McREL
in the News

McREL trainer named Nebraska 2019 Teacher of the Year

Ninth-grade English teacher, instructional coach, and McREL-certified Classroom Instruction That Works® (CITW) trainer Sydney Jensen has been named Nebraska 2019 Teacher of the Year, KOLN-TV reported.

Jensen teaches at Lincoln High School (LHS), which has a strong partnership with McREL. LHS principal Mark Larson chose McREL’s CITW framework to help his school team improve instructional consistency, communication, and collaboration. Jensen became an integral part of that initiative by joining McREL’s “training of trainers” program, which is how CITW can be shared throughout a school or district at a fraction of the cost of continually bringing in consultants.

Nebraska Commissioner of Education Matt Blomstedt surprised Jensen with her award at Lincoln High on Oct. 11, KOLN reported. She’ll go on to be considered for National Teacher of the Year.

Read the article.

REL Pacific takes aim at math achievement in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)

In our capacity as administrator of the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Pacific, McREL is working with school leaders and researchers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to tear down a roadblock for far too many college students: math.

The Marianas Variety newspaper covered an address at the CNMI Education Summit by McREL’s Phillip Herman, who serves as the lab’s executive director, in which he described his collaboration with the nation’s public schools, its department of labor, the Mount Carmel School in Saipan, and Northern Marianas College (NMC). Their goal: increase the college graduation rate by designing a new high school math course that prepares seniors for college-level math.

The high-school level course wouldn’t offer college credits itself, the paper pointed out, but rather . “help students catch up faster, advance them as fast as they can, and if they pass the course, they will be given the chance to take college-level math at NMC,” Herman was quoted as saying.

Read the article.

Hamilton County Department of Education adopts McREL’s Balanced Leadership® framework for district- and school-level leaders

The Hamilton County Department of Education’s decision to adopt McREL’s Balanced Leadership framework during the 2017–18 school year was recently profiled on The Chattanoogan.com, an online daily newspaper in Tennessee. This leadership development training and coaching will be connected to the district’s mission and vision, and is intended to focus on specifically supporting school-level leaders. The article quotes McREL consultant Mel Sussman, who explained how school- and district-level leaders will gain access to “a validated research model in how quality, shared instructional leadership should be carried out throughout the district.” Justin Robertson, the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, expressed that learning about “McREL’s research-based findings that link school-level leadership with student achievement,” will help ensure that the district’s students are college- and career-ready upon graduation.

Read the article.

Rome (NY) school board uses McREL’s Superintendent Evaluation framework

The superintendent of the Rome City School District in upstate New York won praise from his board recently—and by extension so did McREL’s Superintendent Evaluation System, which is based on McREL’s Balanced Leadership™ Framework. The Rome Sentinel reported that new Superintendent Peter Blake finished his first year with a “proficient” rating following a McREL evaluation process, which the Sentinel explained is a notable achievement for a first-time superintendent given the rigor of the McREL superintendent evaluation process. The board adopted the McREL evaluation system two years earlier because it was “more comprehensive” than their previous process. The McREL Superintendent Evaluation system helps district leaders and boards focus their reviews on:

  • Purposeful community – using assets to accomplish goals that matter to all community members.
  • Managing change – understanding the implications and adjusting leadership behavior accordingly.
  • Focus of leadership – targeting appropriate areas for school improvement efforts.
  • Management – having a system in place for organizing the work of the school district and prioritizing student learning and safety.

Read the article.

McREL’s research on school and district leaders outlines their influence on student achievement

What do principals do, and how does their role differ from that of central office administrators? How have their roles and responsibilities changed over the years? In this op-ed in TriCorner News, Pam Vogel, superintendent of Connecticut’s Regional School District No. 1, answers these questions and tells the community that competent principals and central-office leaders influence student achievement. Citing McREL research, Vogel states that “Principals see that student learning and progress occurs in their building; superintendents are to oversee that each school is making progress. This is accountability. This is what students and parents should expect of us and what we owe them.”

Read the article.