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L4L Year 3 Professional Growth Plan Barbara

Peterson Self-Assessment

When leaders
leadership along
this standard
they are able to:

1. Equity

(a) Identify how

policies, and
systems, both
presently and
have created
disparities in
the quality of
and student
particularly for




Claims and Evidence

What are two or three specific claims you would make
about your leadership related to this standard? What are
two or three pieces of evidence you would cite to support
each claim?

Claim: Because of my leadership, changes are underway (in

differing stages) in the 11 district with whom NLA works to change
policies and amend systems that have created disparities in the
learning opportunities for nearly 5600 students in 11 rural central
Washington school districts with whom NLA works, with a specific
focus on the majority of these students who are traditionally
marginalized students primarily ELL, migrant, immigrant and
students of poverty.
Evidence: In a 7-year, $18 million dollar grant awarded
September 2014, the following efforts will address existing
disparities: more rigorous courses (AP, dual credit, honors) will be
offered and more teachers qualified to teach them; more rural
students and underrepresented students will enroll in more
rigorous courses in high school through an automatic enrollment
for all qualified students, changing from an existing teacher or
parent referral practice which disadvantaged first generation and


underrepresented students; Spanish language clubs in middle

school pipelining to AP Spanish classes in high school affirm
students Spanish language and cultural heritage; college
preparatory software (Naviance, Career Cruiser) provides highly
differentiated information to counsel all students to a good fit
postsecondary institution.
Claim: The learning opportunities of students in the elementary
afterschool programs NLA oversees (currently serving
approximately 800 students each year in 9 elementary school
buildings) will be significantly enhanced with new culturally
responsive student/parent & family literacy programs NLA has
Evidence: NLAs new Associate Director has designed new
culturally responsive student/family literacy programs (rural titles
and subjects, also English/Spanish titles) that enable Spanishspeaking families to participate in new ways. Previous practice
dictated that our afterschool program align with school day
programming; CCSS allows NLA to design our own programming to
Spanish language texts, not current districts practice (the only
Spanish language texts in these districts libraries are
Evidence: NLA staff (Linda Hillman, Ephrata School District) has
developed STEM modules that allow K-5 students to engage in
individual engineering design activities. We are strengthening
these programs and standardizing the curricula, and have written
these in a Peabody Journal article out in June 2015. .
Claim: I work actively to address the equity issues of Spanish

language speakers.
Evidence: I have hired a new staff person tasked with developing
an elementary literacy program in Spanish and English, that will
incorporate many books for students in both languages to redress
the often subtractive educational practices to which students are
exposed that promote the loss of home language and a resulting
alienation of home culture. It is very powerful and highly
acclaimed in the districts with whom we work.
Evidence: I have hired a Spanish speaking evaluator who is to
engage with families and conduct surveys and focus groups to
help us understand how best to involve parents in our programs.
Evidence: To strengthen students spoken Spanish and prepare
them for rigorous AP Spanish, our newest grant promotes middle
school language classes and AP high school Spanish, a
requirement for every participating district.
Evidence: Thirteen of my 38 staff are Spanish-speaking staff; in
most districts, my hires are the highest paid Hispanic staff with
Bachelor of Arts certification, in the district. It is through these
hires that I hope to encourage districts to consider teacher
candidates of colors.
Evidence: My agency participates each year to help the Sisters of
The Sacred Name in Wapato bring a group of Mexican teachers to
Wapato to provide culturally responsive teaching, all in Spanish, to
more than 50 families and more than 100 students in Wapato. I
continue to advocate with the school district to be more accepting
of this initiative (mostly to no avail).
(b) Build policies
and systems that
support every
student in


Claim: NLA works to build support systems for three categories of

students who we designate (to not assign judgment) as high
hanging fruit hard to reach, easy to miss; low-hanging fruit

success and
learning to high


those who will succeed without us, and the middle hanging fruit
and build individual sets of strategies to move each student to
his/her highest capabilities.
Evidence: An ongoing focus is our 20% low performing students
for whom we design intervention each year targeted to the
increasingly specific knowledge we have of those students.
Evidence: We have now taken a new focus on those highly
capable learners who often are ignored in struggling school
districts. We are building systems for mapping their interests and
catering to their different learning needs to move them to reach
their highest standard.
Evidence: Site directors are for the first time investigating what it
takes to gain entry to a highly selective school, and to then
identify which of their students should be counseled to consider
this option.
Claim: I continue to seek out new opportunities to engage our
students with working STEM professionals to build confidence and
interest among any interested students in engineering, science or
other related fields.
Evidence: Our grant program partners us with LIGO Institute, the
MIT and NSF-funded RECON astronomy project that engages 6 of
our 11 districts with high powered telescopes to identify objects in
the Kuiper Belt; and with the AEEE, the American Engineering
Educators to build a middle school component in an existing
engineering recruitment tool called Attributes of a Global
Engineer which will help our students see themselves as future

(c) Foster the

growth and
capacity of
others to reflect
on and enact


Claim: I have broadened my equity leadership by presenting

research to groups of administrators on issues of equity.
Evidence: In January 2015, I made a presentation to 150 people
attending a Rural Alliance annual meeting discussing research
showing that underrepresented students successful completion of
rigorous coursework benefit more toward their likely
postsecondary completion than for non-first generation students
who will succeed regardless of their enrollment in rigorous
coursework. I provided slides and fielded calls from attending
principals who were going to take that information back to their
districts; within informal indication that they would be reviewing
and amending their rigorous coursework admissions
Evidence: I incorporate equity discussions in all my PD training
with my staff, helping them to anticipate the issues they deal with
in supporting underrepresented students. I am increasing their
exposure to full research briefs that include issues of equity so as
to foster the collective responsibility of my staff, and to build their
capacity to support equitable practice in addressing policy
directions we are undertaking. My new Associate Director is
completing her Masters degree in Library Science and IT at the
University of Washington which allows me, through her, to find the
most relevant and timely research.
Claim: I have engaged in Cycles of Inquiry on issues of common
concern to my 11 districts, and using the outcomes, have engage
11 districts in issues of equity.
Evidence: Using outcomes from two separate Cycles of Inquiry
conducted in these rural school districts, one on Equity Access to
Rigorous Coursework and a second on addressing students on the

D&F List, I engaged 11 building principals in discussing similar

issues that would be occurring in their buildings. In my findings,
students of color are more often on D&F lists, and less often on
rigorous course enrollment rosters.
Evidence: To affirm a strong policy direction taken by Chelan
School District in building an AVID-like intervention period for
failing students, I sought and secured an opportunity for them to
present at a national conference this July, bringing their
superintendent, principal, counselor and school board member.
The presentation will address issues of equity; the national stage
will heighten this issue in district.
Claim: As the senior member of the Puget Sound ESD, I am
promoting the agency to engage in discussions with our partner
districts on equity.
Evidence: In Fall 2014, the PSESD Board signed an Equity Policy
indicating our awareness of the debilitating effects of racism on
students and families. At my urging, after signing that document,
the board pressed the staff to build an awareness-raising
conversation on race and racism, which will be held for all the 35
districts in the Puget Sound service area on April 28, 2015.
(d) Engage and
multiple voices
both professional
and community
in key
deliberations and


Claim: I empower Hispanic leadership in meetings by my

aggressive recruitment of Hispanic staff.
Evidence: I have hired 13 of my 38 staff are Hispanic Latino/a. In
each of my districts, these will be the highest paid Hispanics on
their staff. I empower them by teaching them to conduct focus
groups, and to share their findings with their administrators.

(e) Facilitate
about race, class,
language, ability,
and other groupbased disparities
in the service of
collective action
to decrease



Claim: As a result of my leadership, my 38 staff regularly discuss

the clear and hidden impacts of race on student success.
Evidence: I regularly share documents, most recently a
compendium entitled Latino Educational Equity which gives a
broad overview of the issues facing Latino youth, who are a large
component of all our schools.
Claim: My programs focus on class issues, specifically
immigration in forward but careful ways.
Evidence: We are promoting the movie, Underwater Dreams, in
all middle school programs; the story of the movie is a group of
undocumented Latino youth whose robot beat an MIT-designed
competitor. The accompanying teaching guides address
discrimination and immigration; we are using those modestly to
bring the issue forward without shutting our welcome down.
Claim: My programs specifically address issues of language in
very direct ways:
Evidence: Our 1) Spanish/English literacy programs and 2)
Spanish-language clubs and courses and 3) support for Mexico in
Wapato Spanish-language teachers, are all specifically designed
to redress the deficit model that usually is used to assess students
who speak a language other than English.


When leaders
leadership along
this standard
they are able to:



(a) Engage in
processes in the
moment and
over time,
(i) Using
evidence to
problems of
practice, and
the student,
r adult, and
dimensions of
(ii) Constructing
theories of
action that:
Acting in
ways that
with the
theory of
action or
from it.

Claims: Through two major Cycles of Inquiry, conducted this year

and last with L4L, I have addressed issues of equity.
Evidence: I worked with the Chelan School District on addressing
students on the D&F list. I shared the findings of that
investigation and the districts successful model to my 11 other
districts. I also secured a slot for presenting at the national GEAR
UP convention, to showcase the districts work on equity.
Evidence: To help my grant goals, I engaged with Chelan again
on an investigation using a Cycle of Inquiry approach to ascertain
the barriers and examine policies that impede the ability of low
income, first generation and otherwise underrepresented students
to participate in rigorous courses in Chelan and Highland School
Claim: My greater understanding of this process has helped me to
build better interventions for programs I oversee.
Evidence: I am much more attuned to, and understand more
deeply the value of COI to guide action. It is more obvious to me
when an administrator or one of my staff is promoting an initiative
without a clear aligning of data, a careful theory of action and
associated through-line to probable success. I believe I can guide
this process so that busy administrators can be more successful in
their time. I feel much less often stuck with a program to
implement that I cannot describe fully and cannot measure.
Claim: My greater understanding of this process has helped me
guide administrators in a more step-wise fashion to match efforts

with desired outcomes.

Evidence: I ask better questions, and can be a better collaborator
with administrators when I can administer the COI process
informally in discussions of proposed efforts. Administrators speak
highly of our more well-designed initiatives.


(b) Support the

learning of
other adults
their practice
in ways that
promise to
results for all



Claim: I continue to innovate in the PD I provide my site

directors, by borrowing and amending the best practices that I
have observed over the three years of L4L.
Evidence: I have implementing the use of video to observe a
classroom enabling the observer and the staff person to watch
the rerun in real time to gain insight into the teaching and
Evidence: I have hired a new staff person to build exemplary
lesson plans that align both with CCSS and with the tenets of
strong youth development programs, program based learning and
fund of knowledge (FOK) and place-based learning. With these
modules, I am providing not only lesson plans, but the theory
behind strong teaching and instructional practices for our
Evidence: I engaged three other L4L students in co-authoring a
paper on Rural Students College-Going and STEM for the Peabody
Journal; we jointly learned about the elaborate process of
contributing to a national educational journal.

Com 1

Claim: As a result of my leadership, my staff are more qualified to

do their job.

from a
stance-- in
ways that
help other
the extent
to which
they are
with and
ing their



Evidence: I have promoted my staff to complete degrees and

increase their academic preparation for their current jobs and jobs
to which they aspire. This year, three of us will complete
advanced degrees, two complete a BA, and four will begin
programs this summer for graduate degrees.
Claim: In this year, I am better able to describe for my staff the
goals of our programs.
Evidence: In readings this year, I have come in contact with
several educational leadership authors that have helped me
describe to my staff the outcomes we seek for our students
beyond test scores and grades. Key among those new concepts is
student agency.
Claim: I have built social capital in my years working with
essentially the same 11 principals such that I can engage them,
from a teaching and learning stance, in issues of equity and
instructional effectiveness.
Evidence: This spring, in deciding how to spend an offered
$50,000 of carryover funds from our grant, the individual
superintendents and/or their principals invited me to a
conversation about my opinions on how best this money could be
used to help them align with grant goals.
Claim: I have learned to share the leadership through co-presentations
with trusted colleagues.
Evidence: In September 2014, I read a journal article stating that peerreviewed journal articles with multiple authors are considered more
rigorous, are more trusted and cited more often that journal articles with

a single author. I invited three other L4L colleagues, Kim West, Cheryl
Lydon and Greta Borneman, to co-author an article for the Peabody
Journal I was invited to write; their shared passion and knowledge of
STEM efforts in the state strengthened our joint document which will be
published June 2015.

Evidence: For the Washington Education Research Association

(WERA) December 2014 Conference six of my L4L colleges (Concie
Pedrego, Mike Shieser, Bruno Cross, Ken Turner, Tanisha Felder,
Donna Morris) and I collaborated to take a teaching/learning
stance in our presentation on Gap-Closing Instructions, engaging
the audience with three separate presentations in a 75 minute
format. Positive reviews from the audience indicate that our
efforts reached out intended goals.
Evidence: I collaborated with Chelan High School and conducted
my Year 2 Cycle of Inquiry on jointly identified strategies to bring
low performing students permanently off the D&F list. This spring,
I submitted a proposal to the National GEAR UP Association
Summer Institute to do a joint presentation on the success of their
efforts involving their administration team (superintendent,
principal, counselor) and my site personnel; we learned on April 20
that the proposal was accepted and we will be presenting in July in
San Francisco in a joint presentation with a GEAR UP program CSU
Fullerton. A week prior, the superintendent had shared that his
Board was hopeful that the district would have the opportunity to
present on this project to a national audience; I have been able to
facilitate this for them.
Claim: I have broadened by research techniques to more fully


incorporate qualitative measures.

Evidence: Following Dr. Ishimarus recommendation, I learned to
administer focus groups, using this strategy to elicit student input to
their reasons for enrolling or not enrolling in rigorous coursework. As
she predicted, some powerful insights came from that engagement that
I did not encounter in all the journal articles that I had read.
Evidence: Conducted additional student focus groups to expand a panel
presentation I will lead this summer on the issue of addressing the D&F
lists in a rural high school

Evidence: Responded to one of my site directors who wants to

understand issues of low student motivation by providing her
guidance on how to conduct a focus group
Evidence: Have hired a new staff person highly skilled in
collecting qualitative data and using powerful new data
management tools (software called nineteen) to help round out
the ability of my agency to understand issues through qualitative
I will provide an overview of qualitative methods this summer to
build capacity in my site directors.
Evidence: In July of last summer, I added qualitative research to
an evaluation contract I was letting, inviting a highly skilled
evaluator who is bilingual Spanish-speaking and has extensive
experience working with Spanish-speaking parents and
communities. Prior to working with Dr. Ishimaru, I did not focus so
intensely on this; however, there is no research in the literature on
my specific populations. To learn if the national literature is
representative of my populations, I feel I have to do more
independent research.
2. The

When leaders

Claim: I am building and implementing a theory-based vision of


ng &

leadership along
this standard
they are able to:

(a) Articulate a
vision of
and adult


curricula and pedagogy that is engaging, intellectually

challenging, and as it involves student/parent & family literacy
which will use materials in both English and Spanish, is culturallyresponsive.
Evidence: A newly hired Associate Director who is completing
Masters level work at the UW in Library Science and Technology is
developing a literacy curricula for elementary students and their
parents using (Blooms taxonomy, reflecting CCSS, and
incorporating also Spanish and English texts so as to engage
primarily Spanish-speaking families but also bilingual families).
This needs to be done from the afterschool program; a review of
the library in these districts show only 1-2 books in Spanish, both
of which were dictionaries.
Evidence: As part of a grant awarded in September 2014, eleven
partner districts (Oroville, Omak, Tonasket, Manson, Brewster,
Chelan, Wenatchee, Highland, Richland, Quincy) are now
developing middle-school Spanish language conversation and
reading clubs that will prepare students (native Spanish speakers
as well as Spanish-language learners) for AP Spanish in high
Evidence: Spanish speaking site directors will be reading up on all
research we can locate on such language clubs, and together will design
these language clubs starting in spring, to be operational by September
Evidence: Spanish speaking site directors will also be designing
financial aid interventions and programs culturally responsive to
Hispanic family norms and practices.


(b) Construct/ada
pt/select and
and other
tools to
student and


Claim: In designing our new literacy programs, we drew from CEL

5D work, CCSS, Blooms Taxonomy, and Youth Quality Program
Assessment tenets.
Evidence: Because we needed to be doing powerful, highly
engaging, and culturally responsive curriculum, which might have
been suspect in these rural white-dominated districts, we were
vigilant to reference all of the standards that any teacher or
curriculum designers would these days need to observe.
Claim: To ratchet up the rigor of teachers in the classrooms of the
districts with whom we partner.
Evidence: In the grant we wrote, and in interpreting grant
language, I am supporting, recruiting and paying for teachers to
complete AP Summer training whether or not they will soon teach
AP, as this training will improve the rigor of their teaching, and to
differentiate their teaching, in any class to which they are
Claim: I contribute to the strengthening of districts to adopt and
implement robust program self evaluations for accreditation
Evidence: For the past seven years, I have sat as one of three
Board member panelists approving the accreditation process for
the Washington State ESD association engaging in dialogue with
ESD staff and co-panelists. The team subsequently made changes
to strengthen and legitimize this process. In my first year of
accreditation, we reviewed 12 schools; this May the organization

will approve 80 schools, a credit to the reputation the process has

(c) Engage
y and draw
from schoolbased and
expertise and
resources in


Claim: I engage members outside the schools to augment and enrich

the programming available to our students.

Evidence: To build interest in STEM fields and encourage students

to consider rural medicine or health care fields, I collaborated with
Central Washington University biology faculty and students to
encourage them to build learning units around the theme of a
Zombie Apocalypse, borrowing from Red Cross and US Defense
Department approaches as a foil for training for a more realistic
disease outbreak, knowing students interest in zombies. CWUs
programs were implemented just as Ebola cases were emerging,
providing the hoped-for reality tie-in to the lessons. We now have
a strong curriculum we can revisit, and can now engage students
with working health professionals in lab sciences, public health,
issues of disease spread, quarantine and associate patient civil
Evidence: I support six of my sites to engage in RECON, a NASAfunded initiative that will involve communities from Oroville at the
Canadian border to Goldendale at the Oregon border to do eight
yearly observations using high powered camera-enhanced
telescope to map the Kuiper Belt. Students, teachers, and
community members are volunteers to do these observations; we
are working to build volunteer recruitment networks and
strategies, develop the array of activities that can sustain interest
of middle and high school students, and to expand students
knowledge of astronomy using the rural night sky as our

playground and lab.

Claim: Our new Family Literacy curricula will improve reading in
our elementary 21st Century programs.
Evidence: We went beyond school staff, engaging librarians and
language experts to help us find caches of books, and to design
highly powerful reading initiatives. We will study these efforts
assiduously to learn if they do really impact student learning in
ways that should be replicated more broadly.
Claim: NLA supports the language and cultural interests of
Wapato parents from Mexico to provide learning to their children
about Mexico in Spanish.
Evidence: Each year, NLA provides fiscal and organizational
support (printing, copy-writing, editing) to help support the Mexico
in Wapato program, a parent-supported initiative to bring Spanish
teachers to Wapato to teach their children about the language and
culture of Mexico.
(d) Fashion and
systems to
support and
inside and
outside of


Claim: I promote instructional leadership both inside and outside

the schools.
Evidence: I have supported individual teachers to improve their
skills or augment the resources to support their classroom
Evidence: The literacy program I authorized will substantially
improve the quality of instruction in literacy my staff provides to
our elementary program and will show them a standard for
coursework design that aligns with my concerns about student

(e) Craft/adapt
practices, and
for meeting
needs (e.g.,
of ELLs,
students with


(f) Analyze
practices and
data of
various kinds
to improve



Evidence: My NLA staff assume leadership roles in a variety of
areas in which they have specific passion or experience, including
overseeing the implementation of the Naviance and Career Cruiser
College outreach software, development of Spanish language
clubs, choosing a relational database for managing student
contact, etc.
Claim: Through my leadership, staff have adopted instruction
visions appropriate to meeting the needs of our students.
Evidence: Staff are reading about student agency, from
published research by J. Adair. Our intent is to make sure students
have instructional programs that are affirming and agencyenhancing: Numerous scholars argue that deficit assumptions facing
marginalized communities become a justification for offering children
from these communities bland, repetitive, task-oriented learning
experiences, while their privileged counterparts have dynamic, agencysupporting experiences.(Adair, 2014)

Evidence: Through my leadership, staff has adapted information

from the CCSS, NGSS, Buck Institute formats to build strong
enrichment programming, summer programs, and STEM
afterschool activities and in-school enrichment.


Claim: I have broadened my array of assessment data that I use to

improve instructional practices.
Evidence: Dr. Ishimarus SIG has helped me understand that to impact
equity changes in a district or school building, one should be strategic in
the ways in which I collect data. Partnering in discovery of patterns
through data can be the most powerful conversation starter to address
possible uncomfortable issues of equity.

Evidence: I have incorporated significantly the use of qualitative data in

my evaluation and assessment efforts, including having hired a staff
highly qualified in qualitative data; specified rigorous new focus groups
to be included in my newest 21st Century program evaluation to learn
the insights from Spanish speaking parents and community members.
Evidence: NLA continues to pilot procedures for doing site and program
observations using video so that it can be a durable teaching tool and
monitor of staff progress in instructional methods and teaching delivery.

Governance &

When leaders
leadership along
this standard
they are able to:

(a) Generate,
allocate, and
resources in
and equity


C1 PSESD programs promote equity goals, as a result in part of

my leadership.
C2 NLA focuses its efforts entirely on equity goals.
E1 As a member of the Puget Sound ESD Board, I oversee the
budget making process that involves more than $60 million
annually overseen by the PSESD; we exert policy and budget
E2 I oversee more than $2.5 million annually in grants I personally
wrote; all NLA projects focus on equity and student improvement
outcomes. The mission of NLA is to promote the learning of

(b) Identify,
engage, and
influence the
policy, legal,
and political
to strengthen
supports that
matter the
most for



underrepresented students so our entire mission has an equity

Claim: I work on behalf of rural districts to help them get access
to needed services at costs that are realistic for districts with more
modest financing.
Evidence: I have addressed the Executive Board of the AESD
(Association of Educational Service Districts) to address a new
policy that assesses every school district seeking accreditation
from the same $6600 regardless of the size of their budget. I also
continue to advocate for methods whereby the highly rigorous and
powerful plans that well-funded west side districts present, so that
their counterparts in eastern Washington can have strong
exemplars for their own school district planning.
Claim: As a result of my leadership on the board for the Puget
Sound ESD, the PSESD Board has cemented specific actions to
address equity.
Evidence: The agency had begun to engage in programs of
cultural competence under the direction of former Superintendent
Monte Bridges. In November of last year, as part of an initiative to
promote equity, the Board was asked to adopt and sign an Equity
Policy. While we all signed, I note that I was uncomfortable signing
a document with no clear next step action. As a result of my
leadership, the Ends statements by which the agency selfevaluates will include clear equity outcomes; and on April 29 of
this month, the PSESD has sponsored and will lead a region-wide
Equity Forum.


(c) Build the

capacity of
educators and
members to
collaborate in
to ensure a
education for
every student


(d) Develop and

that maximize
solving and


Claim: My leadership style has evolved in my monthly meetings

with partner districts to facilitate collaborative problem solving.
Evidence: I facilitated the Wenatchee School District to adopt the
Agile Minds curriculum for their freshmen math and algebra skills.
I did this through bringing information to them on Agile Minds from
a presentation I saw at a Rural Alliance meeting; engaged them in
discussions about the primary of strong math performance to
meet our grant goals at several times this year; then found
money to facilitate the purchase of technology and PD that
allowed them to engage their entire math department.
Evidence: I contributed knowledge and research in building the
components of Chelan School Districts Academic Success
Program (ASP) that has become so successful the district and I will
be making a presentation on this at a national conference.

(e) Model


Claim: My leadership skills allow me to pursue issues of equity

which bring issues of conflict in a collegial way.



Claim: I have contributed to the capacity of educators to ensure a

high quality education for every student.
Evidence: After many conversations with principals and College
Board representative Nancy Potter, I earmarked resources to
facilitate sending as many high school teachers as wanted to
attend to the College Board Summer Institutes in Spokane or
Bellevue, to improve teachers ability to differentiate instruction
and teach highly rigorous coursework.
Evidence: I have encouraged and supported districts to pursue
participation in AVID programs for the benefit of their many
underrepresented students who would be helped by this program.


and ethical
and address
sources of
and equitably.



Evidence: In my two cycles of inquiry, one that exposed the large

number of Hispanic students on the D&F lists, and the low number
of these students enrolled in rigorous coursework, I was able to
engage over time in a respectful examination of the issues that
allowed us to find ways to address practices without losing face or
Evidence: I demonstrate to my staff that we do not lose sight of
our end goals, if they are laudable, although we might need to
extend the timeline for resolution. My site directors read Crucial
Conversations to give them skills that will help them engage in
such conversations.

B. Growth Supports
1. Based on your self-assessment, what overall (looking across the standards) would you say
are 2-3 of your main strengths as a learning-focused leader? Why those?
Equity and Access: By my funding in federal grants, the focus of my program efforts are always on lowperforming underrepresented groups. I am the right advocate and champion to bring about changes to
district policies and practices to support the learning of these groups. Of interest to me is that while I
started in these discussions about effectiveness (we need to include more Hispanics in rigorous
coursework to improve their test scores) I now see some of my sites able to say that we need to make
these improvements not only for effective practice but for equitable practice as well.
I continue also to work in community organizations that help bring outside resources to the schools in ways
that are unique to my background. This is a result of my work on nonprofit boards, which I sometimes
disregard, but in truth, we have brought new programming to areas and schools/students who would not
have been served without my attention.


I also have built broad connections (HECB, OSPI, Rural Alliance, PSESD, Department of Education) that
allow me to inform my thinking from various broad-thinking perspectives that helps strengthen my
strategic thinking with regard to my work.
I believe I have strengths in building the capacity of educators to engage more authentically with
community members in building programs of enrichment for students and in reviewing and refining our
program offerings to improve the learning of students.
2. Based on your self-assessment, what overall would you say are 2-3 main areas for your
growth as a learning-focused leader? Why those?
Instructional Leadership: I want to become more grounded in this area, because I now feel a greater
clarity not only about the way a program should feel for the learner, but also in the skills a learner should
have to build agency the ability to make changes s/he wants to make in his life. This clarity about the
ultimate outcomes of education will help me engage in this work, and lead others in this work. I want to
lead from afterschool to build the kinds of programs that parents want their kids to have. I am captured
by the words of Adair on student agency:
Collectively, deficit assumptions can result in narrowed curriculum and a great reliance on scripted teaching
materials, direct instruction, and strict schedules with little room for interests and ideas.
And further she quotes Delpit:
Nowhere is the result more glaring than in .. classrooms serving low-income children of color where low test
scores meet programming, scripted teaching. The reductionism spawned has created settings in which
teaches and students are treated as nonthinking objects to be manipulated and managedit is still
imperative that we actually teach children the academic skills they need to be successful participants in
society but I now realize, with ever-increasing clarity, that we must do that and much more (2006. P. xv).
P231 Adair, J., Agency and Expanding Capabilities in Early Grade Classrooms, Harvard Ed Review, Vol 84, No. 2
Summer 2014.

I believe that I engaged in this degree program specifically because I felt a deficiency in providing
instructional leadership in my programs. I behaved as a principal of the past, providing more focus on
managerial and supervisory responsibilities (budgeting, grant management, personnel management) and
could not/would not delve into the actual provision of instruction. Just as other principals need to be the
instructional leader, I too need to do that although that is not my background.
My organizations programs to date have relied on engaging schools to oversee our programming; we are
to align with the instructional approach taken by our schools. I do not feel I have the knowledge base to
build policies and systems that support every student in success and learning to high standards.
However, when we work with failing schools, they have limited time and perspective to help us engage in
meaningful ways. Waiting for guidance from a failing administration is frustrating and seems unlikely to
result in the highest positive outcomes. With the introduction of Common Core, I feel more able to adopt
an independent approach, but need to do more to learn the language of instruction and to be more
assertive about the things I have seen to be effective in afterschool and college outreach programming as
most schools do not have nearly the same experience that I have with these programs.