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U Wisconsin Researchers Launch Online Formative Assessment of K-12 School Leadership

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin - Madison have launched an online version of the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL), a research-based tool for assessing K-12 school leadership.

According to information from the university, CALL is designed to determine "how well and how often teachers and administrators carry out critical leadership tasks day to day throughout the school." However, the tool is meant to be used to support educators for the purpose of improving student learning rather than as a performance evaluation of employees.

The tool surveys all educators in the school, including administrators, teachers, instructional support staff and student support staff. The survey takes about 45 minutes and can be completed on computers or mobile devices. Participants have the option to pause the survey, so they don't have to complete it in a single sitting. Individuals' responses are anonymized, and CALL does not release names or other identifying information of participating schools to the public.

According to information on the CALL site, the assessment results provide concrete recommendations for improvement in five key domains associated with school success:

  • Focus on learning;
  • Monitoring teaching and learning;
  • Building nested learning communities;
  • Acquiring and allocating resources; and
  • Maintaining a safe and effective learning environment.

The school receives aggregated item-by-item survey responses, along with an explanation of survey results in each of the five domains. CALL also provides the school with research-based strategies and recommendations for improvement.

The CALL survey can be administered one or more times throughout the school year to assess school improvement initiatives. Annual subscriptions to CALL are available now through the Wisconsin Center for Education Products and Services (WCEPS). Further information can be found on the CALL site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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