The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education – A Reader – Revised edition
Edited By Eleanor Blair
23. Leadership for Student Learning: Redefining the Teacher as Leader
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Leadership for Student Learning
Redefining the Teacher as Leader
Institute for Educational Leadership, Inc.
Of the myriad problems that have plagued American public education in recent years, few have resisted resolution more stubbornly than the complex of issues surrounding school leadership. While we sense that it is not working as well as it must, there has been no concerted national call to find out why—and to suggest how to improve it. Yet without richly qualified, dedicated, and enlightened state-of-the-art professional and political leadership, efforts to bring about genuine reform to enhance student learning are destined to suffer, possibly even to fail. Sadly, the American public and the nation’s political leaders have yet to acknowledge the intrinsic seriousness of this matter.
This is the backdrop to the School Leadership for the 21st Century Initiative, a national effort led by the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) to clarify the issues of school leadership, shepherd them into the spotlight of public policy, and debate where they belong. To prod the process, the Institute created four task forces of experts, practitioners, business leaders, elected and appointed government officials, and others who met for a day and a half each in 2000 to probe one of four levels of school leadership—state, district, principal, and teacher—and examine ways to improve it as part of a massive, long-needed upgrading.
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