Predominant themes that emerge from important literature over the past decade include school improvement, capacity building, leadership, and assessment. The last two — leadership and assessment — are subject to various interpretations in terms of concepts and frameworks. This paper focuses on learning-centered leadership and balanced approaches to assessment that lead to improved student achievement. The author explores the power of making connections between these two prominent driving forces and concludes that when they act in consort they form a framework that achieves results. School improvement initiatives, by definition, imply that achievement results will improve. Invariably schools look to assessment strategies as they strive for improved student achievement. The article addresses some theoretical and case study literature, and identifies school leadership practices that are likely to support reaching improvement goals. The author suggests that learning-focused leadership, assessment of student learning, and school improvement when interwoven, provide a framework for an aligned and coherent approach to developing and implementing strategies that can have a positive influence on sustained improvement in a school.
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
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