What’s the Mark of a Great School Leader? Great Followers

SMHC Task Force member Denis Doyle stresses the importance of HR alignment and strong school leadership in this recent post on The Doyle Report. According to Doyle, the success of Montgomery County MD schools is largely due to its management of human capital. Doyle writes, “One of the lessons that cannot be stressed enough is that the institution’s ‘human capital’ must be aligned … to bring it all off: teacher and principal recruitment, oversight, in-service training, compensation, promotion, tenure must all work together seamlessly… Even more important is the leader’s vision.”

Montgomery CO schools Superintendent Jerry Weast is responsible for much of the district’s high academic achievement, Doyle writes. The greatest testament to Weast’s success is not his function as an irreplaceable leader, but rather his ability to inspire followers. In Leading for Equity: The Pursuit of Excellence in Montgomery County Schools, a recently published book by Doyle and Stacey M. Childress and David A. Thomas of the Harvard Business School, Doyle documents Weast’s strategies in an effort to develop “the architecture of success from which his successors and colleagues can (and must) learn.”

School leadership was a focus of the recent SMHC National Task Force meeting. Task Force members deliberated extensively how to produce effective principals, and looked in particular at Chicago Public Schools’ ongoing efforts to reform their approach to principal recruitment and placement.

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