, partly because so many families face reduced economic circumstances. Indeed, today's "poor kids" don't fit the stereotypes. Two-thirds live in families in which at least one adult works, and the percentage of poor students in many rural districts equals that in inner-city districts. For all of these children, educators must contend with the correlation between being poor and dropping out of high school. This issue will explore how schools must challenge traditional ideas of poverty and formulate new responses. What policies can get more master teachers into high-poverty schools? How can we help more low-income students earn a postsecondary credential? We welcome articles on serving immigrant students, ELLs, and homeless youth; solutions for resource shortages in rural areas; and supports for low-income students who attend relatively affluent suburban schools.
Deadline: December 3, 2012

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

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