In November 2015, Education Week published an article entitled, Principals Go to School to Learn Management Savvy, about the wave of educational leaders intentionally building skills other than just curriculum-type pedagogy to add to their resume in pursuit of educational organizational success.
What’s interesting is it may be easy to think principals and other school leaders do not have “organizational leader” as part of their job description, yet these individuals need to have the same kinds of skill sets that effective managers in other professions have acquired. These decision makers need to be able to “create a compelling vision, lead high-performing teams, think like problem-solvers, put strategic plans in place, and execute on those plans.”
The problem is these two fields haven’t really been integrated much in the past, so it appears as though finding a good balance between a solid business and organizational effectiveness background, while still maintaining the instructional and student priority will be important in the process.
However, the importance of business and organizational leadership skills are important not just for a holistic approach to school leadership, but also because some markets are competitive, even for public schools.
In the article, the principal of McNamara Elementary School in Houston, Tiffany Chenier, had attended an MBA fellowship program specifically directed toward educational leaders. She had used some new skills in innovation to solve a problem sparking at McNamara. Chenier said there was a drop in higher-performing students once charter schools and other options for students started opening up within the area. She had come up with an idea during her fellowship to pilot a blended-learning initiative in an attempt to increase student engagement, holding on to possible transient high-performing students.
She had commented on the results. “A lot of research that we heard said that you won’t necessarily see an impact in the first year. Our kids grew by leaps and bounds when you look at the data.”
She attributed this initiative to learning ways to be innovative during her time earning her MBA, allowing her to think differently about her role and how she could make change.
Gleaning a lot from this article, we are encouraged and motivated to help this movement grow and develop as much as possible as we support performance management and continuous improvement practice at educational organizations.
Data analytics and consulting is our angle, but the potential this and organizational change has on the educational industry, and most importantly, the students, is limitless, and we hope to continue learning and contributing as much as we can handle!
Superville, Denisa R., (2015). Principals Go to School to Learn Management Savvy. Education Week, 35(11), pages 1,14. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/11/04/principals-go-to-school-to-learn-management.html
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