No individual has all the skills–and certainly not the time–to carry out all the complex tasks of contemporary leadership. –John Gardner, On Leadership Coalition principles assert that teaching and learning should be personalized to the maximum feasible extent and that “to capitalize on this personalization, decisions about the details of the course of study, the use of students’ and teachers’
Schools in the Small Schools Incubator, sponsored by Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools, Oakland Community Organizations and the Oakland Unified School District, use these guidelines as touchstones throughout the proposal and planning processes. Simple structures work best: a cohort of students, a team of teachers with full responsibility for student learning within a block of time and/or over a
What happens when schools are compelled by external district or state mandates to adopt a democratic leadership structure–as is happening in mandated reform efforts nationwide–rather than developing a collaborative decision-making model within the school community? In the last three years, nearly five dozen New Jersey schools have chosen to adopt the Coalition common principles. All were in districts affected by
Oakland’s new scaled-down schools allow the people who work and learn in them to focus on creating environments where it’s likely that strong relationships among adults and children will develop and rigorous academic standards will flourish. While the Oakland Unified School District, the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools and Oakland Community Organizations identify and break through barriers to bringing
Talking to school people all over the country is a sweet and thrilling aspect of my work as Horace’s editor. I ask Coalition educators what inspired them to structure their schools differently, and quite frequently, Souhegan High School comes up. “We got the idea to design our schedule from what they’re doing at Souhegan. Have you been there? You should
During the summer before Urban Promise Academy opened, parents and teachers talked about the goals they had for the children in their care and how they would create a safe, nurturing, academically powerful school culture. With BAYCES school coach Joel Baum, UPA teachers used an exercise during Coffee and Conversations planning sessions to document parents’ visions of who their children
Alan Dichter recommends several resources that the Satellite Academy staff read together to deepen their collaborative leadership skills: The Skilled Facilitator: Practical Wisdom for Developing Effective Groups by Roger M. Schwarz (Jossey-Bass Inc., 1994) Chapter 12, “Serving as a Facilitator in Your Own Organization” and Chapter 13, “The Facilitative Leader” help groups learn to communicate effectively and move through conflict.