Monthly Archives: June 2011


June 15 Podcast – The CSU Crisis and California’s Future

At this event, Patricia Gándara and Gary Orfield, Co-Directors, The Civil Rights Project at UCLA and Kimberly King, Assistant Professor, California State University, Los Angeles, presented research findings on a series of reports designed to analyze the impact of fiscal cutbacks on opportunity for higher education in the California State University system (see article on the research series in Diverse Issues in Higher Education). CSUs educate a greater number of Latino and African American students, enroll a much larger undergraduate student body than the University of California system overall, and many CSU students are first-generation college students struggling to get an education in difficult times. Representatives from the Legislative Analyst’s Office, California Senate, and Postsecondary Education Commission open the discussion pertaining to the  impact upon students and the future of the State; improving access by removing barriers to CSU education; meeting the financial needs of aid-eligible students; and understanding the impact to CSU faculty and staff.

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May 6th Podcast – Organizational Management for Instructional Improvement

Recognition of the importance of school leadership has led to increased attention to recruiting and preparing school leaders. Yet, principal preparation and development programs tend to emphasize the role of principals as instructional leaders. In this seminar, Professor Susanna Loeb, Executive Director of the Center for Education Policy Analysis program at Stanford University, discussed the findings of her leadership studies that highlight the importance of organizational leadership and the development of organizational structures for improved instruction. Strong organizational managers, the studies have found, are effective in hiring and supporting staff, allocating budgets and resources, and maintaining positive working/learning environments. Schools that have demonstrated academic improvement are more likely to have effective organizational managers.

Strong instructional leadership is essential for a school to be successful. However, one must be careful about how instructional leadership is defined. Defined narrowly with a focus on curriculum and classroom instruction only, instructional leadership is unlikely to result in increased student learning or other school outcomes of interest. The studies discussed in this seminar have found that growth in school outcomes is more likely to be related to organizational management for instructional improvement. School leaders are more likely to influence teachers’ classroom practices, and consequently student learning, by supporting teachers and fostering effective teaching and learning environments, rather than focusing narrowly on classroom instruction alone.

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