Events, News

Conversations on Critical Issues


Highlights from Conversations on Critical Issues, Sept. 28, 2011


Summary:  Below are the highlights from the five roundtable discussions from CASDA’s Conversations on Critical Issues, held at the University at Albany on September 28, 2011.  The highlights that are included are those issues or topics of discussion that received more than two “votes”.  The event was attended by 15 school superintendents and 15 UAlbany faculty.

Developing and Supporting Educational Leaders

  • Changes to principal’s role in 21st century; use of former teachers in administrative roles (6);
  • How to cope with isolation; creating support networks (4);
  • Needed changes in public perception about administrators and teachers and their salaries (3);
  • Utilization and understanding of evidence-based instructional leadership strategies (4)


Strategies for Effective Professional Development

  • Need for professional development that is ongoing and frequent (8);
  • Understand the 21st century learner (7);
  • How professional development can create student engagement (4);
  • Base professional development on teachers’ needs, offer coaching (6);
  • Select appropriate and effective professional development to produce desired results (5)


Preparing Teachers for 21st Century Instruction

  • Unintended consequence of APPR- teachers not willing to take on student teachers because performance is tied to student outcomes (7);
  • Changes in the classroom—five years ago, five years from now (4);
  • Role of teacher as facilitator of learning, not “sage on stage” (4);
  • Teach differentiated instruction in teacher preparation programs (8);
  • Teachers must have time, support, and flexibility to be learners, to experience what their students experience (6);


Strategies for the Evaluation of Teaching Quality and Effectiveness

  • Research on effective evaluation models (5);
  • Evaluation not a judgment of what is witnessed, but rather the collection of evidence (4);
  • Emphasis on student preparedness rather than just on graduation (4);
  • Evaluation has initiated a conversation on teacher effectiveness, student achievement. Structure of that discussion? (3)


Integrating Research and Evidence-based Practices to Improve Educational Outcomes

  • Know your school—research that is closer to home will be more practical, more embraced (4);
  • Evidence-based practices in literacy (3);
  • Superintendents value their role as instructional leaders more now than before (4);
  • Centrality of engagement in learning should be a greater focus of K-12 and schools of education (15)