Dr. Richard McGrath

Iowa NCLB Reform Must Include Principal Leadership Urges Dr. Rich McGrath


Sioux City, IA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/23/2012 -- Jason Nobel reported in the Des Moines Register that Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad suggested Senate Democrats and other lawmakers who obstruct passage of “bold” reforms to K-12 education could face political consequences in this year’s elections. Branstad has championed a wide-ranging education reform package since the legislative session began in January, and has been supported for the most part by the Republican-controlled House. Nobel noted that the Democratic Senate, however, has taken issue with many elements of the reform, including expansions to charter and online schools and an early-grade literacy effort that would force schools to hold back third graders who cannot demonstrate reading proficiency.

Principals must lead the change according to Iowa education thought leader, Dr. Rich McGrath. Dr. McGrath understands the need for leadership change at the principal level and developed Kaizen Education Leadership. Kaizen means change. For a quarter century, Dr. Rich McGrath has been an important change agent in elementary education. Using well-established kaizen principles, Dr. McGrath has developed a systematic way to enter an elementary school and observe, assess, and recommend change that delivers research-based recommendations for best-practices, and continued process improvement. The elimination of wasteful and ineffective strategies generates both qualifiable and quantifiable results. Ongoing monitoring is a critical aspect of Kaizen Education Leadership.

Dr. McGrath is meeting with schools, school districts, and education leaders in states most impacted by the NCLB waivers. The federal funding sources continue to have stipulations based on performance standards, although the metrics and measurement mechanisms may vary greatly as waivers are granted. Dr. McGrath insists, “Objective assessments are central to finding both immediate and on-going research-based improvements. Too often education consultants go into a school with a one-size-fits-all methodology or approach. The culture of each school and each school district requires leadership input, coaching, accountability, and results. No two children are the same, nor are two principals. Kaizen Education Leadership was expressly designed as a transformative process for elementary school principals.”

Dr. Rich McGrath (http://www.drrichmcgrath.com) is an expert in all phases of education, particularly versed in school-wide reform of inner city schools; with experience leading a school of students with over 90% poverty and over 60% English Language Learners.

Dr. McGrath served as principal for the past decade. Before his career as a principal, he was a reading consultant for Northwest Area Education Agency for five years; a classroom teacher for fifteen years for Sioux City Community Schools, Iowa and Aurora Public Schools, Colorado.

A graduate of University of Denver, Colorado, Dr. McGrath studied education under Ellin Oliver Keene, noted education author. Dr. McGrath received his Master’s in School Administration from University of Northern Iowa and then earned his doctorate from University of South Dakota in Curriculum and Instruction. School Administrators of Iowa recognized Dr. Richard McGrath as one of the leading elementary school principals in Iowa in 2011.

Change management is the hallmark to navigating the NCLB waivers and elementary school principals need guidance to ensure that continuous process improvement and lean education principles are implemented. Follow Dr. Rich McGrath on Twitter @drrichmcgrath. Insights, news, and best-practices can be followed daily.