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Find more resources from NASSP on the topic of Leading and Teaching for Student Learning.

  • Hess, Karin K. (2006). Exploring cognitive demand in instruction and assessment. Dover, NH: The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, Inc. Over the past decades, educators and psychologists have attempted to develop models for understanding cognitive complexity as it relates to designing instruction and assessments.

    Download the article: Exploring Cognitive Demand in Instruction and Assessment

  • The National Center for Literacy Education (NCLE) is a coalition of stakeholders representing the premiere education organizations, policy analysts, researchers, and foundations who are working together to identify and share the plans, practices, support systems, and assessments used by educator teams working to improve literacy learning.

    NCLE Website

  • The National High School Center, based at the American Institutes for Research, provides the latest research, user-friendly tools and products, and high-quality technical assistance on high school improvement issues.

    National High School Center website

  • RTI Action Network is dedicated to the effective implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) in school districts nationwide. The goal is to guide educators and families in the large-scale implementation of RTI so that each child has access to quality instruction and struggling students — including those with learning disabilities — are identified early and receive the necessary supports to be successful.

    RTI Action Network website

Free Materials

Additional Resources ($)

  • Improving Teaching and Learning — School leaders have long known that schools cannot exceed the quality of their teachers. As one researcher stated, “All we need to do is hire great teachers.” The reality is that teaching is a profession and professionals are constantly improving their skills. The responsibility for recruiting, selecting and developing quality teachers falls on school leaders. In this age of accountability and high-stakes testing, we want all students to graduate and to graduate college, career and workplace ready. No longer can we rely on a few all-star teachers to set the gold standard. All students need high quality instruction in every classroom, and it is up to school leaders to build the capacity of their teachers to meet the needs of each and every student.

    NASSP website: Improving Teaching and Learning

  • Curriculum Instruction and Assessment — Making learning personal involves more than ensuring the alignment of the curriculum, instruction and assessment. Ensuring the success of each student requires curriculum that is appropriately challenging and real-world relevant; instruction that is designed to meet individual needs and learning styles; and assessment that not only measures progress towards standards but also serves to inform instruction in terms of the unique characteristics each student brings to the learning process.

    NASSP website: Curriculum Instruction and Assessment

Recommended Readings

  • Achieve, College Summit, NAESP, & NASSP. (2012). Implementing the common core state standards: The role of the secondary school leader. Washington, DC: Authors. The Common Core State Standards provide an opportunity to realize systemic change and ensure that American students are held to the same high expectations in mathematics and literacy as their global peers — regardless of state or ZIP code. The success of such change requires the thoughtful attention of secondary school leaders. This Action Brief for secondary school leaders is a starting point.

    Download the article: Implementing the Common Core State Standards

  • Corwin & Ontario Principals’ Council. (2009). The principal as instructional leader in literacy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Based in a balanced literacy approach, this practical guide supports principals and school leaders in improving literacy instruction and increasing achievement for K–12 students.

    Visit the Corwin website to purchase The Principal as Instructional Leader in Literacy

  • Ebert II, Edward S.; Ebert, Christine; & Bentley, Michael L. (2011). The Educator’s Field Guide from Organization to Assessment (And Everything in Between). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. This book covers all four key cornerstones of effective teaching — organization, classroom management, instruction and assessment — and is a handy reference that offers a bridge from college to classroom with a hearty dose of practical guidance for teachers who aspire to greatness. At a time when school leaders are pressed to hire and retain high-quality teachers, this guidebook is indispensable for defining and nurturing the qualities teachers strive for and students deserve.

    Visit the Corwin website to purchase The Educator’s Field Guide from Organization to Assessment

  • Grassi, Elizabeth A. & Barker, Heidi Bulmahn. (2010). Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Students: Strategies for Teaching and Assessment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Practical in nature and designed with an eye toward universal design for learning, this text brings together foundational information from special education and ELL/bilingual fields to help teachers address the specific needs of culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional (CLDE) students.

    Visit the Corwin website to purchase Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Students

  • NASSP. (2011). Breaking Ranks: The Comprehensive Framework for School Improvement. Reston, VA: Author. This book brings together all the pieces that must be addressed in order to make substantive, sustainable school change that results in improved student performance. This publication reflects NASSP’s ongoing experience and expertise in developing school leaders and incorporates tools and lessons from the entire Breaking Ranks series into one comprehensive volume that elementary, middle, and high school leaders can use to take their schools to the next level of excellence.

    Visit the NASSP website to purchase Breaking Ranks

  • Collier, Catherine. (2010). RTI for diverse learners: More than 200 instructional interventions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Addressing cognitive, behavior, literacy, and communication issues, these instructional interventions help teachers support students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds within an RTI framework.

    Purchase the book: RTI for diverse learners: More than 200 instructional interventions.

  • Corwin & Ontario Principals’ Council. (2009). The principal as mathematics leader. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    This guide provides research, tools, and support for leading effective mathematics teaching and learning, observing and evaluating mathematics instruction, and promoting faculty growth

    Purchase the book: The principal as mathematics leader.

Additional Resources Available to NASSP Members

  • Balasubramainian, Nathan; Frieler, Jana L. & Asp, Elliot. (October 2008). Designing Learning. Principal Leadership, v9 n2 p34–39. The Learn By Design Model incorporates higher-level thinking skills to boost student achievement and prepares students for long-term success.

    Download the article: Designing Learning

  • Barton, Rhonda & Stepanek, Jennifer. (April 2009). Three Tiers to Success. Principal Leadership, v9 n8 p16–20. A three-tiered, differentiated curriculum in an RTI framework has successfully raised achievement at all levels but is particularly successful with ninth-grade students.

    Download the article: Three Tiers to Success

  • Espinoza, Roberta. (January 2012). Educational Pivotal Moments. Principal Leadership, v12 n5 52–55. Pivotal moments take personalization to a deeper level and can make all the difference for some students.

    Download the article: Educational Pivotal Moments

  • Flannagan, Jenny Sue & Kelly, Mike. (March 2009). Differentiated Support. Principal Leadership, v9 n7 p28–30. The tenets of differentiating student instruction are equally important when planning staff members’ learning.

    Download the article: Differentiated Support

  • Kolonay, Deborah J. & Kelly-Garris, Kathy. (December 2009). The Reading-Ready Brain. Principal Leadership, v10 n4 p48–53. A lab class supported reading by developing students’ cognitive skills and improving their brain functions.

    Download the article: The Reading-Ready Brain

  • MacDonald, Michael A. (January 2010). Invisible Disorder, Visible Effect. Principal Leadership, v10 n5 p42–45. Students with high-functioning autism may not need academic modifications, but they do need help reducing anxiety.

    Download the article: Invisible Disorder, Visible Effect

  • Stiggins, Rick & Chappuis, Stephen. (October 2005). Putting Testing in Perspective: It’s for Learning. Principal Leadership, v6 n2 p16–20. Formative assessment not only informs instructional decision making but also engages students in their learning and progress.

    Download the article: Putting Testing in Perspective: It’s for Learning

  • Tomlinson, Carol Ann. (April 2006). An alternative to ability grouping. Principal Leadership, v6 n8 p31-32.
    Differentiation helps students of all abilities reach a higher level of learning.

    View the article: An alternative to ability grouping.

  • Wormeli, Rick. (September 2008). Show what you know. Principal Leadership, v9 n1 p48-52.
    Differentiated assessments allow teachers to measure students’ proficiency, not their skill with the test format.

    View the article: Show what you know.

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