Cascade Matters is the blog of Cascade Educational Consultants. Cascade has extensive experience in policy development, advocacy, education reform, youth leadership, teaching and learning strategies, education collaborations and civic development. We are committed to ensuring schools create and sustain quality teaching and learning environments for all students to be successful in school and contribute to their communities as active principled citizens. Learn more about us.

Cascade Educational Consultants is an educational consulting firm committed to high-quality equitable teaching, learning and serving environments for all students to succeed in school and in life. Click here to learn more about our services...

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Leading to Reform: April 7

This week’s newsletter is back from spring break. All of us working with Leading to Reform are excited about the new web site and where it is going, stay tuned. This week’s letter highlights how to design work place satisfaction, Milwaukee’s ed reform, Wisconsin merit pay plans working, and characteristics of weak leaders As always, we link to an array of columns and pieces spanning the ideological spectrum on leadership and reform.

Google Deliberately Designs Work Place Satisfaction
Google has devoted the same level of intellectual firepower it used to create search engines, self-driving cars to discovering, refining, and implementing leadership practices that optimize human performance in the workplace. Upending traditional leadership theory, which directs organizations to squeeze as much out of people while paying them as little as possible, Google holds an authentic reverence for its employees and seeks to not just appeal to their "uber-developed" minds in motivating performance, but also to their very human hearts.

Where does your organization fit in retaining and developing intellectual firepower?

Yes We Can
Tom Vander Ark, an education advocate, advisor, and author recently addressed Milwaukee education on his Education Week Blog On Education.
The most impressive progress in Milwaukee is being made by the Schools That Can Milwaukee (STCM) team led by Abby (Ramirez) Andrietsch.

The goal is 20,000 high performing seats by 2020--and they are about halfway there. STCM has a group of more than 80 leaders from 24 district, charter and voucher schools serving over 10,000 students coming together around quality, collaborating cross-sector, striving for excellence and a greater vision for Milwaukee. STCM supports high performing school visits, best practice sharing and leadership coaching.

"Leaders remind people what is important," said Bill Hughes, STCM Director of Leadership Development
at ASCD two weeks ago. "Leadership is a learned skill."

In Wisconsin, it must be learned in a masters degree program so Hughes created a partnership with Alverno.

STCM focuses on moving schools into high performance, replicating homegrown high performers, and attracting high performers like Rocketship. They learned a lot about 'no excuses' leadership from Uncommon Schools and like their mentors, STCM is more about execution than innovation.
Education in Milwaukee is on the rise. Add a dose of innovation and things will get better fast.

Watch for Milwaukee to continue it’s upward climb for kids in our city.

Wisconsin and School District Employees are Getting Big Raises in Post Union Era
Some Wisconsin School Districts and State Employees are now receiving pay increases in excess of 5% based on their value and contribution to the success of their department or school district.

Leading school districts across the State have new compensation plans designed to retain and engage their most effective teachers rewarding their best educators while moving their districts into the next era.

Great and high demand teachers are commanding better compensation and like school leaders, securing better pay in exchange for strong results.
Laggard school districts are still offering the status quo. Sub par pay increases for the best and brightest and making sure everyone gets the same pay raise – just like pre ACT Ten day.

In the first round of pay increases for Wisconsin state employees since union contracts were invalidated, supervisors delivered an average 6.52 percent boost to 2,757 workers, roughly one in 14 of those eligible.

The payout is very different from union-era raises, which were much smaller on a percentage basis but cost tens of millions more because they were distributed to most non-academic employees.

Supervisors were allowed to propose extra pay for valued employees who did superior work, were seeking other employment, or were underpaid compared to others in similar circumstances.

This is a good beginning with more merit compensation becoming the norm as high performers get tired of getting the same raise as the low performer down the hall from them.

Where does your school district fit in the new era of compensation for teachers? Are they studying or are they doing?
Learn More…

5 Characteristics of Weak Leaders
Here are 5 characteristics of Weak Leaders. If you work for a leader with several of these characteristics, keep a sharp eye on what is going on before they suck you into their undertow.
  • Flaw #1: Weak leaders hesitate to take definitive action.
  • Flaw #2: Weak leaders complain about a lack of resources.
  • Flaw #3: Weak leaders refuse to take responsibility.
  • Flaw #4: Weak leaders abuse the privileges of leadership.
  • Flaw #5: Weak leaders engage in acts of insubordination.
Read and listen to the pod cast here: http://michaelhyatt.com/048-the-5-characteristics-of-weak-leaders-podcast.html

Articles for the Week:

"Leaders that are no hassle, get real results with no gimmicks are priceless. Don’t let them leave your school.” --Bill Hughes

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