ASAP® Case Study Assessments for school leaders are aligned to specific state standards and proficiency areas. Districts can assign a combination of case study assessments for a more complete picture of a participant’s areas of strength and need based on the standards and areas of proficiency they wish to focus on. Case studies can also be selected based on their alignment with district learning initiatives to determine if specific learning objectives are being met.
In their ASAP Accounts, participants are given a case study to read and a series of questions that must be answered. Responses are to be no more than 2,000 words, typed in Microsoft Word, saved and uploaded to the website. District administrators are provided with a conceptual framework, a table of standards alignments, a copy of each participants response and a scoring rubric including examples of typical responses at three levels: exceptional, standard, and below standard. Case studies are to be marked by the school district.
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Case Study: Leading the Leadership Team
This case focuses on the need for a strong and cohesive leadership team. According to Fullan (2001), “the litmus test of all leadership is whether it mobilizes people’s commitment to putting their energy into actions designed to improve things” (p. 9). Friend and Cook (2007) state that “teaming is the most frequently advocated structure for implementing school reform initiatives” (p. 58), and the National Institute for Urban School Improvement (NIUSI, 2005) notes that “team leadership helps to facilitate rapid and sustained change” (p. 2).
Research has identified over 20 common responsibilities for effective school leaders (Cotton, 2003; Marzano, Waters, & McNulty, 2005), and using a team approach is a practical way to ensure that the many leadership tasks that must take place in a successful school are executed efficiently and effectively. The school leadership team typically consists of key stakeholders in the school as well as parent and business partner representatives. As a participative leadership program, school leadership teams create a sense of school-wide ownership for staff, parents, and community leaders. This case provides details regarding the use of a school leadership team in a specific context, but offers no solutions; learners will demonstrate proficiency in the given areas by responding to the questions following the case.