Professional Growth

5 Tips for Looking Ahead to Next Year’s Professional Development Program

At various times throughout the year, it’s helpful to reflect as central office professional learning leaders and in teams with your coaches, specialists, principals and teacher leaders. Why? Building on collective wisdom to engage in informed planning will give you a leg up for next year’s PD!   Reflection & Generation plays a vital role […]

Human Capital Management

5 Questions to Ask for Effective Professional Development

Ineffective vs Effective Professional Development With ESSA Historically, professional learning has tended toward the ineffective end of the PD continuum: teachers attend a workshop, lecture or meeting, passively listen and check it off the list of things that must be done. Once it’s over, they may never think about it again. On the other end […]

Professional Growth

New Data Suggests Teacher Evaluations are Getting More Accurate

Recent decades saw state and local leaders, with the support of federal incentives, devoting great time, energy and hope to reformed educator evaluations. But as the reforms were implemented, it became clear that their success rested in large part on trust in their ability to assist educator improvement — and that few educators felt that […]


Change You Can Count On: Change Management in K-12

“Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes…” In 1971 (when David Bowie released “Changes”), the internet was in its infancy. Nearly fifty years later, we hold the internet—and all its power—in our hands. Of course, with information’s accessibility at an all-time high, the world has become more dynamic and turbulent than ever before. As British journalist Oliver Burkeman pointed out: “[W]hen […]

Professional Growth

Students Evaluating Teachers: It’s Time to Ask the Kids...and Then Listen to Them

One day Alan*, a high school student in my special education English class, exclaimed in frustration, “All we ever do in here is read and write!” It was a proud moment for me. A huge compliment. That statement validated for me that I was doing it right, not wasting precious instructional time with frivolous activities. […]

Professional Growth

Why Use the Danielson Framework for Teaching, 2011 and 2013 Editions (Over 2007, That Is)?

When Charlotte Danielson first published the Danielson Framework for Teaching in 1996, her intent was to describe what good teaching was. Over the course of several revisions in 2007, 2011 and 2013, the Framework has provided a common language for discussing teaching practice for a vast number of districts across the country. It also serves […]

Professional Growth

3 Ways Evaluating Your Classified Staff Can Make a Positive Difference in Your School (and Where to Start)

It was always cold when I walked to the bus stop, at least in my memory. Down the hill to the corner store, fumbling with a cassette for my Walkman, lugging a far-too-heavy backpack. Every day of the school year, Ms. Nuse was the first school employee I’d see, and at the end of the […]

Professional Growth

Are Teacher Evaluations Worth It?

DR. JAMES STRONGE ON THE GATES FOUNDATION’S INTENSIVE PARTNERSHIPS FOR EFFECTIVE TEACHING INITIATIVE. Last June, the RAND Corporation published research[1] looking at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching initiative. The initiative worked with three school districts and several charter management organizations to redesign teacher evaluations that factored in not only […]

Professional Growth

5 Tips to Understanding and Avoiding Bias in Teacher Performance Evaluations

We are well into the last quarter of the school year, and that means we are entering the final phase of conducting classroom observations for teacher performance evaluation. If observations involve only one person, how do we enhance intra-rater reliability? And especially, if multiple observers have been involved in observing teachers’ classroom performance, what can […]

Talk Data to Me

A data-centric view on the challenges facing school districts

Recruiting & Hiring

Talk Data to Me: Hire Rates

According to a 2021 Frontline survey, about two-thirds of over 1,200 school and district administrators reported having a teacher shortage. Some districts experienced the teacher shortage worse than others. About half of the respondents reported difficulty filling jobs across all grade levels and subjects while the other half felt the effects of the shortage in […]

Teacher Absences & Subs

Talk Data to Me: Trends in Absence Management and Substitute Pools

Troubled by substitute shortages and low fill rates? You’re not alone. These are challenges faced by many districts, and for good reason. Substitute management is no walk in the park: a lot of different elements go into maintaining and managing a healthy substitute pool.   To overcome the challenges associated with the substitute shortage, districts […]

Recruiting & Hiring

Talk Data to Me: The State of the Instructional Teacher Shortage

The Frontline Research and Learning Institute recently published a research brief called “The State of the Instructional Teacher Shortage”. Following a basic supply and demand economic model, the analysis investigates the quantity of candidates applying for jobs (supply) as well as the availability of open positions (demand). Trends show changes to both sides of the […]

Student Data

Talk Data to Me: Supporting the Health Needs of Students and Staff

In early April, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that schools should be reopened and “full-fledged in person” come fall 2021, regardless of vaccination status. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona echoed this in early May, saying that he expects a full return for all students in the fall. With most states no longer placing restrictions on school […]

Front & Center

A series showcasing various leaders in the K-12 space