Education Elements Leaders Newsletter

Welcome to the first issue of our letter for leaders

By Anthony Kim; Founder and CEO of Education Elements

I spend a lot of my time talking to district leaders. And as a result I know how busy you all are, and yet how thirsty for knowledge you remain. District leaders are able to do the amazing work you all do because you are life-long learners, because you never stop trying to figure out what more you can do to impact student achievement, better recruit, train, support and retain your teachers and staff, and run your district more efficiently. So we decided to create this quarterly newsletter with a few simple ideas in mind. Each issue will have three articles, written by true experts and thought leaders. Longer than a blog post but shorter than a feature in a magazine. The newsletter will be easy to read wherever you are and easy to share with others. It will be about issues that matter to you because they are issues that impact your students and your teams. And that’s it. No other fluff.  No other clutter.

This is our inaugural issue and it focuses on three perspectives on leadership:

  • Michael Horn, author of the book Blended, tackles the issue of if and how leadership matters in blended learning;
  • Alexis Gonzalez-Black, co-founder of Thoughtful Org Partners, proposes two ways that school districts can change how they are organized by looking at models of self-organization; and
  • Ken Eastwood, Superintendent of the Enlarged City School District of Middletown, shares reflections on the importance of superintendent tenure and how to make initiatives long-lasting even when tenure gets cut short.

I hope you enjoy the newsletter and that it exposes you to new ideas or inspires you to try something different.  Please share it with your colleagues if you like it, and share with me any ideas you have on how to make it better.


The importance of leadership in personalized learning

By Michael B. Horn, Coauthor, Blended and Disrupting Class and Board Member, Education Elements



As educators implement blended learning across the country to personalize learning and boost equity to better serve each of their students, the question of leadership looms large.

People often wonder if the growth of blended learning is inevitable, as the theory of disruptive innovation suggests is the case, does leadership actually matter?

The answer is that leadership is critical. Whenever we see a new innovation like blended learning, having a leader actively manage the project is vital so that it can be designed, implemented, and executed well. Although blended learning’s growth may be relatively certain. Read More


Re-Organizing School Districts Based on Self-Organization

By Alexis Gonzalez-Black; Co-founder of Thoughtful Org Partners


"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change." ‐ Charles Darwin

At the dawn of the 20th century, the 'command and control' management system, typified by industrial giants like GM, began to take shape. When the premium was on maximizing compliance and conformity, this system thrived. Over the last century, the speed of everything has increased. A message that used to take weeks to transmit through written memo is shared immediately through new platforms. Instant feedback and discussion through shared documents, Slack, Hipchat, email and other tools have transformed decision making, collaboration and communication. In line with this, new organizational designs have emerged. Read more.


Sustaining Personalized Learning: Problems and Suggestions to Reverse the Trend of Education Failure in United States

By Dr. Ken Eastwood; Superintendent of the Enlarged City School District of Middletown


In an era in which many districts are considering making significant pedagogical shifts in their districts (such as the shift to personalized learning or other models of teaching and learning), the idea of how to make those shifts last longer than the tenure of a leader is more important than ever.  As the superintendent of the Enlarged City School District of Middletown, a district undertaking several big initiatives, I am keenly aware of the importance of making the work we are doing stick. Read more.


Because we all like to stay on top of things...

Our Personalized Learning Leaders Newsletter comes out just once a quarter, but we'd love to stay in touch in between.  Our weekly blog includes articles written by our team, district leaders, teachers, and experts in the field on topics related to personalized learning, closing the achievement gap, and the edtech landscape.  Sign up to be in the know.

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