Student-centered

Growing instructional leadership and sharpening the equity lens

Leaders at the Medford School District have been working with CEL to improve their instructional leadership and sharpen their equity lens since 2022. Through the Instructional Leadership Academy (ILA), leaders are learning more about gathering non-judgmental classroom observation data, understanding the current state of teaching and learning, and giving strengths-based, actionable feedback to teachers.

The Power of Centering Student Voices

As the academic year draws to a close, the arrival of summer offers us the opportunity to breathe and reflect. It has been a year filled with unprecedented hardships for school communities nationwide, leaving educators, administrators, and leaders feeling drained and...

Students Helping Students Share Their Stories

In 2019, the team at the Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) realized that as we re-envisioned our frameworks and resource materials to center student experiences, we needed to bring students more directly into our work. Working first with students from three...

Courageous Leadership in Prioritizing Equity in Schools

Students in elementary school have a lot to say. They are very thoughtful, and they are incredibly observant. They're not afraid to share their authentic experiences. -- Dr. Randi Lowe, Superintendent of Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union This year, the...

Looking Forward with Hope for 2023

This past year was one of unprecedented challenges both inside and out of the classroom. Solving the problems in front of us today demands more than a simple New Year’s resolution; it requires us to reimagine our challenges and commit to new ways of moving forward.

Humanizing School and District Leadership Through Student Experience

What would happen if school and district leaders used students’ experiences and perspectives as the basis for their leadership? In CEL’s partnerships with school systems, we ask leaders to focus on the experiences of students furthest from justice in their schools and...

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.

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...

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...

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...

Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham: Striving for rich student learning

In this latest installment of The Throughline, Max Silverman speaks with Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham about how to create deep and rich student-centered learning experiences, as well as meaningful professional development for teachers in a school system approach...

Elliot Washor: Putting students at the center of their learning

In this latest installment of The Throughline, Max Silverman speaks with Elliot Washor about starting with students’ interests and choice where they tackle complex challenges, moving schools away from rote learning that masquerades as innovation. Elliot Washor is the...

Gia Truong on her commitment to equitable education systems

In this latest installment of The Throughline, Max Silverman speaks with Gia Truong about ensuring that all students, regardless of background, experience a rigorous education, free from bias. Gia Truong is the chief executive officer at Envision Education, a...

Recent Posts

Creating Conditions for Effective Instructional Coaching

Over my years working with instructional coaches and principals in school districts across the country, I have learned that the role of the instructional coach changes from district to district and even from school to school. I’ve observed coaches address practices...

Growing instructional leadership and sharpening the equity lens

Leaders at the Medford School District have been working with CEL to improve their instructional leadership and sharpen their equity lens since 2022. Through the Instructional Leadership Academy (ILA), leaders are learning more about gathering non-judgmental classroom observation data, understanding the current state of teaching and learning, and giving strengths-based, actionable feedback to teachers.

Building a vision for student learning

CEL’s yearlong, contextualized Leading for Teacher Learning helps leaders assess their current state of teacher learning and better understand what teachers need in order to improve students’ experiences. Throughout the leaders’ learning with CEL, we explore the...

The Power of Centering Student Voices

As the academic year draws to a close, the arrival of summer offers us the opportunity to breathe and reflect. It has been a year filled with unprecedented hardships for school communities nationwide, leaving educators, administrators, and leaders feeling drained and...

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