Spring Quarter, 2012

Education 385X: Leadership Issues in Instructional Change in Small Districts: Learning from District Cases in Reforming Practices for English Language Learners.

Instructor: Kenji Hakuta

Most school districts in California now enroll a substantial percentage of English Language Learners, and district leaders are focusing their on improving instruction to support their English language development as well as academic content learning. This course will take advantage of a unique relationship between the instructor and seven small California school districts to examine and understand some of the tools that are currently being used or are being considered by district leaders to support instruction for ELLs. Over the course of the past year, the instructor and the leadership teams from the districts have formed a learning community, and a commitment has emerged to establish a long-term partnership critically examining and sharing practices. The district practices include many of the "buzzwords" of current reform practices (e.g., PLC's, Instructional Rounds) as well as more traditional concepts (EDI, ELD, Sheltered Content Instruction). These practices will be individually examined, but ultimately with an understanding of the role of the district context and systemic integration.

Readings will include some basic descriptions of the theory, implementation, and effectiveness of various strategies, focusing on readings primarily accessible to the practitioner community. The topics being addressed in this course are drawn from those already in place or under consideration by some of the districts as their tools of reform. In addition to discussing the readings, class time will include live discussions (in person or via Skype) with district leaders to address issues of implementation; site visits to the districts will also be scheduled. A final class project will include a district case study (or cross-district comparisons) of implementation, and what lessons can be learned about the robustness of the reform, as well as the context-specificity of the implementation efforts and effectiveness.

The participating districts are primarily in rural central and northern California -- Corning (between Chico and Redding), Ukiah (north of Sonoma), Napa, Fairfield-Suisun (between Vallejo and Dixon), Tahoe-Truckee, Firebaugh-Las Deltas (near Mendota), and Sanger (outside Fresno).


Week of April 2

Slides 4/3/12

Week of April 9

Explore California Department of Education website http://cde.ca.gov to learn as much as you can about 2-3 of the districts in the network.

Reading: Bryk, A., Sebring, P., Allensworth, E., Luppescu, S. & Easton, J. (2010), Organizing schools for improvement: Lessons from Chicago. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Williams, T., Hakuta, K., Haertel, E., et al. (2007). Similar English Learner Students, Different Results: Why Do Some Schools Do Better? A follow-up analysis, based on a large-scale survey of California elementary schools serving low-income and EL students. Mountain View, CA: EdSource. Click here. Slide presentation.

Council of Great City Schools (2009). Succeeding with English Language Learners: Lessons Learned from the Great City Schools. Washington, DC: Council of Great City Schools. Click here.

Week of April 16

No class on Tuesday (AERA). Plan on attending the Stanford ELL Leadership Network meeting (9:00-5:00) on Friday, April 20.

Week of April 23: Common Core State Standards Implementation

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.

Coleman, D & Pimentel, S. (2011). Publishers' Criteria for the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and literacy, Grades 3-12.

Proceedings from the Understanding Language Conference (2012). http://ell.stanford.edu

Direct Instruction

Hollingsworth, J. & Ybarra, S. (2009). Explicit direct instruction (EDI): The power of the well-crafted, well-taught lesson. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

English Language Development Instruction

Saunders, W. & Goldenberg, C. (2010). Research to guide English language development instruction. In Improving Education for English Learners: Research-Based Approaches. California Department of Education.

Dutro, S. & Kinsella, K. (2010). English language development: Issues and implementation at grades six through twelve. In Improving Education for English Learners: Research-Based Approaches. California Department of Education.

Sheltered Content Instruction

Echevarria, J. & Short, D. (2010). Programs and practices for effective sheltered content instruction. In Improving Education for English Learners: Research-Based Approaches. California Department of Education.

Professional Learning Communities

DuFour, R. & and Marzano, R. (2009). High-leverage for principal leadership. Educational Leadership (February), 66: 62-28.

Talbert, J. (2010). Professional learning communities at the crossroads: How systems hinder or engender change. In A. Hargreaves (eds.), Second International Handbook of Educational Changes. Springer International Handbooks of Education.

David, J. & Talbert, J. (2010). Turning around a high-poverty school district: Learning from Sanger Unified's success. Unpublished manuscript, S. H. Cowell Foundation.

Instructional Rounds

City, E., Elmore, R., Fiarman, S. & Teitel, L. (2009). Instructional Roundsin Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning. Harvard Education Press.

Formative Assessment Practices

Heritage, M. (2010). Formative assessment and next-generation assessment systems: Are we losing an opportunity? Council of Chief State School Officers.

Black, P. (2006). The nature and value of formative assessment for learning. King's College manuscript.


Graner, P.S., Faggella-Luby, M.N., & Fritschmann, N.S. (2005). An overview of responsiveness to intervention: What practitioners ought to know. Topics in Language Disorders, 25(2), 93-105.

Fuchs, D., & Deshler, D.D. (2007). What we need to know about responsiveness to intervention (and shouldn’t be afraid to ask). Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 22(2), 129-136.

National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Inc. Response to intervention: Policy considerations and implementation. Alexandra, VA: Author. Available at http://www.ideapartnership.org/documents/RTI-intermediate-ppt-7-30-07.ppt

Research-based collaboration and culture.

Rosen, L. Examining a Novel Partnership for Educational Innovation: Promises and Complexities of Cross-Institutional Collaboration. In C. Coburn & M. K. Stein (eds.) (2010). Research and Practice in Education: Building Alliances, Bridging Divide. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Purchase or Library Reserve.

Ikemoto, G. S. & Honig, M. Tools to Deepen Practitioners' Engagement with Research: The Case of the Institute for Learning. In Coburn & Stein

Coburn, C. The Partnership for District Change: Challenges of Evidence Use in a Major Urban District. In Coburn & Stein.

Hubbard, L. Research to Practice: A Case Study of Boston Public Schools. In Coburn & Stein