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Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has spearheaded the creations of college savings account for the city's low-income students.

Libby Schaaf, mayor of Oakland, established in January the Oakland Promise, a project with more than 100 community partners working to triple the number of the city’s low-income, public school students who go on to graduate college.

Since Cedrick Gray Gray became superintendent of Jackson Public Schools in 2012, the Mississippi district’s state and national accreditation was restored, graduation rates increased and dropout rates decreased.

Cedrick Gray of Jackson Public Schools in Mississippi was named 2015 Superintendent of the Year by the National Alliance of Black School Educators in November. The award goes to an administrator whose leadership has brought significant improvements for students of African descent.

Source: National Council on Teacher Quality (Click to enlarge)

The vast majority of states require student growth and achievement to be factored into teacher and principal evaluations.

But most states and districts are now grappling with the practical realities of implementing those policies, according to the October report “State of the States 2015: Evaluating Teaching, Leading and Learning” from the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Under Principal Alan Tenreiro’s leadership, Cumberland High School has seen increases in academic achievement, graduation rates, and the number of students admitted to college. (Photo: Lifetouch Photography)

Alan Tenreiro, principal of Cumberland High School in Rhode Island, was named 2016 National Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals in October. Under Tenreiro’s leadership, the high school (which is part of the Cumberland School Department) has seen increases in academic achievement, graduation rates, and the number of students admitted to college.

The school has also doubled its Advanced Placement class offerings and expanded its STEM courses to include pre-engineering and robotics.

Brevard Public Schools changed principal PD in 2014-15 to focus intensively on building principals’ skills working with teachers in the modern classroom.

Some say that for principals, every day is their first day on the job. Alongside day-to-day building management issues such as hiring teachers, overseeing finances and student discipline, principals now guide teachers through new state standards and testing.

Leslie T. Fenwick is dean of the School of Education at Howard University. Her upcoming book is "Jim Crow’s Pink Slip: Public Policy and the Near Decimation of Black Educational Leadership After Brown."

Leslie T. Fenwick has been praised as “a fearless voice in education on behalf of communities of color.” Her upcoming book, Jim Crow’s Pink Slip, will examine the cultural and social implications of educational policy as it relates to race equity and the principalship.

Principals shifting their roles from building manager to instructional leader need more extensive PD to ensure top performance from teachers and students, according to a new policy brief from ASCD.

Pamela Roggeman, a high school English teacher for 17 years, is now the academic dean for the College of Education at University of Phoenix.

As it does for many families, local school district quality played a primary role in our real estate choice.

But open-enrollment demanded research. My spouse and I have 35 years of teaching experience between us, so we devised a plan. On one day we scheduled five interviews with five principals from five schools. One essential question drove our discussions: What is your teacher turnover rate?

Three quarters of respondents to a DA survey said funding for their district would increase or stay the same in 2015. (Click to enlarge graphic)

Navigating turbulent waters of uncertain budgets, district leaders have a great challenge: Answer the growing push for accountability and heightened community expectations in 2015.

Superintendent Casey Wardynski says students' social media accounts are review only if the district receives a tip.

Superintendent Casey Wardynski of Huntsville City Schools in Alabama said in September the district has reviewed social media accounts of some 600 students since January to respond to potential threats.

Students are investigated only if school officials receive a tip, he says. The monitoring came to light after the National Security Agency alerted the district to a potential threat a student made against a teacher on Twitter.

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