But What Will We Do About It? A Rejoinder to Susan Kardos and Ellen Goldring

Nov. 28, 2016

Source: eJewish Philanthropy


We read with interest and considerable frustration the report by Kardos and Goldring on the first phase results of the CASJE study into effective educational leadership in Jewish day schools. This is an incredibly important area that requires, at this point, less research and more action. How will the knowledge derived from this study and a number of other studies of Jewish educational leadership, as well as hundreds of studies of educational leadership in general, reach these school leaders? Where will they go to find it? And why would most of them even look? They’re pretty busy already.

With all respect for research knowledge – it is extremely important; we have no argument there – we need to do more with this knowledge, now, to get it to school leaders and potential school leaders, in an organized fashion. We already have a lot of research knowledge, including almost all the findings in the CASJE study. The time has come to find effective ways to disseminate this knowledge and translate it into improved practice. We have heard foundations claim that nothing they have tried has been meaningfully effective in addressing the leadership challenge. However, they have never really supported anything beyond part time, year-long programs and one on one mentoring. These are both important and potentially effective models but they are local, have limited impact and are essentially band aid responses to an ongoing challenge that demands a much more comprehensive, systemic and holistic approach.

The Lookstein Center has argued for several years already that so much of the foundation money that goes into research could be better spent, right now, after all that we have learned, on building an organizational structure that could house, promote and disseminate to school leaders via a range of program initiatives, what research has told us. We have discussed this idea with some of the most seasoned and outstanding day school leaders in North America and they are in agreement that such a center is the way to develop, help, advance and attract day school leaders.

Read the entire article at eJewish Philanthropy

Updated: Nov. 30, 2016