Week 7 Activity – Goal Development: Getting From A to Z

 Chapter 8, “Instructional Leadership and Change.” 

Scenario 15, “The Strategic Planning Process.” 

Week 7 Activity – Goal Development: Getting From A to Z

As an educational leader or administrator in a K–12 school or a university, you are responsible for establishing and tracking goals. This activity will allow you to demonstrate goal development that focuses on academic achievement. In a 2–3-page paper:

1. Develop three effective goals that can help as you plan to improve educational effectiveness and student achievement. Be sure to propose 1–2 benchmarks, which are data points that help you know that you are meeting your goals.

2. Analyze the goals and how they will be monitored to track achievement.

3. Determine what data will be tracked to better decide if efforts are producing results.

4. Use two sources to support your writing. Choose sources that are credible, relevant, and appropriate. Cite each source listed on your source page at least one time within your activity. For help with research, writing, and citation, access the 
 or review 
library guides
, the 
Education Database
, or the 
Master of Education library guide

Sample scenarios are available in the Practicing the Art of Leadership textbook.

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Scenario 15 The Strategic Planning Process

Standard 1

Effective educational leaders develop, advocate, and enact a shared mission, vision, and core values, of high-quality education and academic success and well-being of each student.

Standard 8

Effective educational leaders engage families and the community in meaningful, reciprocal, and mutually beneficial ways to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.

In fall 2011, with Mr. Clark coordinating the process and the superintendent serving as a member of the committee, the district began developing a strategic plan that would propel the district into the 21st century. Care was taken to select individuals for the committee who represented the diversity of the district. Thirty-nine individuals, half of whom were district personnel (teachers, administrators, and students) and half of whom were community members (business affiliates, religious leaders, parents, and city government), formed the strategic planning committee. First, they met for several days in very intense sessions to identify operational procedures. An outside consultant was invited to provide training in the art of collaboration. Rules were established and everyone agreed to follow the rules, respecting the rights of individuals to disagree and foster a difference of opinion. After the training on collaboration was concluded and operational procedures were in place, Superintendent Wallace offered comments to the committee regarding her view of the district’s needs, passed out materials on state and national standards and assessment measures, and spoke about current trends in educational reform. She concluded her remarks by acknowledging Director Clark’s leadership skills and voicing support for him in the position of coordinator.

Operating on the assumption that everyone’s views are important and everyone has a meaningful role to play, the planning committee used a modified Delphi technique to generate information from all segments of the school community for inclusion in the strategic plan. From this process, which took several months, a mission statement that incorporated the core values of the district was developed. The committee distributed the statement and sought and received district and communitywide acceptance before continuing with the strategic planning process. The mission statement read as follows: It is the mission of the Arrowhead Consolidated School District to teach all students to the fullest extent, instilling in them a passion for learning and a readiness to pursue their personal careers in a manner that will enhance our democratic society. This mission emerged from the values that the committee identified from a values clarification study that was conducted throughout the district. The following core values emerged from the study:

Families are the foundation of the community, and parents and community members should participate in the educational process.

All individuals are accountable and responsible for their choices and actions.

All individuals have values.

All individuals have the capacity for continuous growth and development.

Honesty and integrity are central to building and maintaining trust and relationships.

Diversity is a strength that enriches a community.

People working together toward a common goal are more likely to accomplish that goal.

Schools should prepare students to be contributing members of society.

To achieve this mission, the planning committee identified five goals to be achieved by the year 2015:

Improve the readiness level of all students.

Improve educational outcomes at every school.

Improve staff effectiveness by providing professional development programs that are tailored to the needs of teachers in individual schools.

Strengthen parent and community participation in the educational process.

Design an open assessment process to measure student progress and make curriculum decisions.

After getting districtwide acceptance of the mission statement, the list of districtwide goals was agreed upon and under the leadership of the school principals, local site-based councils were established for each school. The councils consisted of administrators, teachers, staff, students, parents, and other representatives of each local school community. The councils then worked within each school to establish local school goals that were aligned with district goals. The attainment of local goals was facilitated by the establishment of school committees in the areas of curriculum, resource allocation, and professional development.

After the planning process was completed, in order to foster effective communication, the superintendent provided periodic written updates to every board member. In addition, she met weekly in face-to-face meetings with the board president and had monthly meetings with every board member. In almost every instance, a member of the staff made a presentation, with Mr. Clark taking the lead. Full disclosure was practiced with the board and the community.

Reflective Thinking

Critical Aspects of Leader Behavior

The school leader will develop a vision of high standards that is shared by all stakeholders, and barriers to achieving the vision must be identified, clarified, and addressed.

The school leader will accept responsibility for the current conditions of the school and encourage the faculty to do the work required for high levels of personal and organizational performance.

The school leader will encourage a culture of high expectations for self, student, and staff performance and apply learning and motivational theories.

The school leader will use data sources to collect information. The information will be analyzed, and strategies that enhance student achievement will be selected and implemented.

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