Educational Reform Challenges

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The challenge of educational reform is not only an educational issue, but also a political one. The idea that the American education system is broken is not new. The American people have been told time and again that we need to catch up. The message and fear this sends is that our American students are behind the rest of the world.

Since 1957 with the “Missile Gap”(Zhao, 2009, p. 19), Americans have been playing the educational reform game. The National Defense Education Act (NDEA), passed in 1958, was the first piece of federal education aid created to help America compete. Then in 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education submitted a report to the U.S. Secretary of Education and America that again our nation was “at risk”.
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9). Whether educational reform is a political and/or education issue, it is one educators cannot avoid.

Making sense of the current educational reform, CCSS, presents educators with opportunities and challenges. This is a big shift in thinking, planning, development, and implementation. According to Achieve (2012), for CCSS to be implemented effectively and achieve desired outcomes principals and teachers must have adequate supports and guidance. This requires thoughtful attention from leaders. Achieve states, “The understanding and leadership of principals is essential to the success of the CCSS” (p. 2).

According to Posnick-Goodwin (2014), “For implementation to be a success, it will take time, thoughtfulness, commitment, and a willingness to work together…” (p. 9).

Educational leaders must be well balanced in their leadership characteristics. They must be mangers, disciplinarians, change facilitators, motivators, schedule creators, evaluators, educators, and of course leaders. With educational reform (CCSS) implementation on the forefront of most schools’ agendas, what is the role of an elementary school principal? How does the staff, especially the teachers who are giving daily instruction of the CCSS and directly implementing the standards, perceive the role and function of their principal? Are teachers feeling supported at their

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