Experts: Here’s how to turn data into achievement

During AASA’s National Conference on Education, superintendents look for guidance on overcoming fears of school data use

“We need to change the conversation from data as a hammer to data as a flashlight,” Guidera said.

School systems are collecting a “tremendous amount” of data about their students, said Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), but how can they use this information to improve instruction?

That was the focus of a thought-provoking session at AASA’s National Conference on Education in Nashville Feb. 13. During the session, panelists agreed that the answer to this question relies on changing the entire culture around school data use.

“Data has gotten a bad rap in schools,” acknowledged Aimee Guidera, executive director of the Data Quality Campaign, a national nonprofit advocacy group that works to improve student achievement through effective data use.…Read More

These core beliefs are critical to the success of U.S. public schools

‘Perhaps the solution is not the proliferation of charters, but rather the elimination of the rules and regulations that allow charters exempt from them to thrive.’

“Learning Leadership” column, April 2012 edition of eSchool News—The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) is one of the oldest education associations in the country. Founded in 1865, its mission is to advocate for the highest quality public education for all students and to develop and support school system leaders.

Our members are the educational leaders in every community in America. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that our job is to represent the interests of local school systems in our nation’s capital. We often find ourselves at odds with a federal government that pushes to become more and more involved in local affairs and with state governments that often will highjack federal funding before it trickles down to the local level.

Our positions come directly from our membership, and we take advantage of today’s technology to survey our members frequently and get real-time responses to what is affecting students in their schools and communities. Indeed, our members often feel that they have direct input into the policy making here in Washington, D.C. Our surveys on the impact of the economy on our schools have become as popular here inside the Beltway as the polls on presidential contenders. We actually think that our surveys better serve the public.…Read More

Author: Only community can save public education

Fewer than 20 percent of U.S. taxpayers have children in public schools, says author Jamie Vollmer—and that shows a need for school leaders to be proactive in reaching out to the community.

Think of it this way: Would you support a presidential candidate you knew nothing about? What does this candidate think about taxes? How is this candidate helping those around him? What does this candidate believe in, and heck, what’s his favorite food? Well, said Jamie Vollmer, a businessman, author, and supporter of public education, wouldn’t people like to know how their local schools worked, too?

Vollmer, president of Vollmer Inc., author of Schools Cannot Do It Alone, and opening keynote speaker at the American Association of School Administrators’ National Conference on Education, argued that both education leaders and U.S. citizens understand that it’s about educating the whole child and that there needs to be reform.

However, the people’s perception is that reform should come through the firing of school leaders and teachers, because that’s the rhetoric being peddled. Yet, school leaders and teachers know that reform needs to occur by changing an antiquated system that’s still focused on mass rote learning for testing and a one-size-fits-all-approach to learning.…Read More

AASA 2010 to focus on reform, innovation

Arne Duncan will be a special guest speaker at AASA 2010.
Arne Duncan will be a special guest speaker at AASA 2010.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will deliver a keynote speech at the American Association of School Administrators’ (AASA) National Conference on Education, which runs Feb. 11-13 in Phoenix.

Duncan will be a special guest speaker during a session with Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone. Canada will pull from his experience in establishing an innovative social program that works with children and families while reaching for education reform. President Obama has touted the program as one he would like to replicate across the country.

Educational content will be organized around four focus areas. Executive leadership content will focus on how principals and heads of school systems can hone effective leadership skills that build teams, use systems-thinking approaches, and transform public education.…Read More