Reminder of What I am About • Expect the Best • Do the Right Thing • Do What is Best for Kids
Concerns about Leadership • A characteristic of many organizations is the passive aggressive nature of many of its leaders. • This approach can lead to dissatisfaction, lack of trust, and failure to move forward in an appropriate manner.
Albert Lea Area Schools Perspectives Pre-2009 • Islands doing their own things- No Centralization, Principals did what they wanted with varying degrees of success • Antiquated systems throughout • District level administration was inconsistent , not leading, and gossiped about. • PLC’s district wide were ineffective, not focused, operating in isolation. • Needs of kids and families clearly did not come first • No accountability within the system
Accountability • Board was concerned about accountability among teachers and administration because for years bad things were happening in our district, and nobody did anything about it.
Need for Accountability • Field trip- Student breaks into a room, enters with a knife, cuts someone. • Student beaten choked, passes out at a school event, posted on internet. • Inappropriate relation occurring between student and teacher, trips admitted, hundreds of texts admitted. • Who is watching out for our students if we are not?
Trust vs. Accountability • The #1 thing that individuals are looking for in their leaders is someone they can trust. • Trust cannot grow with the existence of a whisper campaign from the aggrieved because someone is being held accountable. • This is why trust is important
admin perspective of superintendent related to trust • Topic of discussion among principals-what can we do about Superintendent? • Principals are not getting clear direction, and concerned they are being set up to fail. • Use the district office or superintendent as a foil to implement a building change that your teachers are not on board with or not comfortable with. • Administrators monitor board meetings- only district I have ever seen that does this, only district in Big Nine that does this.
Why do I not trust the Superintendent? • May not like the message, but it is always straightforward.
An external Entities Perspective of Mike Funk • Language taken from a an external evaluation by the Training and Doctrine Command, United States Army, August 2012 of the 175th Regional Training Institute: • The Regional Training Institute Commander leads by example, and and expects all cadre assigned to do the same. The requirements are simple: Adherence to all Army standards. Upon assuming command, the Commander realized several senior members of the command failed to maintain required readiness levels.
The Commander provided ample opportunity for all members of the command to gain adherence to Army standards, and those who failed were dealt with quickly and fairly. • During a focus group, members of the organization commented that a double standard had been present with the previous commander, and this created a hostile environment. With the arrival of the new commander, this double standard ceased to exist.
Albert Lea Area Schools 2012-2013 • District has been centralized, students now receive a consistent curriculum. • District has been realigned • Teachers and administration are partnered and following a plan to ensure PLCs are effective. They TRUST each other... • Systems have been upgraded throughout district. • Directors have been hired who are competent, and get things done. • Many new principals have been hired, and all building principals are becoming outstanding instructional leaders. • Some members of Middle Management do not feel appreciated- and do not trust the superintendent, because he is holding people accountable and they are fearful.
A challenge • Change your approach- rather than undermine through a whisper campaign, or discuss things as a collective, I encourage you to meet one on one to share your thoughts. The caricature of dis-trust or fear that some of you have created is unacceptable, and hurts the organization at all levels...