Blog

New Study Highlights Importance of Collaborative Inquiry

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A study from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), published last November, offers school perspectives on the benefits of New York City’s data-informed collaborative inquiry process. Since 2006, policymakers have been refining a citywide collaborative inquiry model in which… Read more

Prerequisites for Standards-Based Reporting

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As we work with schools and teams that are doing the work associated with implementing professional learning community concepts and practices, we are often asked, “Don’t we need to . . . Read more

Stop Sliding Away...

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You know the feeling. You have created the structures for collaboration in your school. You have provided teams with the time and tools to collaborate, defined the work, and checked for consensus . . . Read more

Collective Merit Pay: Supporting Collaboration Over Competition

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Kildeer Countryside Consolidated School District 96 was engaged in contract negotiations throughout the 2009–2010 school year. The economic climate coupled with increased accountability requirements contributed to a different landscape than in years past… Read more

PLCs and Self-Efficacy: What Is the Connection?

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For those on the PLC journey, one of the most puzzling and frustrating realities is that we still see what Rick DuFour calls the “knowing-doing gap.” We know what to do, but we just don’t seem to… Read more

Fostering Shared Leadership

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When teachers begin taking ownership – alongside administrators – for poor student achievement, they will gain ownership of solutions that are developed as a team. In 1933, Edward VIII shocked the world by abdicating the throne of England in order to marry Wallis Simpson, a divorced American socialite… Read more

Building Consensus for Change

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Change involves managing the complex matrix of relationships and beliefs that exist in an organization and aligning them toward a mission of higher learning for all. In my career, there is no better example of this approach than when I recently implemented a new bell schedule to… Read more

Self-Directed Teams Contribute to Sustainability

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We received a question from a school where teachers were upset that the administration seemed to be dictating what was to occur at their team meetings. Teachers resented being micromanaged, and administrators felt… Read more

What Is the Sequence of Goal Setting in a PLC?

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We received a question about goals from someone who wanted to know if district goals had to be established before school goals could be created, and if school goals were necessary before team goals could be developed. He also asked how to establish a goal that would address… Read more

Bottom-Up Leadership Put to the Test

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At Elizabeth Vaughan Elementary School, the effectiveness of our bottom-up leadership depends on high-quality, top-down leadership direction and support. This past year, a series of unexpected challenges really put our bottom-up leadership to the test, and our teachers' initiatives proved to be outstanding! Read more

What Are the Necessary Leadership Responsibilities in a PLC?

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There is nothing like the beginning of the school year. Everywhere you look, new opportunities are popping up, new ideas are being developed, and school leaders are planning to best meet the needs . . . Read more

Team Leaders in a Professional Learning Community

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Collaborative teams are the engines that drive professional learning communities. It is simply impossible to ensure high levels of learning for all students if teachers are working in isolation. The quality of work performed by teams depends on team leaders who… Read more

Is This Candidate a Good Fit for a PLC?

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We received a question from an educator interested in the kinds of questions she might use to determine if a candidate is a good fit for a professional learning community. We suggest that you ask . . . Read more

Teachers Key to Reversing High Failure Rate in Math

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We received a query from a high school principal about the failure rate in algebra in his school. At the end of the first quarter, 44 percent of students were receiving grades of D or F. At the end of the first semester, the rate had increased to 55 percent. When the administration met with the teachers to offer support, teachers took the following positions... Read more

Stop Blaming and Take Action: One Teacher’s Manifesto

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A teacher who attended a two-day conference on PLCs was moved to write the following manifesto urging her colleagues to join her in a concerted effort to bring the PLC concept to life in their school… Read more