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Our “Best of the Blogs” section includes thoughtful insights on school leadership being shared through blogs maintained by AASA members. This representative sampling of five bloggers, through an RSS feed, will change periodically to showcase other member blogs, so check back regularly. If you are aware of others, contact magazine@aasa.org.

  • Local Service Club – Deerfield Rotary

    Superintendent's Office DPS109|8/21/2014

    “Whatever you do in life, remember: Think higher and feel deeper. It cannot be bad if you do that.” – Elie Wiesel In Deerfield, we have a local Rotary club, we have been serving since 1930! We are part of the Rotary District 6440 and we are part of Rotary International. This is Membership Month […]

  • Let’s Talk! Focus on Communication – Big 5 Organizational Culture

    Superintendent's Office DPS109|8/19/2014

    “One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.” – Marie Curie As part of our District’s Big 5, Organizational Culture plays a huge part of our focus and energy! In support of keeping up with the pulse of the community, we have partnered with K12Insight.com for climate […]

  • Allergy Management Plan

    Superintendent's Office DPS109|8/18/2014

    “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” - Anonymous Student safety is at the forefront of all decisions made in our school district! Allergy/food management is a “hot topic” that has been in the hopper for several years and came to the surface last year. […]

  • Our unexceptional schools are really quite extraordinary

    The Superintendent's Chair|8/18/2014

    The official school data website for the state of Michigan (www.mischooldata.org), lists 51 districts/charter schools for Oakland County.

    None are exceptional.

    At least that is the impression given by the Michgan Department of Education's school accountability report cards. Official scores were released last week. Scores for Oakland County districts, like every county in the state of Michigan, were perceived to be lackluster.

    No Oakland County district/charter school received the state's highest rating of green.

    Over half of the districts/charter schools earned a rating of yellow.

    In Novi, over 86% of our students were proficient in math. Over 95% of our students were proficient in reading.

    For each district and school the state calculates its "bottom 30%". That is the state creates a group that is comprised of the lowest achieving 30% of the students in the district.

    In Novi, over 54% of our "bottom 30%" were proficient in math. Over 85% of our "bottom 30%" were proficient in reading.

    Yet, the Novi Community School District earned a "yellow" rating.

    The state would argue that Novi has achievement gaps. That is true. We do. that appears to be the most powerful indicator of performance and the one the determines the overall rating of any individual school or district.

    As a result, districts that are diverse. Districts that are large. Districts that have groups that the psycometricians can slice and dice will have a hard time being rated highly.

    I am not opposed to accountability. I understand that parents want to know if their schools are being successful. Politicians want to know if the money that they are spending is being used wisely.

    Schools need to be able to demonstrate that students are learning.

    Any rating of schools should use test data.

    But rating schools using test data alone ignores many of the good things that schools are doing.

    Novi has a marching band of over 170 members. Novi has athletics and clubs that create opportunities for students not only to be engaged but to learn how to lead, how to work hard, how to set goals. Novi has a freshman orientation program that links upper-classman with incoming freshman. Novi sends fifth graders to camp and eighth graders to Washington DC. Novi teaches our elementary students about the seven habits. We have computer labs and laptop carts.

    The Novi Community School District is exceptional in many ways. We have work to do. Of that there is no debate.

    And Novi is not alone. There are many excptional districts and schools throughout the state of Michigan.

    Can we get better? Of course.

    I appreciate the state attempting to rate schools. But, in my opinion, the rating ignores many of the factors that make schools truly great.

    In my opinion, many Michigan schools are quite extraordinary. Even though we are colored yellow!



  • Watch “Iowa, Did You Know?” on YouTube

    Superintendent's Office DPS109|8/17/2014

    Iowa ‘s story can apply to all states in the nation. Video reminds us all why it’s time to transform public education! From time to time I publish the “Did you Know” videos – they help us visualize the transformation our world is undergoing at present. This video has a quote I use frequently: “In […]

  • Digital Leadership Day – August 15th

    Superintendent's Office DPS109|8/15/2014

    “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” – Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society A blogger I follow, http://www.dangerouslyirrelevant.org/, annually calls for digital leaders to share thoughts, reflections, ideas, concerns about digital leadership and trans-formative/innovative education. From his post about Digital Leadership Day: “Over the past 7 years, we’ve had […]

  • Some Things I Have Learned . . . Leadership Day 2014

    Culture of Yes|8/15/2014

    When Scott McLeod asks you to do something, it’s difficult to say “No”.  He is one of those connecting leaders in education.  The following tweet showed up in my feed this week: So, this is my first time participating in #LeadershipDay14 discussing leadership with digital technologies in education. It has been, and continues to be, a journey […]

  • ELA: English Language Arts – support online anytime

    Superintendent's Office DPS109|8/14/2014

    “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” - Warren G. Bennis This is another in a series of blog posts where I am sharing resources to support teachers, these posts include descriptions of services, subscriptions, programs, aids, SUPPORTS for learning that we are putting into place intentionally and deliberately to support teachers and […]

  • More supports for teachers! (English, Spanish, French, German)

    Superintendent's Office DPS109|8/13/2014

    “Learn to listen and listen to learn.” – Tom Izzo This year we prepare for a myriad of changes. I’m continuing with this series of blog posts descriptions of services, subscriptions, tools, programs, aids, SUPPORTS for learning that we are putting into place intentionally and deliberately to support teachers and students. Thanks to Dr. Jeff […]

  • 1:1 Transformative Learning Environments

    Superintendent's Office DPS109|8/12/2014

    “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” - Buddha This is another in a series of how we are supporting teachers this year in the anticipation of transformative public education in DPS109! I have posted in the past about 1:1 Transformative Learning Environments. I […]

  • Supporting instruction aligned with the Common Core and 1:1

    Superintendent's Office DPS109|8/11/2014

    “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” - Warren G. Bennis This year we prepare for many changes. This year we prepare for the best year ever! This year we are asking our teachers to do A LOT – new curriculum maps, new instructional practices, transformation with the 1:1 learning environment initiative, new […]

  • Digital Planbook for Teachers

    Superintendent's Office DPS109|8/10/2014

    “Dream big and dare to fail. “ – Norman Vaughan This year we prepare for a myriad of changes. This year we prepare for the best year ever! This year we are asking our teachers to do A LOT – new curriculum maps, new instructional practices, transformation with the 1:1 learning environment initiative, new middle […]

  • Supporting Teachers – New Year – New Changes – New Growth – New Support

    Superintendent's Office DPS109|8/9/2014

    “I am an athlete. I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying.” – Unknown This year we prepare for a myriad of changes. This year we prepare for the best year ever! This year we are asking our […]

  • Leadership Challenge Action Planning

    Superintendent's Office DPS109|8/8/2014

    “You’ve removed most of the roadblocks to success when you know the difference between motion and direction.” – Bill Copeland Last year the leadership team in DPS109 read the Leadership Challenge as a book study; I have shared information about this book, the authors, and the leadership messages in earlier blog posts. Last spring we […]

  • John Hattie’s 8 Mindframes for Teachers

    Superintendent's Office DPS109|8/6/2014

    “By word and/or personal example, leaders markedly influence the behaviors, thoughts, and/or feelings of their fellow human beings. All leadership takes place through the communication of ideas to the minds of others.” Howard Gardner Currently the greatest source of what works in education, effects of impact on teaching and learning, comes from the extensive research […]




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