classroomA couple of years ago, we commissioned an external review of our human resources functions in the Syracuse City School District. I noticed that our district needed to take a more proactive approach in seeking out the highest quality teacher candidates.

Our superintendent and the board of education based one of the primary goals of our 5-year strategic plan, Great Expectations, on the results of that review. This plan continues to serve as a road map for us, defining the reform-based goals that will guide education transformation in our city.

Great Expectations specifically called for us to develop and implement teacher recruitment and selection processes that would make it possible for Syracuse to compete for the most talented educators around. We realized that we needed to implement new, forward-thinking processes and technology to attract, identify and hire the highest quality candidates.

Here’s how our district strategically used data-driven technology like predictive analytics, a new microsite with Google Analytics and social media to improve our hiring processes and achieve meaningful results.…

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When we think about the makeup of a workplace, tangible aspects often come to mind: location, office space, number of employees, revenue. However, certain intangibles are just as much a part of a company’s identity. Workplace culture tops this list.

Attracting and retaining talent relies heavily on the cohesiveness of worker attitudes, as well as the example set by company leadership. Are employees on board with their management’s vision? Are they motivated to learn and improve their professional skills? Do they adhere to company policies? Although management is tasked with setting the right example for their employees, if they don’t get buy-in, it can be awfully challenging to grow and succeed.

All industries deal with on-the-job safety in some way, whether you’re a 9-5er staring into a computer screen, a crane operator on a construction site or a brewer at a craft brewery. MySafetySign surveyed nearly 500 occupational safety professionals to gain insight into the biggest challenges their companies face when implementing health and safety practices.…

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This post is sponsored by Curriculum Associates

A key objective of the Common Core State Standards is for students to cultivate close reading skills—the ability to read literature and complex texts and interpret their meaning. Ray Reutzel, education professor at Utah State University, outlines the key principles of close reading and offers ideas to help teachers and administrators guide students to success.

What is close reading? What are the key principles and essential steps?

Close reading is making a comeback with national adoption of the Common Core and other college and career readiness standards in English Language Arts. Educators have been doing this type of reading with students for decades under other names. Close reading is deep, effortful and sustained reading versus casual, surface, or quick reading of text. It requires students to peel back multiple layers of meaning embedded in text to derive an interpretation of text meaning that is not explicitly stated.…

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Roll the dice!

That’s what leaders must do from time to time. Complacency is always problematic.

Novelist William Faulkner once noted, “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”

That’s what good leaders do from time to time, and, in the process, they push their organizations toward new goals.

John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts. Also in 2014, Inc.com named Baldoni to its list of top 100 leadership experts, and Global Gurus ranked him No. 11 on its list of global leadership experts. Baldoni is the author of more than a dozen books, including his newest, “MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership.”

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You’re an entrepreneur, you’ve got great ideas, and business is booming. So why not be recognized as a thought leader in your industry? After all, your competition is doing it. With blogs and social sharing platforms at everyone’s fingertips, establishing a strong presence in the sea of voices is almost as important as your product or service. The big question is, how do you get your voice heard, and how do you know what to say and who to say it to?

Here are four tips on excelling in the school of thought leadership.

Articulate what makes you special

Spend some time deciphering exactly what makes your business stand out from the crowd. How are you innovative? How is your company playing the game differently? Nothing says leader more than spearheading a shift in industry thinking. It’s not as intimidating as it might sound — we don’t all have to be Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh transforming the call center into a model of corporate culture.…

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