Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
by Guest Blogger, Marion Ginopolis
How disconnected are school leaders' perceptions from the reality of schools? A recent Reality Check 2006 Report from Education Insights at Public Agenda funded by the Wallace Foundation reports, "...to most public school superintendents - and principals to a lesser extent - local schools are already in pretty good shape. In fact, more than half of the nation's superintendents consider local schools to be excellent."
This is, perhaps, the most frightening thing I've ever read. Assuming this national random sample (n=254) is reflective of all superintendents we are in big, big trouble if 94 percent of superintendents perceive schools to be good or excellent. (A possible explanation is that this is not a true random sample and the superintendents interviewed were all from " Perfectville, USA.")
This survey could not possibly have included superintendents in those districts where 10 percent of sixteen to twenty-four year olds were out of school without a high school credential in 2004, (pg. 11, National Center for Educational Statistics-NCES Condition of Education 2006) or from those districts where the average student scale score in reading for seventeen year olds was the same in 2004 as it was in 1971. NCES Digest of Education Statistics
It could not have included superintendents in districts where only 31 percent of fourth and eighth graders performed at the Proficient (indicating solid academic achievement) level in reading in 2005. (pg. 7, NCES Condition of Education 2006)
And, the survey could not possibly have included superintendents in school districts where reading performance of students is represented in the chart below: NCES Condition of Education 2006 Learner Outcomes:
At the risk of overusing my newly coined term, Digitaleaders, I believe that they are school leaders who examine the data available to them, analyze it and candidly communicate the reality of their districts rather than "shooting from the hip" or painting an unrealistic picture when interviewed about the condition of their schools.
A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.
- A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
- This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
- The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
As the world gets hotter, men may have fewer and fewer viable sperm
- New research on beetles shows that successive exposure to heatwaves reduces male fertility, sometimes to the point of sterility.
- The research has implications both for how the insect population will sustain itself as well as how human fertility may work on an increasingly hotter Earth.
- With this and other evidence, it is becoming clear that more common and more extreme heatwaves may be the most dangerous aspect of climate change.
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