Tuesday, June 23 2009
The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) has established what it believes is a unique partnership with Brown University. EVSC Superintendent Vince Bertram says 38 individuals will take part in the corporation's Learning Leadership Cadre (LLC), which includes sessions at the Rhode Island-based university. Brown officials will also visit Evansville throughout the year to conduct seminars for teachers enrolled in the LLC. The university says the program is the only one of its kind in Indiana.
Evansville Schools Partnering With Brown University
Thirty-eight individuals have been selected to participate in the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation’s Learning Leadership Cadre (LLC), a program designed by the EVSC to increase classroom, building and district leadership capacity. It’s most unique feature is a partnership with Brown University’s Department of Education, which Brown officials believe is a one-of-a-kind offering in the state.
This program will educate teachers and administrators in the LLC, so that they can lead the district in increasing and accelerating student success. “Effective leadership is essential to improving student achievement,” said EVSC Superintendent Vince Bertram. “This initiative is important to developing entrepreneurial school leaders with the capacity to improve our schools.”
The EVSC and Brown believe that highly trained, collaborative individuals, who share their knowledge, focus and skills, are essential to fostering engagement and achieving student success. Kenneth Wong, chair of the Department of Education and director of the Urban Education Policy Program at Brown University, said he believes the Learning Leadership Cadre will be a model for Indiana and the nation. The program will be funded through state and federal grants.
Indiana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett lauded the school corporation for its forward thinking and no excuses mentality. “That’s something I really appreciate about the EVSC,” Bennett said. “You don’t hear them saying, ‘No, but….,” you hear a lot of ‘Yes, if’s…” Bennett said the Indiana Department of Education is looking for corporations that are also looking for solutions for student success during this unprecedented era of accountability. The Indiana Department of Education has specifically allocated $100,000 for this partnership.
There are educator and administrator strands in the LLC. The selection process, following a one-week application window, fielded applications from nearly 90 highly qualified educators in the EVSC. Roughly half of those individuals participated in detailed interviews.
“The work the EVSC is doing and the challenges we are facing mean we need high quality leaders at all levels —classroom, school, and district — with diverse skill sets and growth potential. Our ultimate goal is to maximize opportunities for our students by providing a world class educational experience with world class results,” said David Dimmett, chief academic officer for the EVSC.
The LLC is an intensive two-year program which will highlight and support exceptional teaching practices and develop effective change leaders within the district. Those individuals selected will still participate in their regular EVSC assignment or a new position within the EVSC, but will also participate in this program and its initiatives, sharing what they learn with their peers. The EVSC believes those who participate in the program have the capability to significantly impact student achievement. Through the application of research-based theory, LLC participants will determine needs within the EVSC and develop action research and change projects. Leaders in the administrators’ strand will participate in two, one-week institutes at Brown University during the two years of the program, and Brown faculty will visit the EVSC throughout the school year to conduct eight weekend seminars for participants in both the administrator and educator strands.
This year, a total of 21 educators and 17 administrators have been selected. In the second year of the program, the EVSC can add up to 10 teachers and 5 administrators. The initiative is expected to have a systemic impact across the district as members of the LLC flow into key leadership positions. Administrators completing two years in the cadre will continue to move achievement in their own buildings, or be assigned to lead the transformation effort at a chronically underperforming school. Members of the educator strand will continue to be considered for administrative roles, hired for academic coaching positions, or continue to be exemplary models in their classrooms. This will increase building-level and district capacity to support the learning leadership needs of EVSC’s teachers and administrators.
The LLC will focus on four cornerstones: Leadership, Collaboration, Engagement, and Data. Emphasis will be placed on highlighting and strengthening high-yield instructional practices for classroom and building leadership.
Source: Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation & Inside INdiana Business