Mike McMahon AUSD
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Leading To Learn

I am sumarizing the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy Leading for Learning framework and its related Sourcebook to assess what Alameda can do to accomplish "Student Success -Whatever It Takes" in the AUSD Strategic Plan for 2003-2008.

Each action area is broken down into sections:

  • Framework Summary – Overview of materials presented in the article
  • Reflective Questions – Questions presented by authors of the framework
  • Strategic Plan Review – Identifying what parts of the Strategic Plan are related to the framework
  • Engaging External Environments that Matter for Learning

    Framework Summary

    Underlying ideas

    Teaching and learning happens in multiple environments. Effective leaders seek to understand and use these environments, and when necessary, protect and “buffer” teaching and learning from negative environmental influences. There are three kinds of external environments:

    1. Family and community environments – which embrace the interests, demands and resources of parents, advocacy groups, human service agencies, municipal bodies, corporate interests and taxpayers.
    2. Professional environments – which include the resources and constraints posed by unions, professional networks and associations, higher education institutions and the local educator labor market.
    3. Larger policy environments – which embody state reform policies, federal programs and policies, regulations and requirements.

    Process and challenges

    For leaders it is hard to know where and how much energy to invest externally, and how to make it pay off for learning. Leading for learning means searching for ways to make a learning agenda “good politics”. Today’s critics can become tomorrow’s allies in furthering an improvement plan. Leaders’ best hope for neutralizing resistance or turning it into support is to actively engage relevant external groups.

    Reflective Questions

    1. What groups outside of our district are concerned about education, and in what ways? What can they offer?
    2. How (and how much) are leaders interacting with outside groups? What other groups could the district involve?
    3. How do leaders work with the cultural and racial dynamics of Alameda?
    4. How proactive are leaders in our approach to outside groups? Who outside the schools holds the power and uses it to influence education?
    5. How can it be aligned with our district’s plans for improvement?
    6. What outside groups might be willing to offer funds, expertise, moral support, etc. to further the district learning agenda?

    Strategic Plan Review

    Goal number 12 – Communications and Community Engagement identifies how AUSD plans to interact with the family and community environments.

    Back to Leading to Learn Summary

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    Last modified: July 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.