October 2009: Leadership
Beginning with the October 2009 issue, Leadership will always be our October theme. October’s a good month to consider leadership. Some years, we’re getting ready to elect a new President. Every year, school leaders have gotten the opening of the year under their belts and are already considering what to do (and not to do) the following school year. And disillusionment hasn’t set in yet for teachers. More important, we think an annual leadership theme is only fitting for a journal that serves as the voice of and for English/language arts leaders in K–13 settings. Definitions of leadership—good leadership—are always changing. In her keynote speech at the CEL 2008 convention, Louann Reid, CEL’s 2008 Exemplary Leadership Award winner, suggested that effective 21st-century leadership is defined by collaboration, multitasking, and technological savvy—a change from leadership a generation ago, marked by hierarchy, intrinsic motivation, and a lack of diversity. English department head and CEL member David Padilla says, “There’s a difference between change a department and/or person resists, versus change a department and/or person can’t do.” We think knowing the difference marks a good leader. For this leadership-inspired issue, we hope to hear from you about what it means to lead in the 21st century. Has your department experienced some growing pains? Changes in leadership? How do you set examples and raise expectations as a leader in your building? How do you prepare for a successful school year? How do you mentor beginning teachers? How do you meet the challenges of leadership in the 21st century? Let us hear from you! Deadline: June 15, 2009.
February 2010: Race and Literacy
The recent election of the first African American president has the country poised to consider race and racism--something many scholars and educators say is still alive and well in the U.S. Critical race scholars describe the continued inequities in public schools that exist for students of color, including lack of access to and availability of Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors courses; tracking students of color into remedial and/or special education classes; and closing public schools in high minority areas when students of color fail to pass White-normed standardized tests. President Obama's pick for secretary of education, Arne Duncan, has said student achievement is the "Civil Rights issue of our time." What does he mean by that? What would equitable literacy education look like if policy makers and school leaders took race and racism more seriously? How does institutional racism play out in your classroom, school, and/or school community? What print and nonprint texts do you use in your classroom to combat racism? What "counter-stories," or narratives of resistance, can you (or your students) tell about students of color that value their ways of knowing; see their cultures and diversity as assets in schools, rather than deficits; and show them resisting dominant stories that mark them as "lazy," "uneducable," or "at-risk"? Deadline: November 1, 2009.