School Leadership

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.,...

Getting Better to Lead for Equity, a Webinar

We don't yet know what far-reaching impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on students. What we do know is that classrooms need to be as equitable as possible — and support rigorous learning — now. But what does that look like, especially with ongoing and sometimes...

Listening to Center Student Experience

After embarking on creating a “framework” that centers the experience of students, the CEL team learned that the adults at school really need to listen hard. What does listening hard look like in action? Watch this video to learn more.

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...

What the Four Dimensions of School Leadership Looks Like in Action

Brandon White is the chief academic officer at South Bend Community Schools in Indiana. When working with school leaders, his approach is that "we as educators must be involved in learning ourselves." Lisa Rooney, director of framework development and support, spoke...

Watch now: How we lead for equity

"We don’t believe that equity lives in a dimension on its own. As an effective leader, you don’t just lead for equity when you craft a vision and mission — it affects everything you do." - Michele Mason You believe in equity-driven leadership. But how do you turn...

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 Pandemic Revealed Inequities — and New Ways to Address Them

In a “normal” school year on a “normal” school day, Stacy Thomas, the executive director of teaching and learning for Blaine School District, bounces between each of the district’s schools, which are housed on one campus. Blaine is a district in rural Washington near...

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...

What matters most to students and teachers for learning right now

In recent months, educators have had the daunting job of asking and answering, "What does teaching mean now?" They've had to make many impactful decisions and make them quickly — all while working together and teaching remotely. Jody DeGroot, assistant principal at...

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...

Principal as the Turning Point: EduTalks 2020

While the impact teachers make on learning is well-understood, there’s less appreciation for how principals can foster learning environments that empower students.  In this six-minute video, Joanna Michelson, director of teacher leadership and learning at the UW...

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...

CEL’s Summer Reading List

In preparation for this new 2019-2020 school year, University of Washington Center for Educational Leader (CEL) experts kept up with their summer reading and shared six educational book recommendations. With a focus on equity, courageous leadership and...

Want to become an expert school leader? Ask more questions.

by SHEEBA JACOB Why should you be stuck without a bed if I’ve got an extra air mattress? Today, the answer to this question is worth $30 billion. The meteoric rise of home-sharing site AirBnB is driven by many factors, but it started with the founders Joe Gebbia and...

5 tips for setting up and sustaining coaching in your district

I recently visited two elementary school instructional coaches in a district where we are providing support to all K-12 coaches. Rebecca used to be a teacher at the school and is now in her first year as a full-time coach. Cheryl is in her second year as a...

How to Create a Results-Focused Learning Environment

BY SHARON WILLIAMS Getting everybody in the school community to focus on results for students is hard — but it’s one of the most powerful ways for principals to improve instruction. "One of the responsibilities of school leadership teams with the strongest correlation...

Building Leadership Capacity

By DICK FLANARY, Senior Director of Leadership Programs and Services at the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Accountability is the mantra for today’s schools. Expectations for schools are ever increasing, and sanctions for poor performance include...

Principal Accountability Begins with Developing Expertise

by STEPHEN FINK Two foundational ideas guide our work at the Center for Educational Leadership.  First, we believe that quality teaching matters: if students are not learning, they are not being afforded powerful learning opportunities. Second, quality instructional...

Recent Posts

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.,...

Getting Better to Lead for Equity, a Webinar

We don't yet know what far-reaching impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on students. What we do know is that classrooms need to be as equitable as possible — and support rigorous learning — now. But what does that look like, especially with ongoing and sometimes...

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