Low Country Center for Educational Leadership (LCEL)
The Case for Support
Quality of life and long-term economic viability in the South Carolina Low Country rest on the availability of a well-trained and ready workforce. Public education and the more than 150 public schools in the region serve as the talent supply chain for employers. The three essential elements for education attainment are highly skilled instructional leaders as principals leading highly-qualified teachers who are setting high expectations for students. Two years ago, on the heels of a successful collaboration in early literacy, the four school superintendents of Berkley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, initiated a project to create a pipeline to fill vacancies as they arise. High turnover, especially in the region’s most challenging schools, too often leads to individuals being placed in thee positions with too little time to prepare. We are determined to do something about it.
A nationwide review of best practices in principal preparation was conducted on our behalf by the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative and John Read with support from the Wallace Foundation. Three evidenced-based programs were invited to the region to review proposals for partnering with us. Of these, the University of Washington’s Center for Educational Leadership was selected.
There are two components to this initiative:
- Instructional Leadership Training – Sitting Principals and Principal Supervisors
- Aspiring Principals
The Low Country Education Consortium is partnering with the University of Washington’s Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) to form the Low Country Center for Educational Leadership in order to grow and develop talent to lead the region’s schools.”
The vision for this work does not entail a brick-and-mortar center but a virtual organization with one to two staff managing logistics and equipping themselves to serve as trainers. Once the center is established, it will be overseen by districts and be self-supporting based on the tuition paid by each district.
Assuring our children and their teachers have highly qualified instructional leaders in every school is the surest means of sustaining transformation.
CEL’s Instructional Leadership Academy provides a school system with a research-based approach to improving instructional leadership effectiveness. Through the academy, principals, instructional coaches, teacher leaders and central office leaders become stronger and more reflective instructional leaders able to lead for the implementation of state standards.
Utilizing a powerful cohort model with whole-group and small-group job-embedded learning, the academy helps you answer the following questions. What does good instructional practice look and sound like? What are the skills necessary to develop stronger instructional leadership, and how do you use them? How do you drive better student learning results by leveraging existing teacher evaluation models to focus more specifically on the professional growth of teachers?
The academy follows from the Center for Educational Leadership’s (CEL’s) theory of action that student learning will not improve until the quality of teaching improves, and that the quality of teaching will not improve until leaders understand what constitutes high-quality instruction along with the role they play in improving instructional practice and student learning. CEL customizes each academy to the unique needs of each school system.
Academy graduates gain the following outcomes:
- A common language and shared vision for high-quality instruction.
- Nonjudgemental methods for observing and analyzing instruction.
- Transformative skills in providing targeted feedback and planning professional learning.
- A collaborative professional learning community focused on student learning.
- A broader, deeper culture of public practice.