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LeaderShipShape January 2014
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Happy New Year!

LeaderShipShape (LSS) January is filled with information about current education policy events -- K-12 and beyond. Your task: to find the time to review the many reports accompanying the brief descriptions.

LSS also encourages you to expand your professional Network. It is suggested that this become one of your New Year's resolutions and that you "keep it." Help in achieving this goal is provided by the discussion about the "best" on-line networking sites.

Lastly, LSS invites you to join NPR's conversation about race. It is hoped you will accept this invitation.


The "Oscars" of Education Policy Research?
Learn more about "The Bunkums Awards” here.  This is a prize from the National Education Policy Center that recognizes the tirelessly toiling think tankers who breathe life into the endless possibilities of shameless research design, analysis and reporting. The Bunkums are reserved for those who have elevated the art of façade-building, using the pretense of research to delightfully disguise advocacy.  "This year’s deserving awardees join a pantheon of purveyors of weak data, shoddy analyses, and overblown recommendations from years past,” said the judges in handing out this year’s awards.

U.S. earns average grades in education policy
The U.S earned a grade of C for its education-policy efforts and results, in Education Week's Quality Counts survey, which annually measures education policies, student achievement and other factors -- giving each state a letter grade. The country overall performed best this year in a measure of standards, assessments and school accountability, earning a B. (Education Week premium article access compliments of 01/12)

White House Report Puts Spotlight on Expanding College Opportunities
As part of a White House College Opportunity Summit, the Obama administration issued a report outlining promising models to improve college enrollment and completion by low-income students. Participants attending the summit made commitments in four areas: connecting low-income students to the right college; increasing the pool of college-ready students; expanding college advising and test preparation; and reforming remedial education. (Education Week, premium article access compliments of, 01/16/14)

Report: Despite Some Gains, Most States Don't Pass Education Policy Evaluation
StudentsFirst released its second annual State Policy Report Card evaluation, with no states receiving an A grade and the vast majority receiving D's and F's. The evaluation is based on how well states elevate the teaching profession, empower parents, and spend wisely and govern well. Louisiana and Florida topped the list with a B-minus, followed by Indiana with a C-plus. Seven states received a grade of F. (U.S. News & World Report, 01/14/14)


NPR And The Race Card Project: Join The Conversation

The Race Card Project explores a different kind of conversation about race. People are asked to think about their experiences, observations, triumphs, laments, theories or anthem about race or cultural identity. NPR then takes those thoughts and distills them down to one six-word sentence. You can find hundreds of submissions and submit your own stories at


New Year’s Resolution: Tap the EPFP Network
"Networking is essential to effective leadership in today’s organizations. Leaders who are skilled networkers have access to people, information, and resources to help solve problems and create opportunities. More than 15 years ago, Peirce and Johnson noted in their book, Boundary Crossers, that "there are no magical organizational or leadership structures – just people and relationships.” To this description of today’s leadership challenges, IEL would add, issues whose resolution requires connections to individuals working in other agencies and organizations.

Leaders who neglect their networks are missing out on a critical component of their role as leaders.” (Grayson and Baldwin, 2007). Networking is about expanding one’s definition of what and how, through exposure to others’ thinking, which can challenge basic assumptions about what we think we know (Day 2001, 597). "By seeing networking as an integral part of your role as a leader and by taking action to develop and nurture related skills, you begin to create benefits for yourself, your team, and your organization” (Grayson and Baldwin 2007).

Start 2014 by getting serious about expanding your professional network to include individuals working on similar problems, but doing so from different vantage points. The best place to start: the EPFP Network.

"Which of the Top 5 Professional Networking Sites – LinkedIn, Quora, Plaxo, Viadeo, XING – is Best for Your Business?”

Need help figuring out how to expand your Network. Check out - "Which of the Top 5 Professional Networking Sites - LinkedIn, Quora ... Is Best for your Business (purposes)? by Christine Hueber,

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