Focused Leadership

Focused Leadership

Commissioned by

Learning-focused Leadership and Leadership Support: Meaning and Practice in Urban Systems
Michael S. Knapp, Michael A. Copland, Meredith I. Honig, Margaret L. Plecki, Bradley S. Portin University of Washington

August 2010

The Study of Leadership for Learning Improvement
With support from The Wallace Foundation, a team of researchers from the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy at the University of Washington has undertaken an investigation of leadership in urban schools and districts that are seeking to improve both learning and leadership. The study explored the following overarching question: What does it take for leaders to promote and support powerful, equitable learning in a school and in the district and state system that serves the school? The study pursued this question through a set of coordinated investigations, each with an intensive qualitative or mixed-methods strategy and with overlapping samples, designed to offer images of what is possible in schools and districts that take learning improvement seriously. Study sites were chosen to reflect a focus on learning and leadership improvement and varying degrees of progress toward improvement goals.
n School Leadership investigation: The reconfiguration and exercise of leadership within elemen-

tary, middle, and high schools to enable more focused support for learning improvement
n Resource Investment investigation: The investment of staffing and other resources at multiple

levels of the system, in alignment with learning improvement goals, to enhance equity and leadership capacity
n Central Office Transformation investigation: The reinvention of central office work practices

and relationships with the schools to better support districtwide improvement of teaching and learning Separate reports detail the findings of each investigation, and a synthesis report identifies themes connecting the three study strands. Learning-focused Leadership and Leadership Support: Meanings...

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