Max Silverman

Looking Back to Lean Forward: CEL’s 20-Year Journey

Dear partners and colleagues, In 2003, I was a second-year principal. At the time, my school was best known for its low standardized test scores and discipline rates. I thought that my general leadership ability was sufficient to lead a dramatic school turnaround....

Your Leadership Lights the Way Forward

Dear partners and colleagues, This January has opened as an intense continuation of a year like no other in our collective memory. “Relentless, exhausting and humbling” is how many of you have described 2020. But when I consider your leadership this past year, very...

My role as a leader has changed — and needed to change. Here’s why.

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”  - Maya Angelou   I have a confession to make: I didn’t get into education because I was excited to be a teacher. I went into education because I was eager to work for change in communities,...

The Surprising Possibilities of Virtual Team Collaboration

In schools and classrooms, societal inequities play out every day. So, from our inception, the team at CEL has believed in supporting educational leaders to improve their practice as a path towards racial equity. Teachers, principals and central office leaders are...

Ways to Lead for Instruction Right Now

As schools have changed dramatically over the past month, we have been inspired by what educators are doing to continue leading for instructional improvement. I spoke recently with Chris Lennox, the superintendent of Mounds View Public Schools in Minnesota. Like other...

Acknowledging Courage on Display

CEL's mission is to support the work of courageous education leaders across the country. The leaders we work with show their courage each and every day in classrooms, schools and school system central offices. Over these past couple of weeks, I’ve observed with awe...

How Principals Learn

I wanted to share with you that the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) recently released a study that the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) was part of. Principals are vitally important for achieving educational equity, and there are...

A Decade of Rigorous Teaching, Leading and Learning

On behalf of our team at the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership, I am writing to wish a happy and peaceful new year to all of CEL’s partners, peers and supporters. I write this year with hope and optimism for what the coming decade will hold...

The Importance of Partnership

In this latest installment of The Throughline, Max Silverman emphasizes the importance of collaboration for CEL and highlights a recent story about our shared work with a partner, Blaine School District. Partnership is at the heart of how our team at The University of...

Leading for a new student experience in schools

In this latest installment of The Throughline, Max Silverman reflects on a year of conversations with leaders who are pushing for a new school experience for students. As a leader, you are continually pushing for a new set of outcomes for students, new experiences for...

Is student-centered the latest catchphrase? Not if we can help it.

Lately, I have been getting very excited as I hear more and more leaders and organizations talk about “student-centered initiatives.” Often I hear this phrase about putting students in the center only to later feel disappointed when the follow-up conversations are...

3 Things All Principals Need From Their Central Office To Be Successful

A quick scan of education news headlines shows: the role of school principal is less satisfying and attractive than it has ever been. Whether you look at principal job satisfaction surveys or the data on principal tenure, education leaders need to wake up and figure...

Recent Posts

Looking Back to Lean Forward: CEL’s 20-Year Journey

Dear partners and colleagues, In 2003, I was a second-year principal. At the time, my school was best known for its low standardized test scores and discipline rates. I thought that my general leadership ability was sufficient to lead a dramatic school turnaround....

Celebrating Growth and Courage

As the year-end approaches, we’re sharing stories of the growth we observed in our partners — even as they grappled with intense day-to-day demands on their time and energy. This post is the second in a series of three stories.

Small Moments, Big Growth: A Year-End Reflection

This past year demanded growth, from technical skills to mindsets, from virtually everyone in education. As the year-end approaches, we’re sharing stories of the growth we observed in our partners. We’re particularly excited to spotlight the shifts and new choices that may appear small, but signaled breakthroughs.

What Centering Student Experience Looks like

What does centering students look like in action? What characteristics should a leader look for as evidence of equity and learning-centered practice? In this excerpt from a recent webinar, Jose Rivera, assistant superintendent of Grandview School District, Wash.,...

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