Alignment of Goals Improves Results for Students
Aligning goals in a school district
seems like a simple task to many people until they realize the many
voices involved in decisions in public education. Governors, State
Boards of Education, Education Commissioners, Legislators, School
Boards, teacher unions, professional associations, parents, staff, and
students all seek a voice at the table when important decisions must be
made by the superintendent.
Integrating the big ideas of a
district strategic plan into the day to day practices of all employees
is one of the greatest challenges for a superintendent. Now, we know
that it truly matters and that maintaining a focus on alignment of
district goals to the classroomimproves student achievement.
Waters and Marzano (2007) conducted a
meta-analysis of research on the effect of superintendent leadership on
student achievement. Their work produced three major findings:
- District level leadership matters
- Effective superintendents focus their efforts on settting cleargoals for the district.
- Superintendent tenure is positively correlatedwith student achievement.
There is assignificant relationship
(.05 level, 95 percent confidence level) between district leadership and
improved student achievement. District leadership responsibilities
correlate with student achievement (School Administrator, March 2007). This is also supported in similar research by Michael Fullan and Douglas Reeves.