27 Best School Administration Resources

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Are you a school administrator? Are you having trouble keeping up with all the latest education reforms?  Do you want to grow your network and knowledge base? Do you want to filter out what’s written for teachers and only tangentially mentions school administration?

Boy do I have school administration resources for you.

Top 27 School Admin Resources

I’ve taken the time to sort through hundreds of blogs, publications, associations, events, and tools, and pulled out only the best of the best.

Without further ado, these are all the resources every administrator should have at their disposal.

Blogs

Blog

The 21st Century Principal

John Robinson isn’t a traditional public school administrator. He’s snarky, politically active, tech savvy, and dead set on pulling away education’s emphasis from test scores. From helpful posts detailing the newest relevant technology to snarky pieces uncovering the failures of standardized tests, this blog is great for anyone wanting to better their trade and stay politically aware.

Education World

Education World is a massive resource. They not only keep teachers and administrators in the know with the latest education news, but they also provide free tools like lesson plans and learning games. Their best series is a section called “How I Handled…”, a series in which administrators share their struggles and how they overcame their problems.

Eduwonk

For the policy nerds among us, Andrew J. Rotherham breaks down the latest news affecting U.S. education. While Common Core is a staple amongst Rotherham’s posts, he also dives into more esoteric policies and news, like high school rankings, Virginia school accreditation, and Head Start.

The Innovative Educator

Harlem-based educator Lisa Nielson “found school boring and irrelevant,” and that upset her, deeply. While consistently writing for big-name publications like The New York Times and The Huffington Post, most of Nielson’s insights can be found on her blog. She writes frequently on innovative teaching styles like integrating social media into lesson plans and using interactive methods to help engage students.

A Principal’s Reflections

This blog has won almost every school administration blog accolade out there, including “Best School Administrator Blog” and the “EDTECH Leadership Award.” And that’s with good reason: Eric Sheninger dedicates the time to create fantastic, well-thought out content that’s both inspiring and well-researched. The blog is brimming with uplifting posts, policy commentary, and child-focused education tools—all of which are a pleasure to read.

SchneiderB

While a little off the beaten path, Brendan Schneider’s blog focuses on one thing only: how to market your school online. Schneider is quick to highlight relevant news outside his own site and write posts with easily usable guides to making your school’s “brand” stand out.

Connected Principals

Connected Principals is a collection of pieces from a wide range of school administrators from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences. These principals offer their stories and advice with one goal in mind: helping the students.

The Principal of Change

George Couros is a long time educator, leadership consultant, and advocate for innovative teaching practices. His blog, The Principal of Change not only deals with school leadership tips and tricks, but also covers many subjects relevant to teachers.

The Answer Sheet (WaPo)

Valerie Strauss’ education blog is one of my personal favorites. She covers a wide range of heavily researched education topics from education policy to school reform and how those topics will impact schools nationwide.

Publications

Newspaper headlines shown side on in a stack of daily newspapers

JSD

JSD, a bimonthly journal run by Leaning Forward, explores what role a principal should play in his or her school, how to ensure teacher quality, and just how to balance running a school with continuing professional development. Every article must have a practical element—there’s no fluff here—and every issue is thematic. JSD is free for Learning Forward members.

Planning and Changing Journal

Run through Illinois State University, Planning and Changing Journal largely focuses on education policy. The journal publishes both peer-reviewed studies as well as thought pieces. Each issue is $12 per copy— though if this is a journal you’re interested in, pitch in the extra $6 for a full year’s subscription.

Principal Leadership

Principal Leadership is a magazine that is all about practical advice. From learning best practices to manage a middle school, to features on movers and shakers in the industry, this magazine appeals to no-nonsense administrators looking for real-world solutions. Principal Leadership is run through the National Association of Secondary School Principals and can be read for free with an account.

Principal Magazine

Principal Magazine is a free bimonthly magazine published by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Each issue centers on a specific topic—this month is “managing and communicating change,” whereas the January/February issue will dive into literacy and reading.

School Administrator

School Administrator, a free magazine run through the AASA, has received a bunch of awards, including the Award of Excellence from the National School Public Relations Association, an honorable mention from the TABBIES, and the Award of Excellence from Conference Daily Online. The monthly magazine is “delivered to every public school superintendent in the United States,” making it a must-read for anyone looking to stay in the know and network.

UCEA Connections

UCEA Connections is a free monthly electronic newsletter run through the University Council for Educational Administration. While many of the articles focus on “headquarters updates,” the bulk of the magazine dives into the latest education research. For those interested in education policy, this magazine shouldn’t be missed.

Books

Being a Successful Principal: Riding the Wave of Change without Drowning

David R. Schumaker conglomerates anecdotes, tips, and insights that are geared towards giving administrators the tools and guidance they need to succeed at their jobs.

The Schools Our Children Deserve: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and Tougher Standards

Alfie Kohn makes the case for an old-school and minimalist approach to teaching and school leadership. Kohn draws on anecdotal stories and case studies to make his argument and what you are left with is a roadmap to a simpler and streamlined approach to education.

What They Don’t Tell You in Schools of Education about School Administration

One of the most frequently recommended and widely known books on school administration according to Amazon. It is even assigned reading in many graduate courses on school administration, making it an indispensable resource for all sorts of leaders in education.
For a more comprehensive list on school administration reading, be sure to check out The 10 Books Every School Administrator Should Read.

Associations

Business Conference

American Association of School Administrators (AASA)

If you’re in public education and want to lobby for a better education system in the United States, the AASA is a great launching point. Memberships range from CEOs to professors to those who are just getting started in the school administration careers. Members receive $1 million in professional liability insurance and legal assistance. The AASA also provides leadership development opportunities, like workshops, consultants, and their magazine, School Administrator. Finally, members also receive special discounts to major brands, like Target, Barnes & Noble, and Disney. Administrative memberships start at $197 a year.

American Association of School Personnel Administrators (AASPA)

The AASPA is a unique association in that it solely targets and represents school personnel professionals. The AASPA provides its members with the latest information on talent management, including how to organize an HR office, the best practices on meeting governmental regulations, and recruitment advice. Members also receive insurance (professional liability, home and auto, and life), health plans (including dental), discounted rates for AASPA material, and professional development resources like webinars. School administration memberships start at $195 a year.

ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development)

Boasting over 125,000 members in 138 countries, this nonprofit shapes education public policy across the globe. Both school administrators and advocates make up this behemoth of an organization, and they work together to further ASCD’s stated goals. Members get home, auto, and life insurance, access to their member-only webinar series, free books, and job training. Online memberships start at $39 a year.

Learning Forward: The Professional Learning Association

Learning Forward focuses largely on one aspect of teaching: professional development for teachers and principals. They write that “all educators have an obligation to improve their practice,” and that students benefit when they do so. Members receive a copy of JSD, e-learning opportunities, and access to networking events. Online memberships start at $69 a year.

National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)

The National Association of Elementary School Principals, or NAESP, is an international professional organization for middle and elementary school principals and education leadership. This student-minded organization holds its members to high professional standards and advocates for middle and elementary school priorities. This organization offers $2 million of individual professional liability coverage and $10,000 for legal counsel to their members, along with professional training and networking opportunities. The active membership fee is $235 a year.

National Association of Federal Education Program Administrators (NAFEPA)

While raising funds for public education has grabbed the public’s eye for decades, how the federal government spends that money is equally important. NAFEPA has been involved with numerous federal education policies, including the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act and No Child Left Behind. Members pay $100 a year, and in return receive discounts from affiliates, policy analysis, legal services, access to members-only webinars, entry into the NAFEPA’s annual conference, and a subscription to NAFEPA’s bi-weekly newsletter.

National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)

NASSP is the leading professional organization for middle and high school principals. The association breaks down its mission into six sections: connecting (networking), advocacy, organizational vitality, membership, student programs, and professional development. Membership is spread out through different tiers, from retired to individual options, though most school administrators can expect to pay $250/year. Most options have significant benefits however, including $1 million in liability coverage ($2 million for U.S.-based educators), low-cost life insurance, access to their publications (including Principal Leadership), and discounted rates for NASSP publications and merchandise.

University Council for Education Administration (UCEA)

For college and university administrators, the University Council for Education Administration is a great place for professional development and networking. UCEA leans heavily on the latest education research and aims to disseminate that information to school leadership. Members receive complimentary access to their journals, curricula, faculty development workshops, access to their job board, and discounts to UCEA’s events and publications.

Events

Crowd Of Scientists At Coffee Break

AASA Principal Supervisor Institute: How To Supervise Principals For Improved Leadership

October 11, 2016

This event is meant for superintendents and any others responsible for the oversight and development of principals. Attendees will learn new methods and strategies to support principals, explore research on effective school districts, and new plans to improve principal learning.

2016 SAIS Annual Conference

October 22–24, 2016

The SAIS annual conference is geared towards developing independent schools, which includes experimental teaching, boarding schools, and other types of independent education. SAIS hosted over 325 administrators and heads of school in 2015 and they are looking to beat that number in 2016.

ASCD Empower 17

March 25–27, 2017

The ASCD Empower conference is made for every type of educator, whether you are a teacher, a principal, a superintendent, or any other form of school administrator. ASCD has decided to reshape their annual conference into an “empowering” event complete with personalized sessions specific to your needs and interests.

78th Annual AASPA Conference

October 11–14, 2016

AASPA has stacked the deck this year with three keynote speakers, a silent auction, morning exercises, and plenty of educational sessions at this year’s conference. Here you will learn all about new leadership strategies and professional growth methods for all teachers and administrators.

2017 National Conference on Education AASA Conference

March 2-4, 2017

AASA has announced next year’s conference to be focused around seven major themes:

  • Common Core Standards
  • Healthy School Environments
  • Innovative Technology
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Leadership
  • Personalizing Education
  • Superintendent/School Board Relationships

Although speakers and thought leaders have yet to be announced, they are sure to be fascinating and informative judging by the theme material. This won’t be a conference you will want to miss.

More?

I know that this is a long list, but I’m sure that there were some other resources that I overlooked. What did I miss? What would you recommend? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

Looking for School Administration software? Check out Capterra's list of the best School Administration software solutions.

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About the Author

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Nick Morpus

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Nick Morpus is a former Capterra analyst.

Comments

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Such a great list. Myself is a healthcare administrator. I request you to add my website http://healthcareadministrationdegree.co/ in this list.

Thanks

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Hi Rachel, I have spent hours going through your writing and research and find it very interesting. You have a very unique perspectives and this is why I would love to hear some feedback from you regarding career change from teaching into public policy. I currently have a Masters of Education in Curriculum Studies and will start a Masters of Public Policy in about 2 years time if finances permit! I am looking to start developing more relevant skills to education policy. I am also interested in project management. I live internationally. I am happy to do volunteer work or internships around my work schedule. What advice do you have for someone looking to change careers into something they are really passionate about? Thank you

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Great list! I can’t help but add the Association for Middle Level Education, which has 40 years of middle school research, publications, and events for middle level educators and leaders –including the AMLE Institute for Middle Level Leadership and School Improvement Assessment. Thanks for spreading the news! DT

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Happy to do so! It’s a great resource 🙂

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Rachel,
Thank you so much for including my blog among this great list of resources!
Thanks,
Brendan

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