Principal - November/December 2019 - 14

Successful
implementation
of social and
emotional
learning begins
and ends with
principals.

"colorblind." This was the case at one school
profiled in the Aspen guide, in which parents
blamed redrawn attendance zones for making
the school "chaotic." Once predominantly
white, the school's population had changed to
49 percent students of color; the new students
were blamed for disrupting class and were disciplined disproportionately.
The principal and her leadership team knew
they needed to deal with the racial tension consuming the school and the excessively punitive
treatment of its students of color. The school
staff participated in implicit-bias training.
Although the mandate was not well-received by
some staff members, an assistant superintendent's backing helped the effort proceed.
What helped the principal settle disagreements with skeptical teachers was data. The
school monitors rates of chronic absenteeism,
referrals, and suspensions every quarter. It also
administers a brief survey that asks students and
teachers about the school and classroom climate.
Data showing an upward trajectory can go a
long way toward bringing reluctant teachers into
alignment with the school leadership's vision.
Asset Mapping and Allocation

The Aspen action guide advises schools to orient their resources-staff, time, funding, and
community partnerships-toward a shared
vision of student success. But it also urges
schools to explore going further through
changes in how staff are hired and assigned and
increasing "the value proposition for your teachers to accept priority assignments."
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools once placed
28 of its best principals in its most challenged
schools on a voluntary basis. Cabinet-level leaders allowed principals to bring teachers with
strong track records of positively impacting
student achievement to the schools to which
they were assigned. It was a shift in mindset that
changed the culture of the district: To be seen
as successful, highly effective principals and
teachers understood they needed to take on
challenging school assignments.
Focus groups held with teachers helped
determine what would inspire them to teach at
a struggling school. At the top of the list was a
great principal, followed by being part of a team
of talented teachers, principal autonomy, compensation, and an agreement that staff would
remain committed to the school to ensure
stability. Once the district heard from teachers that an outstanding school leader was the

14

Principal n November/December 2019

critical factor in motivating the most effective
teachers to transfer to a struggling school, the
district leadership invited the most effective
principals to lead struggling schools.
This was part of a 10-year effort for the district to develop its principal pipeline to install
outstanding principals in all schools, not just
low-performing ones. But it was imperative to
begin with schools that presented the most
urgent need.
As school leaders weigh decisions of
asset allocation, they must decide what's
worth keeping or losing. The list of tasks
is infinite, but the resources needed to
accomplish them are not. Another school
profiled in the Aspen guide knew its teachers were overextended and didn't have the
time for professional development related
to SEAD. The principal assembled a small
workgroup to devise a solution. It made the
difficult decision to cut two teaching assistant positions and slash funding for external
conferences to hire a new full-time science
teacher who could provide coverage.
Principals don't often think of time as an
equity issue, but how leaders distribute the
precious minutes of the school day to advance
learning for challenged students is key. Time, it
can be argued, is the most valuable resource.
A Symbiotic Relationship

Equity and SEAD are symbiotic. The relationship means paying more attention to the
students schools tend to overlook and placing
them at the center of academic instruction,
professional development, and resource allocation. Such thinking represents a shift from
how social and emotional learning tends to
be executed.
While the skills SEL imparts-persistence,
conflict management, goal-setting, empathy,
and management of one's own emotions-are
beneficial to all students, there is a growing
recognition among researchers and educators
that these skills are of even greater use to children of color and low-income students who
are unable to acquire them outside of school.
The barriers these students face are much
higher, and because of that, school leaders
must rethink what kind of experience these
children receive.
Ross Wiener is vice president of the Aspen
Institute and executive director of its Education
and Society Program.
www.naesp.org


http://www.naesp.org

Principal - November/December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal - November/December 2019

from the editor
Snapshots
5 Things
Intertwined for Achievement
Planting the SEAD
Making PLCs a Plus
Measuring Up
Look Out for the Leader
Engagement Across the Generations
The Sum of Its Parts
Putting the “Fun” in Fundraising
NAESP 2019 National Distinguished Principals
In the Spotlight
Practitioner’s Corner
Raising the Bar
Principal’s Bookshelf
School Law
NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Speaking Out
Parents & Schools
Parents & Schools
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover1
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover2
Principal - November/December 2019 - 1
Principal - November/December 2019 - 2
Principal - November/December 2019 - 3
Principal - November/December 2019 - from the editor
Principal - November/December 2019 - 5
Principal - November/December 2019 - Snapshots
Principal - November/December 2019 - 7
Principal - November/December 2019 - 5 Things
Principal - November/December 2019 - 9
Principal - November/December 2019 - Intertwined for Achievement
Principal - November/December 2019 - 11
Principal - November/December 2019 - 12
Principal - November/December 2019 - 13
Principal - November/December 2019 - 14
Principal - November/December 2019 - Planting the SEAD
Principal - November/December 2019 - Making PLCs a Plus
Principal - November/December 2019 - 17
Principal - November/December 2019 - 18
Principal - November/December 2019 - 19
Principal - November/December 2019 - Measuring Up
Principal - November/December 2019 - 21
Principal - November/December 2019 - 22
Principal - November/December 2019 - 23
Principal - November/December 2019 - Look Out for the Leader
Principal - November/December 2019 - 25
Principal - November/December 2019 - Engagement Across the Generations
Principal - November/December 2019 - 27
Principal - November/December 2019 - The Sum of Its Parts
Principal - November/December 2019 - 29
Principal - November/December 2019 - 30
Principal - November/December 2019 - 31
Principal - November/December 2019 - Putting the “Fun” in Fundraising
Principal - November/December 2019 - 33
Principal - November/December 2019 - 34
Principal - November/December 2019 - 35
Principal - November/December 2019 - NAESP 2019 National Distinguished Principals
Principal - November/December 2019 - 37
Principal - November/December 2019 - 38
Principal - November/December 2019 - 39
Principal - November/December 2019 - 40
Principal - November/December 2019 - 41
Principal - November/December 2019 - 42
Principal - November/December 2019 - 43
Principal - November/December 2019 - In the Spotlight
Principal - November/December 2019 - 45
Principal - November/December 2019 - Practitioner’s Corner
Principal - November/December 2019 - 47
Principal - November/December 2019 - 48
Principal - November/December 2019 - 49
Principal - November/December 2019 - Raising the Bar
Principal - November/December 2019 - 51
Principal - November/December 2019 - Principal’s Bookshelf
Principal - November/December 2019 - 53
Principal - November/December 2019 - School Law
Principal - November/December 2019 - NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Principal - November/December 2019 - 56
Principal - November/December 2019 - 57
Principal - November/December 2019 - Speaking Out
Principal - November/December 2019 - 59
Principal - November/December 2019 - Parents & Schools
Principal - November/December 2019 - 61
Principal - November/December 2019 - 62
Principal - November/December 2019 - 63
Principal - November/December 2019 - Parents & Schools
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover3
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover4
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