National Survey Reveals Impending Leadership Crisis in Education

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<strong>Greensboro, N.C. &mdash; April 17</strong><br />According to a national survey of school superintendents conducted by The American Association of School Administrators, 39 percent of superintendents plan to retire by 2011, 46 percent plan to remain active as superintendents and 14 percent plan to continue working, but not as superintendents. <br /> <br />&ldquo;Education is facing a leadership crisis,&rdquo; said Dr. Larry Coble, veteran educator and founder of School Leadership Services. After 38 years in education &mdash; 13 as a consultant &mdash; Coble believes there&rsquo;s never been more need for leadership development in education than right now.<br /> <br />To help school districts prepare, Coble joined forces with leadership development solutions provider Discovery Learning Inc. to develop the Discovery Leadership Profile for Educators, a 360-degree assessment designed to measure leadership competencies specific to the education sector. <br /> <br />&ldquo;The unique challenges facing educators require a specialized assessment,&rdquo; said Discovery Learning President Chris Musselwhite, Ed.D.<br /> <br />According to Musselwhite, Coble contributed to the sections in the Discovery Leadership Profile for Educators that address instructional leadership and service to students and stakeholders, two important competencies in education leadership that are not addressed by general population 360 assessments.<br /> <br />&ldquo;In today&rsquo;s arena of high-stakes testing and accountability, the issue of instructional leadership is critically important for success,&rdquo; said Coble, &ldquo;as is the matter of service to students, which is why the whole education system exists: to serve the students.&rdquo; <br /> <br />When used district-wide, the Discovery Leadership Profile for Educators can reveal important trends in development needs in that district.<br /> <br />&ldquo;Today, we have a shortage of people willing to serve as principals and superintendents,&rdquo; said Coble. &ldquo;As a result, more districts have to move inexperienced professionals into leadership roles prematurely. Tools that can identify where development is needed are crucial to ensuring leadership needs are met.&rdquo;<br /> <br />The Discovery Leadership Profile for Educators collects anonymous and confidential feedback about leadership performance of individuals from up to 17 respondents, including direct reports, peers and supervisors. The assessment aggregates this information to provide personalized feedback about performance on 62 items in 15 important dimensions of leadership.<br /> <br />Administered through the Discovery Learning Online Assessment Center, the assessment allows rated leaders to compare subgroup ratings to each other and to the self-rating, revealing gaps between self-perceptions and the perceptions of others.<br /> <br />&ldquo;In addition to providing insight into how others view their leadership effectiveness, using a 360 across an entire district provides a common language for discussing leadership,&rdquo; said Musselwhite.<br /> <br />Coble believes 360 assessments will continue to be used both ways &mdash; to help individuals and to identify collective needs &mdash; and has seen the latter gaining interest across the country.<br /> <br />&ldquo;I believe the challenges our education system faces can be successfully addressed, but it will take effective, creative and experienced leaders to do it,&rdquo; said Coble. &ldquo;The Discovery Leadership Profile for Educators and other tools specialized to the needs of educators will be a big help in making that happen.&rdquo; <br />

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