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.
About Sharon Kebschull Barrett
Sharon Kebschull Barrett is a senior editor with Public Impact. She edits the Public Impact and Opportunity Culture blogs, copyedits Public Impact's reports, and provides research and writing for the firm. Her recent work focuses on extending the reach of excellent teachers, charter schools, and state policy. A former newspaper reporter and copy editor, Ms. Barrett is the author of two cookbooks, Desserts from an Herb Garden and Morning Glories (St. Martin's Press). She has a B.A. in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she served as editor of The Daily Tar Heel.