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In their capacity as Cahn Fellows and Allies, principals and aspiring principals are asked to identify a leadership challenge they are facing in their schools which believe, if they effectively addressed, could have a positive impact on student achievement.
This focus on real challenges and measurable results within the Cahn professional development model allows the Cahn principals to more readily apply academic research to practice and take an active approach to their learning.
Once the challenge has been identified, the Cahn principals are asked the following questions:
- What evidence can you point to that the challenge exists? What are the present day indicators?
- Why do you think this challenge exists? Potential hypotheses?
- If you were successful in addressing your challenge, what changes would you observe in your school? What would visitors to your school see?
Cahn Principals are asked to set qualitative and quantitative benchmarks to help them measure their progress against their stated challenge throughout the school year.
The following case studies represent action research implemented by New York City public school principals from the 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 Cahn Fellows cohorts.
Challenge Reports, 2009 Fellows and Allies
'Good leaders are passionate about their work. Through their styles differ, there are many common elements - strong beliefs, integrity, good people skills, thirst for knowledge, and willingness to learn. High energy helps too!' -- Cahn Fellow Principal
'Leadership is not so much about the duties you perform as it is about the people you serve.' -- Cahn Fellow Principal