High Needs Schools Group – Update


Welcome back to your campuses after the holiday break. Hope all is well as the new year begins.

I want to update you on several developments regarding the International School Leadership Development Network, particularly our work on High Need Schools:
·         Special issue of a journal. There has not been much interest mentioned by our group or the Social Justice group regarding a special issue for theJournal of Research on Leadership Education. The sentiment Howard and I have heard is that our present work is not a good match for the journal’s focus on leadership preparation and development. At a later time, however, our work might become more relevant for this journal. One suggestion was to approach Jeff Brooks, the editor of the Journal of School Leadership, for his reaction to a possible special issue dealing with the ISLDN. Another possibility might be to work with the BELMAS journal,Educational Management Administration & Leadership, edited by Tony Bush. Let me know your thoughts about pursuing a special issue.
·         BELMAS conference. Both ISLDN groups are submitting separate symposium proposals for the conference, which is in Edinburgh, Scotland on 12-14 July. For our group, Dan Duke, Olof Johansson, and Jami Berry are submitting papers. Michelle Young has agreed to serve as the discussant. I’ll prepare and submit the proposal by the due date of 22 February.
·         AERA conference. Our ISLDN pre-session will either be on the 26th or 27thof April. Terri Orr said she’d let us know the date and time slot as soon as possible. During the session, our group will be reviewing our data to determine: (a) what we have learned from our cases that helps us understand the features and challenges leaders experience in high need schools and (b) what we have learned from our cases that suggests how to prepare and provide professional development for leaders of high need schools. Those who have collected data will provide their responses to me by 1 April. I will then collate and distribute these responses to everyone prior to the meeting.
·         New members. During the UCEA Convention, several people approached me about joining our group. One was Miles Bryant from the University of Nebraska, who expressed interest in the project during its initial formation, but other commitments have kept him from participating. He’s very interested in contributing and has access to high need schools in the Russian state of Georgia. Elizabeth Murakami, one of my colleagues from UT San Antonio, will be collaborating with Miles. The second contributor is Haiyan Qian, a faculty member at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. She attended our UCEA pre-session and will collect data from high need schools in Shanghai. The addition of these new colleagues is really exciting since it broadens our perspective by learning what is occurring in other countries and cultural contexts. Please welcome them to our discussions. Hopefully, all three will be able to attend our AERA pre-session.

Cannot think of anything else at the moment. Looking forward to seeing you in San Francisco and/or Edinburgh. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes,

Bruce Barnett

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