Saturday, November 13, 2010

College/Career Readiness Index

In a recent activity with our leadership team we started a process to identify college readiness indicators that help our system predict college and career readiness. Much of our work comes from the realization that we are sending our best on to the next phase in their life very well prepared but we are also sending a chunk of students off to the next phase without secure skills. It began with the development of our Core Competencies. We evolved that to grade level indicators and benchmarks that now include:
1. Reading at Advanced Levels in K-6 as measured by MAP and Fountas and Pinnell.
2. Read at Advanced Levels in 7-12 as measured by Wisconsin's WKCE test and the EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT for reading.
3. Complete Advanced Math K-6 as measured by MAP and WKCE
4. Complete Advanced Math in 7-11 as measured by grades of "C" or higher in 8TH grade Algebra for all and Algebra 2 by 11TH grade.
5. AP score of 3 or better on at least one AP exam.
6. ACT composite score of 24 or higher.

Would love to have some feedback from folks regarding our College/Career Readiness Index. What do you agree with, propose adding or recommend changing?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Read or Get Left Behind

In a recent post from Manager Tools, a newsletter article described the dilemma facing professionals in all sectors. Finding the time to stay on top of the growing literature. Bottom line, "If you are not reading regularly, significantly, virtually every day for at least an hour, your development is lagging. Professionals interested in their own self-development read voraciously. Their posting was titled, "Read or Die"

The article goes on to recognize the busy pace executives and leaders live. We hear it regularly in our profession - I just don't have time. Get this: In 2008, the President of the United States read 40 books. Might he be busier than you?

So, what should we read as educational leaders? Sorting through the cornucopia of reading options can be overwhelming. Here is a quick list to guide your reading:

Education Week: This is the Wall Street Journal of our sector. If you are not reading it you are falling behind. It is research, journalism, and editorials from the front line of this great profession. Read it.

Business Leadership Genre: Review non-fiction bestseller lists such as New York Times Bestseller Lists and commit to one book a month. Don't forget some of the online options like Fast Company

Professional Books: Visit publishing sources like ASCD, Corwin Press or others for the latest literature impacting our profession.

Finally, set a goal of reading 25 books in the next 12 months while maintaining the pulse of Ed Week, Ed Leadership and one business journal. Track weekly progress in your PDA notes section or in a system that fits your learning style.

Read or die!

Our profession, the most influential in the world, needs to be well-informed and versed in research, pop culture and political winds. We can make a difference. Reading increases our tool box to be more successful with the precious commodity parents give us every day...our students!

In the words of Dick Vitale, "Read, baby, Read"