In this 2012 article for School Administrator magazine, Lucy Steiner and Sharon Kebschull Barrett examine how understanding competencies—the habits of behavior and underlying motivations that help predict how newly hired employees will do their jobs—can help administrators, such as those in Minneapolis, hire the skillful leaders they need to turn around even the most troubled schools. Given that only 30 percent of turnarounds—in education and other fields—succeed, schools need leaders with a clear vision and the ability to make that vision a reality. Minneapolis Pubic Schools used competencies in their newly rigorous hiring process to make promising principal hires and to give the new leaders the support they need to keep turnarounds from becoming just another failed reform effort.
This report for the University of Virginia’s Partnership for Leaders in Education explores lessons about when and how organizations in other sectors import leaders – including how they tempt people away, train them, and foster their success – to inform efforts by state and local leaders to import talent for failing schools. One of the biggest challenges in education today is identifying talented candidates to successfully lead turnarounds of persistently low-achieving schools. [Read more…]
This paper, produced for the University of Virginia’s School Turnaround Specialist Program, describes how using competencies that predict performance can improve turnaround principal selection, evaluation, and development. Although the term “competency” often describes any work-related skill, in this context competencies are the underlying motives and habits—patterns of thinking, feeling, acting, and speaking—that cause a person to be successful in a specific job or role. [Read more…]
This 2008 report by Dana Brinson, Julie Kowal and Bryan Hassel for the Center on Innovation and Improvement, illustrates how the 14 leader actions of successful turnarounds have played out in turnaround schools. The report provides a description of the 14 leader actions, illustrative vignettes, and an annotated bibliography of the case studies included in the report and builds on Public Impact’s prior work entitled School Turnarounds: A Review of the Cross-Sector Evidence on Dramatic Organizational Improvement, a report on education-specific examples of turnarounds.