Mike McMahon AUSD
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Leading in Education

As an elected School Board member I am part of a six person leadership team that makes policy decisions for Alameda schools. In my leadership role I want encourage dialogue within the Alameda community about education. This summary as well my summary of Leading to Learn are intended to provide a framework for discussions as it relates to Educational Equity/Excellence in Alameda.

On a district level we need to recognize the impact of the District practices on equitable educational access. In order to create capacity for sustainable, district-wide instructional delivery improvement we need to study other district models.

This research paper focuses on District Improvement practices. Ultimately, when school districts face the issue of educating all children and really mean it, they will focus on culture and quality instruction.

With the June 24th, 2003 passage of the AUSD Strategic Plan for 2003-2008, the questions that arose for me is: What does “Student Success – Whatever It Takes” really mean for Alameda schools? As one of the leaders, how I can facilitate equity and excellence for Alameda schools? The book LEADING in a culture of CHANGE by Michael Fullan is a book I highly recommend. Click to the link to go Amazon for puchase details.

Certainly, the 150 pages of content is a lot of material to digest. Fundamentally, the book focuses on a framework for "leading change”. There are five components of leadership that represent independent but mutual reinforcing forces for positive change:

For an opinion on whether it is even possible to change culture of schools, read Can Schoool Culture Change?.

For inspirational words on leadership you can read a 1920's poem: Desiderta.

  1. Moral purpose –acting with the intention of making a positive difference
  2. Understanding change -is essential to survive without becoming a martyr
  3. Relationship Building -fostering purposeful interaction and problem solving on the toughest questions
  4. Knowledge Creation and Sharing -building the capacity of the organization to constantly generate and increase knowledge
  5. Coherence Making –tolerating enough ambuigity while striving to identify meaningful patterns worth retaining

Acting on five components there are three more personal characteristics that all effective leaders possess: energy-enthusiasm-hope. Taken in all encompassing reinforcing system, you have an organization that moves forward as the forces of change swirl around. Here is a pictoral representation.

I encourage each of you to participate in this dialogue. Send me an Email or start a conversation when you see me.

Back to My Focus as a Board Member

Send mail to mikemcmahonausd@yahoo.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: November 2, 2003

Disclaimer: This website is the sole responsibility of Mike McMahon. It does not represent any official opinions, statement of facts or positions of the Alameda Unified School District. Its sole purpose is to disseminate information to interested individuals in the Alameda community. FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my effort to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.