December 4th Edition

Becoming a Better Version of Yourself: The School Leader Paradigm in Action

by Dr. Joe Schroeder, Associate Executive Director, AWSA

On several recent occasions, I have raised the following question to groups of Wisconsin school leaders:  “Is it possible to be a principal who “runs a school” -- maybe even for twenty years -- without ever becoming a learning leader who is developing a learning organization?”  On each occasion to date, the response has been a clear-cut yes.  And that’s concerning because our schools and communities need not just building managers, but learning leaders (those who are able to cultivate the culture and systems of a learning organization over time) if we are to significantly make headway on our commitment to the success and well being of every student under our care.  In response, a consortium of state principal associations across America (including AWSA), called the School Leader Collaborative, has been working for several years to re-conceptualize how we view principal leadership with a framework called the School Leader Paradigm, or Paradigm. Essentially, the purpose of the Paradigm is to help educational leaders become better versions of themselves so that schools get the learning leaders they need.

Read more. 

Key Administrator Contract Deadlines on the Horizon 

by Malina Piontek, Attorney 

For administrators in Wisconsin, December is a time when administrative personnel moves are being considered by many school boards. This activity is largely driven by the statutory contract renewal/non-renewal process, as the first statutory deadline for that process is January 31, 2020. But by December, many school boards are already well into discussing whose contracts will be renewed or non-renewed so that they can be sure to meet the statutory deadlines.

Read more.

2019 Act 44, Creates Alternative to FORT for Special Education Teaching Positions 

Act 44 (Assembly Bill 194) creates an alternative to the requirement that an applicant for an initial special education teaching license must pass the Foundations of Reading Test (FORT). Under the bill, a person may instead complete a course of study that satisfies the following requirements:

  1. The course of study provides rigorous instruction in the teaching of phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and fluency.
  2. A student in the course receives feedback and coaching from an expert of reading instruction.
  3. A student in the course of study demonstrates competence in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and fluency by providing a portfolio of work. 

DPI must waive the requirement to pass the FORT if an applicant for an initial special education teaching license demonstrates to the satisfaction of the agency that he or she successfully completed such a course.

The act became effective on November 22, 2019, and, the DPI is expected to promulgate rules to administer Act 44.