The Problem With Data – Part 1

I love data. I love the patterns. I love the disaggregation. I love it when it points us in the right direction. And, I especially love it when it’s wrong. It’s like real world Craps.   But there are some problems with the way we use data in schools. Here is the biggest one.  …

Summer Regression And The Educator Belief In Magic

As educators, we all know that student regression over the Summer is a real thing. Teachers with a couple of years’ experience have a pretty good feel for how much regression to expect by grade and content for the students served at their particular campus.   You may now nod your head in silent agreement.…

A Reader Asks… Checkpoints After The STAAR Test

NOTE: I know that the 2018/2019 school year is now over.  I’m posting this now so you can set up the practice for the 2019/2020 school year.   A LYS Principal asks the following:   SC,   We’re about to do them, but I thought we should check in first. Should we continue with our 3-week…

Response to Barriers – The Complete Series

Based on reader requests, here is the entire Response to Barriers Series, edited as one post.   This short essay will address seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership.   The Response to Barriers – Ignorance   The first barrier to changing instructional practices is ignorance, meaning that there…

Improving Adult Practice

You read yesterday’s post, “The Quick Way to Improve Schools.”   Now you are thinking, “Ok, makes since. If I want to improve the performance of my school, I have to improve teacher practice in every classroom.”   How hard can that be?   Only the hardest thing ever. Because to change teacher practice in…

The Quick Way To Improve Schools

Excuse me while I scream into a pillow for a minute… Thank you.   I just had a conversation with a school leader who said, “But what I really need is a quick way to improve schools.”   There is only one way to quickly improve a school. Separate the students with superior wealth, connections,…

The RTB Series – Conclusion: Review of Barriers and Interventions

Today we will complete our discussion of the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. To review, the primary barriers are:   Ignorance Lack of Training Habit Choice Fear Helplessness Obstinance   Below, I have built a chart listing some potential interventions for each barrier.  I hope you find…

Don’t Wait… Schedule Your Curriculum Mapping Camp Now

You have to have a map to reach your destination! Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Upcoming Conference Presentations: ASCD Empower19 Conference; TASSP Summer Conference;  NAESP Summer Conference; NASSP Summer Conference; Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote)  Follow @LYSNation on Twitter and Lead Your School on Facebook.

Get An Individualized Campus Improvement Prescription

Jump start your campus improvement planning with a customized campus improvement prescription developed by Sean Cain and the Lead Your School Team! Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Upcoming Conference Presentations: ASCD Empower19 Conference; TASSP Summer Conference;  NAESP Summer Conference; NASSP Summer Conference; Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote) Follow @LYSNation on Twitter and Lead Your School…

The RTB Series – Part 5: Response to Fear

Over this ongoing series of eight posts, we are identifying and addressing the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. I present to you Part 5 in The Response to Barriers Series – Fear.   Fear is a tremendous barrier to change, especially in education. If you look at the…

It’s Time To Start Planning For Summer and Fall Staff Development

Continuous improvement requires continuous training. Call LYS to schedule your Summer and Fall Staff Development. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Upcoming Conference Presentations: ASCD Empower19 Conference; TASSP Summer Conference;  NAESP Summer Conference; NASSP Summer Conference; Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote)  Follow @LYSNation on Twitter and Lead Your School on Facebook.

Book Your Summer Curriculum Mapping Camp Today

Dates for Summer Curriculum Mapping Camps are filling up fast. Call LYS now to book yours! Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Upcoming Conference Presentations: ASCD Empower19 Conference; TASSP Summer Conference;  NAESP Summer Conference; NASSP Summer Conference; Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote)  Follow @LYSNation on Twitter and Lead Your School on Facebook.

The RTB Series – Part 3: Response to Habit

Over this ongoing series of eight posts, we are identifying and addressing the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. I present to you Part 3 in The Response to Barriers Series – Habit.   You have determined that your staff is not ignorant of better instructional practices and…

The RTB Series – Part 2: Response to Inadequate Training

Over this series of eight posts, we are identifying and addressing the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. I present to you Part 2 in The Response to Barriers Series – Inadequate Training.   Once it is determined that the staff is not ignorant of better instructional practices,…

The Response To Barriers (RTB) Series – Part 1: Response to Ignorance

Over the course of the next two to three weeks we will identify and address the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. I present to you Part 1 in The Response to Barriers Series – Ignorance.   The first barrier to changing instructional practices is ignorance, meaning that…

Schedule Your Campus Performance Assessment

It’s time to schedule the LYS Team to conduct your Campus Performance Assessment and develop your individualized improvement prescription. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Upcoming Conference Presentations: ASCD Empower19 Conference; TASSP Summer Conference;  NAESP Summer Conference; NASSP Summer Conference; Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote) Follow @LYSNation on Twitter and Lead Your School on Facebook.

A School Improvement Testimonial – LYS Coach Jeanette Nelson

LYS Coach Jeanette Nelson received the following note over the Holidays.   Mrs. Nelson!!!!   I want to share the good news. Your positive impact with me and on our campus has continued. I want to inform you that our STAAR End of Course scores rose by 5% in both English I and II for…

Top LYS Tweets – February 4, 2019

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list. 1. Good teachers make it look easy, so folks assume it is.…

The Reviews Are In – The 2018 AIE Conference

Last November, Dr. Mike Laird and I presented at the Annual AIE Conference. We had a great time and the audience participation was exceptional. Once again, the audience reported that they liked us (we liked them, too), with all rating elements at or above 90%. Here is what the audience shared with the conference organizers……

The Limited Potential of Individual Improvement

As leaders, we want everyone to take it upon themselves to improve. And as it relates to improvements that don’t, by extension, make someone look bad, most of our staff will give improvement ideas an honest effort. But the improvement ideas that make the biggest impact will make always make someone look and/or feel bad. Because…

Top LYS Tweets – November 26, 2018

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.   How you teach, the daily instructional choices you make, either…

School Performance Drivers – Segregation

Of the four main school performance drivers (Segregation, Life Experience, Instruction, Motivation) none is more insidious than segregation.   Segregation separates into groups of those having some advantage (have’s) and those not having the required advantages (have-not’s). The advantages can be varied. Common advantages are wealth, power, connections, aptitude, and/or motivation. Not surprisingly, when compared,…

When is the Best Time to Change

School leaders often ask me when the best time is to change. The answer is easy.   1.As soon as you realize that something isn’t working.   Once you realize something isn’t working, change.  To do otherwise is to willingly allow the organization to at best, waste effort, and at worst, self-inflict harm.   2.Or,…

Chronic Misbehavior

I was recently on a campus where I observed the following;   A chronic and wide-spread tardy problem.   Chronic and wide-spread unpreparedness for class. Simply showing up with assigned readings not being completed, notebooks forgotten, and nothing to write with or on.   Wide-spread personal use of cell-phones for entertainment purposes during lectures and…

Overwhelming Change

I work with a lot of principals that have accepted jobs at schools that are struggling.  Without fail, someone at Central Office will give them the unwanted advice of, “Don’t overwhelm the staff with too much change.”   But when the only positive practice occurring on campus is that daily operations resemble school, not overwhelming…

It’s a Little Like Working on Your Footwork

A Principal recently asked me what’s the difference between a hundred classrooms observations, three hundred or six hundred?   The answer is for an instructional leader, visiting classrooms is like an athlete working on his/her footwork in most sports. Great footwork provides the athlete with a competitive advantage, a foundation for consistent play, and a…

School Performance – The Big Picture, Part 2

Yesterday, I threw cold water on, “The School Board is the Solution to All Our School Performance Issues,” theory of action.   So, what is the answer?   The problems of school performance represent a Gordian Knot. If there is one person who can cut through everything, it is… the Principal.   The Principal is…

School Performance – The Big Picture, Part 1

I recently sat through a long session on the “secret” of improving schools, writ large.  It seems that the obvious answer is more effective school boards.   I wish I could agree. I do not.   Are school boards important? Yes.   Are schools board the answer to a unifying theory of school improvement? No.…

Don’t Waste Your Honeymoon

A bunch of you are going to get a promotion over the summer: Teacher to Assistant Principal; Assistant Principal to Principal; Principal to Assistant Superintendent; Assistant Superintendent to Superintendent.   When you get that promotion, some well-meaning peer or mentor is going to give you some real bad advice.  They are going to tell you…
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