Welcome to the first issue of our new AdvancED Source publication. Designed with you in mind, the AdvancED Source will focus on education quality and educational issues from the viewpoint of the practitioner. Issues will contain a combination of stories about educational strategies and practice as well as school and district successes written by practitioners and experts in our field.
In this issue of the AdvancED Source, we have chosen the theme of Educational Change in the 21st century. We have learned much about educational change during the past two decades. However, we must adapt and apply our understandings to enable us to create the conditions that support meaningful change that impacts student learning. Accredited institutions know that continuous improvement requires a school or district to constantly assess student achievement, the challenges and opportunities they are facing, and the environment around them as they seek to deliver educational quality. This means that schools and districts must be ready and willing to adapt.
The AdvancED Accreditation Process allows for that flexibility within a set of standards that are focused on institutional effectiveness and practices that impact student achievement. This process of continuous improvement, of continually re-assessing for the betterment of students, offers schools and districts the opportunity to be prepared for the future, whatever change it might bring.
We are pleased to share feature articles from recognized educational leaders Laura Lefkowits, Brian McNulty, James Popham and Douglas Reeves. Laura Lefkowits’ piece "Purposely Connected" explores the new ways students are wired and connected and whether schools are ready to embrace those. In his article entitled, "Actions of Effective Leaders," Brian McNulty presents the “knowing-doing gap” and five key steps that leaders must take for school or district improvement.
Long-time author James Popham shares his perspectives on inputs, outputs and accountability in the evaluation of schools in his article, "Hericlitus and the Appraisal of Schools." You’ll also find Dr. Douglass Reeves’ article, "Getting Accountability Right: Principles and Policies for a New Era" in which he examines the role of accountability, present and future.
In the coming months, the new administration will re-engage policy makers, educators, and the business community in a purposeful deliberation focused on advancing the effectiveness of our accountability system. Accountability is here to stay. As such, the educational community must focus its efforts on maturing and improving our current system so that it supports the results we want and need for every child. What changes should and can we make so that students demonstrate the knowledge and skills that will lead to their success as productive adults in our global community? We must embrace change that matters in our classrooms so that students find greater success in their learning.
As you reflect on the articles shared in this publication, consider how you can help influence and create a culture of change in your school that promotes continuous improvement focused on student learning.