EDAD 515.01W: Leading Effective Schools



Materials – Textbooks, Readings, Supplementary Readings


You will need two books for this course:

  1. Vornberg (2020). Texas Public School Organization and Administration-17th Edition (e-book)

(Direct link for Texas Public School for the Spring semester is found below)


  • American Psychological Association (7th ed.). Washington, DC. 


This is an online class.  All of the instruction and assignments will be delivered using the MyLeo Online learning media platform.

Course Description

This introductory course provides an overview of school administration in Texas, which includes roles, functions, and duties of those who are charged with supervising schools in Texas. Critical review and analysis of principles of effective school leadership and organizational theories aligned to SBEC Principal Standards are examined and applied to the current challenges of leading 21st century schools in Texas.


  • TAC Rule §241.15 Principal Standards I-VII
  • TAC Rule §149.2001Principal Standards 1-5
  • TExES Competencies 001-011

The following table displays the newly developed Texas principal standards, new certification examination and principal evaluation criteria. Note that this is the first time these administrator standards, certification, and evaluation has been taken to this degree of alignment.

Comparison of Standards, TExES, and Evaluations

New principal standards                  NEW 268 TExES            Texas principal support system

        TAC 149.2001                        Principal framework                    (T-PESS)


1. Instructional leadership           Domain II: Leading learning          1. Instructional leadership

2. Human capital                        Domain III: Human capital             2. Human capital

3. Executive leadership               Domain IV: Executive leadership  3. Executive leadership

4. School culture                         Domain I: School culture                4. School culture

                                                    Domain VI: Ethics, equity, and


5. Strategic operations                Domain V: Strategic operations      5. Strategic operations


Student Learning Outcomes:
This course surveys contemporary organization and management theories that are relevant to the administration of schools in Texas. Through reviewing, discussing, and writing about theory on complex organizations and organizational behavior, students will acquire professional knowledge needed for understanding processes, analyzing problems, developing services, and managing schools in Texas.  To achieve the goals of this course, via course readings, lectures, activities and written assignments, the student will:

  1. Critically examine the responsibility of the Texas principal in shaping campus culture by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community. (TExES Competency 001; Standard II-Learner Centered Leadership and Campus Culture-TAC Rule §241.15; Principal Standard 4: School Culture-TAC Rule §149.2001)*
  • Critically review and analyze the governance system of Texas Public Education (TExES Competency 007-009; Standard V-Learner Centered Organizational Leadership and Management-TAC Rule §241.15; Principal Standard 5: Strategic Operations-TAC Rule §149.2001)
  • Historically examine and critically explore racial and ethnic groups in Texas to identify effective educational programing this is reflective of varied histories, cultures, hopes and aspirations of school children in Texas (TExES Competency 001-006; Standard I-Learner Centered Values and Ethics of Leadership and Standard II-Learner Centered Leadership and Campus Culture and Standard VII- Learner Centered Instructional Leadership and Management-TAC Rule §241.15; Principal Standard 1: Instructional Leadership and Standard 3: Executive Leadership-TAC Rule §149.2001)
  • Critically review and analyze management theories and empirical research on school leadership to determine the applicability of the theories to the roles and functions of school leaders in Texas (TExES Competency 001-011; Standard I-Learner Centered Values and Ethics of Leadership, Standard III-Learner Centered Human Resources Leadership and Management, Standard V-Learner Centered Organizational Leadership and Management, Standard VI-Learner Centered Curriculum Planning and Development-TAC Rule §241.15; Principal Standard 1: Instructional Leadership, Principal Standard 2: Human Capital, Principal Standard 3: Executive Leadership, Principal Standard 4: School Culture and Principal Standard 5: Strategic Operations-TAC Rule §149.2001)
  • Critically examine ethical school leadership and ethical decision making for school leaders in Texas that support the success of all students (TExES Competency 003; Standard 1-Learner Centered Values and Ethics of Leadership-TAC Rule §241.15; Principal Standard 3-Executive Leadership-TAC Rule §149.2001)


Instructional Methods

Design of the Class:

This is an online class.  All of the instruction and assignments will be delivered using the MyLeo Online learning media platform and thus, some obvious technological resources will be required.

This web-based course relies heavily on written responses, interaction, and discussion. It is problem-based and inquiry oriented. Learning in this course will take place as a result of online discussion boards, lectures/power-point presentations, readings and concentrated study, and participation in intensive group learning exercises in online venues.

Assignments include a series of written responses to readings and online discussions.  The readings cannot be neglected.  It is important that you set aside time to read and digest the readings before you write or participate in discussion boards.

A wide variety of instructional methods will be used to provide students with meaningful learning experiences.  Some of these will include focused discussions, written reflections, problem-solving activities, case studies, independent research, and the direct teaching model.

As a student enrolled at Texas A&M University-Commerce, you have access to an email account via myLeo – all my emails sent from MyLeo Online (and all other university emails) will go to this account, so please be sure to check it regularly, daily. Conversely, you are to email me via the MyLeo Online email system or your myLeo email as our spam filters will catch Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. and I will not check for your email in spam.

When sending me an email please be sure that you have the included your name and Course Number (EDAD 515) in the subject line. 

This class design is based on constructivist learning principles.  This means that the instructor creates an environment for learning by providing focus and guidance to the content. Assignments are designed to be learning experiences for students, and it is presumed and expected that students actively participate in the class through the construction of their own learning.  As a graduate level course, the instructor expects quality work from each student supported by adequate preparation and involvement.

Class Participation:                                                                                                                

Given the constructivist design of the class, this course will be interactive.  It is my expectation that all students participate fully for all activities and assignments in order to maximize their learning experiences. Each class may consist of several learning activities including (but not limited to) group discussion, student-led learning activities, reflection activities, individual learning activities, written papers, and reflective, integrative examinations. In order for this class to be interesting and beneficial, each student is expected to be prepared to lead and/or enter into discussions, to ask relevant questions, and to share the results of their study and reflection.

This means that each student should be:

  • conscious of the class schedule and the requirements for each class,
  • self-disciplined,
  • eager to share with your classmates. Participation is an extremely important part of your experience in this class.  When you miss participating in a class assignment, not only do you miss information presented, but you miss the interaction of your classmates, which can lead to the loss of key learning experiences.


Completion of assignments

Each student is expected to work individually and/or with a group at the direction of the instructor to complete the assignments of the course. It is expected that all course work will be submitted by the posted deadline. Assignments will not be accepted via email to the professor. Please attach your assignments as indicated in the course module. Please be mindful of your submission deadlines.

Internet Outages.

If you are in an area that is prone to frequent internet outages, I strongly urge you to seek alternate methods of accessing MyLeo Online.  MyLeo Online is accessible on your smart phones.  Please have a back-up plan for internet outages.

Text Reading Assignments:

The weekly assigned readings from the texts serve to provide you with strong theoretical contexts for your explorations into public education administration.  The readings along with the threaded discussions allow for you and your classmates to extend your learning opportunities by seeing the concepts in the books through multiple perspectives.

Threaded Text Discussions—SLOs# 1-6 (20% of your grade):

You will be provided with a weekly discussion prompt.  The discussion forums are the place where we share ideas and observations.   You are expected to engage in an ongoing discussion/debate with your learning community peers throughout the week. Your contributions to the discussion forums will be graded for quality not quantity, timeliness of your contributions, and a detailed analysis of linking together theory (readings) to application (activities). You will be required to post your response first before you can see and respond to your peers’ posts.  You are required to post a minimum of TWO responses per week.

Your initial post and subsequent responses to your peers’ posts should be supported by the readings and other instructional materials assigned during the week.  Remember, you must use APA formatting when posting (All posts).  Please refer to your APA Manual.  Citation of your sources is required for ALL posts. Please do not attach documents in the discussion board.

Grading Criteria:

  • The discussants will demonstrate an observable understanding of the content being discussed. 
  • The understanding will be at the critical thinking and synthesis level.
  • The discussants will demonstrate an ability to engage the audience in a
  • Discussion that is relevant to the content of the topics and related concepts.
  • This can be done in a variety of ways including, but not limited to:
    • posing engaging questions;  
    • eliciting responses;
    • engaging the learners in an activity or task.

The discussants will demonstrate the ability to effectively organize the discussion. This includes:

o   keeping the discussion focused on the topic;

o   providing structure (beginning arguments, closing arguments, wrap-up or synthesis);

o   staying within the timeframe allotted for discussion;

o   using effective media (if applicable).

The discussants will demonstrate the ability to respond to questions effectively. The discussants will demonstrate the ability to relate the concepts discussed in the articles to personal and professional experience by using examples from everyday practices.

Weekly Reflection Papers –SLOs #1-6 (25% of your grade)

Reflection assignments are required weekly. You will be asked to reflect on the readings, videos and article assigned for each module.  You will identify the Principal Standard and TExES Competency that is most aligned to the content presented for each respective module.  You will then justify your selection.  For example, if you believe that the content presented this week is most aligned to Principal Standard 2 and TExES Competency Five, share your rationale. Your rationale must include specifics from the instructional materials reviewed for this week.  

In the reflection, your beliefs, experiences, recommendations or implications for current or future practice should be included.  

  • For example–What does this practice mean to you as a current or aspiring administrator?  
  • How does this information assist you in doing a better job or being a better administrator?  
  • How would this information help your current administration in terms of their practices and implementation of policies and protocols?
  • Were there two or three concepts that stood out to you-or scream to you that the framers of the policies were on the right track or completely wrong. 

(25% of Grade)

This paper will be based on your reflections about new insights gained about School Leadership in Texas.  To help you organize your paper and provide some structure to your reflection, your paper should have the following sections:

1.      Title page

2.      Body

a.   Introduction-What does it mean to be a School Leader in Texas. Your first paragraph MUST include a brief summary of the demographics of students in the state of Texas.  This data can be obtained from the TEA website—the data must be recent.  This data should be written in summary form and not presented in a chart.  Remember to provide the correct APA citations. It’s important to remember that Texas is a very DIVERSE state.

b.   Provide an in-depth narrative of how your thoughts on the role of the principal have changed from the “you” as teacher to “you” as the Texas school leader. This should be viewed via the lens of the Principal Competencies and Standards—remembering all that you will do as a school leader should be guided by the Principal Competencies and Standards. Your narrative should be supported (via citations) by the instructional materials you have been presented thus far in this course.

c.  Identify at least one “thought leader” (i.e., Pedro Noguera, Linda Darling-Hammond, Geoffrey Canada, Michael Fullan, a chapter author from the Vornberg & Hickey text etc.) that you have been introduced to thus far in this course that has caused you to “reflect” on leadership; changed your thinking about leadership; changed your thinking about students or schools; made you have an AHA moment- identify the “thought leader” and exactly what the “thought leader” said or DID and your response. Provide a detailed description of the impact the “thought leader” had on you— be specific in describing how you believe this will impact your practice as a leader moving forward.

  • Conclude your paper with your expectations for this program in preparing you for the Principalship in Texas as well as your expectations for yourself as a novice Principal in Texas. (This section should be no more than a paragraph—no more than 1/3 of a page).

4.   Reference page

This paper must include 5 pages of content (not including the title or reference pages).  Papers should be double spaced, size 12 font (New Times Roman or Ariel), and follow the format for papers as specified by the APA Publication Manual.  It should also be free of technical errors (spelling, punctuation, proper use of grammar, etc.). While your paper is reflective in perspective—which means you can use “I”—it should otherwise be scholarly in tone and presentation.

Since your paper is reflective in content, you don’t have to worry about providing me with the “right answer” or giving me what you think I want you to say.  This paper is designed to provide you with the opportunity to solidify your thinking on the main ideas of the course, which in many ways will provide an important foundation for courses yet to come.  However, your paper will be graded with several things in mind, including the quality and depth of your response.  We have covered a great deal of material in this course, and I am looking for your ability to analyze, synthesize, integrate, and discuss cogently what you have learned.  (NOTE: The appropriate use of quotes and references will greatly enhance the quality of your paper.)  

Pillar Project-Group Project
(30% of Grade)

See corresponding course module for specific instructions, regarding this assignment.

Final grades in this course will be based on the following scale:

A = 90%-100%

B = 80%-89%

C = 70%-79%

D = 60%-69%

F = 59% or Below

Weekly Discussions20 points
Weekly Reflection Writings25 points
Final Leadership Paper25 points
Pillar Project TOTAL POINTS30 points 100 Points


Browser support

D2L is committed to performing key application testing when new browser versions are released. New and updated functionality is also tested against the latest version of supported browsers. However, due to the frequency of some browser releases, D2L cannot guarantee that each browser version will perform as expected. If you encounter any issues with any of the browser versions listed in the tables below, contact D2L Support, who will determine the best course of action for resolution. Reported issues are prioritized by supported browsers and then maintenance browsers.

Supported browsers are the latest or most recent browser versions that are tested against new versions of D2L products. Customers can report problems and receive support for issues. For an optimal experience, D2L recommends using supported browsers with D2L products.

Maintenance browsers are older browser versions that are not tested extensively against new versions of D2L products. Customers can still report problems and receive support for critical issues; however, D2L does not guarantee all issues will be addressed. A maintenance browser becomes officially unsupported after one year.

Note the following:

  • Ensure that your browser has JavaScript and Cookies enabled.
  • For desktop systems, you must have Adobe Flash Player 10.1 or greater.
  • The Brightspace Support features are now optimized for production environments when using the Google Chrome browser, Apple Safari browser, Microsoft Edge browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer browser, and Mozilla Firefox browsers.

Desktop Support

BrowserSupported Browser Version(s)Maintenance Browser Version(s)
Microsoft® EdgeLatestN/A
Microsoft® Internet Explorer®N/A11
Mozilla® Firefox®Latest, ESRN/A
Google® Chrome™LatestN/A
Apple® Safari®LatestN/A

Tablet and Mobile Support

DeviceOperating SystemBrowserSupported Browser Version(s)
Android™Android 4.4+ChromeLatest
AppleiOS®Safari, ChromeThe current major version of iOS (the latest minor or point release of that major version) and the previous major version of iOS (the latest minor or point release of that major version). For example, as of June 7, 2017, D2Lsupports iOS 10.3.2 and iOS 9.3.5, but not iOS 10.2.1, 9.0.2, or any other version. Chrome: Latest version for the iOS browser.
WindowsWindows 10Edge, Chrome, FirefoxLatest of all browsers, and Firefox ESR.
  • You will need regular access to a computer with a broadband Internet connection. The minimum computer requirements are:
  • 512 MB of RAM, 1 GB or more preferred
  • Broadband connection required courses are heavily video intensive
  • Video display capable of high-color 16-bit display 1024 x 768 or higher resolution
  • You must have a:
    • Sound card, which is usually integrated into your desktop or laptop computer
    • Speakers or headphones.
    • *For courses utilizing video-conferencing tools and/or an online proctoring solution, a webcam and microphone are required.
  • Both versions of Java (32 bit and 64 bit) must be installed and up to date on your machine. At a minimum Java 7, update 51, is required to support the learning management system.  The most current version of Java can be downloaded at: JAVA web site  http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp
  • Current anti-virus software must be installed and kept up to date.

Running the browser check will ensure your internet browser is supported.

            Pop-ups are allowed.

            JavaScript is enabled.

            Cookies are enabled.

  • At a minimum, you must have Microsoft Office 2013, 2010, 2007 or Open Office. Microsoft Office is the standard office productivity software utilized by faculty, students, and staff. Microsoft Word is the standard word processing software, Microsoft Excel is the standard spreadsheet software, and Microsoft PowerPoint is the standard presentation software. Copying and pasting, along with attaching/uploading documents for assignment submission, will also be required. If you do not have Microsoft Office, you can check with the bookstore to see if they have any student copies.


You will need your campus-wide ID (CWID) and password to log into the course. If you do not know your CWID or have forgotten your password, contact the Center for IT Excellence (CITE) at 903.468.6000 orhelpdesk@tamuc.edu.

Note: Personal computer and internet connection problems do not excuse the requirement to complete all course work in a timely and satisfactory manner. Each student needs to have a backup method to deal with these inevitable problems. These methods might include the availability of a backup PC at home or work, the temporary use of a computer at a friend’s home, the local library, office service companies, Starbucks, a TAMUC campus open computer lab, etc.


Brightspace Support

Need Help?

Student Support

If you have any questions or are having difficulties with the course material, please contact your Instructor.

Technical Support

Click here to Chat with Brightspace SupportIf you are having technical difficulty with any part of Brightspace, please contact Brightspace Technical Support at 1-877-325-7778 or click on the Live Chat or click on the words “click here to submit an issue via email.

System Maintenance

Please note that on the 4th Sunday of each month there will be System Maintenance which means the system will not be available 12 pm-6 am CST.


Interaction with Instructor Statement

E-mail is the best method to contact me. TAMU-Commerce provides an efficient system of email for communication for class work and individual communication. I will check my e-mail each weekday. Please reserve the use of cell phone calls for emergencies. You may also feel free to text me if needed. I will be happy to provide any reasonable support to help you succeed.


Course Specific Procedures/Policies

Examination Policy

Questions will require analysis and synthesis requiring the student to formulate answers demonstrating their ability to apply knowledge.

Assignment Policy 

Assignment due dates are posted in the assignment section of eCollege along with instructions for each assignment. All projects should be submitted in the MyLeo Online Assignment Submission Folder and saved as a .doc or .docx file unless specified otherwise.

Late Work

Late work will not be accepted in the course.   


An incomplete will not be available for this course.

Extra Credit

Extra Credit is not available for this course.

Graduate Online Course Attendance Policy

A major component of this course is on line interaction with peers and the instructor. Each class member is expected to participate fully in online discussions, projects, journaling etc. each week of the course. Expectations for attendance on-line will be posted with each assignment. Learning will be segmented into weeks or units. Materials and assignments will be available to students and then close on established dates. It is important to stay on schedule with the class agenda.

Syllabus Change Policy

The syllabus is a guide.  Circumstances and events, such as student progress, may make it necessary for the instructor to modify the syllabus during the semester.  Any changes made to the syllabus will be announced in advance.

University Specific Procedures

Student Conduct

All students enrolled at the University shall follow the tenets of common decency and acceptable behavior conducive to a positive learning environment.  The Code of Student Conduct is described in detail in the Student Guidebook.


Students should also consult the Rules of Netiquette for more information regarding how to interact with students in an online forum: Netiquette http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html

TAMUC Attendance

For more information about the attendance policy please visit the Attendance webpage and Procedure 13.99.99.R0.01.



Academic Integrity

Students at Texas A&M University-Commerce are expected to maintain high standards of integrity and honesty in all of their scholastic work.  For more details and the definition of academic dishonesty see the following procedures:

Undergraduate Academic Dishonesty 13.99.99.R0.03


Graduate Student Academic Dishonesty 13.99.99.R0.10


ADA Statement

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact:

Office of Student Disability Resources and Services

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Gee Library- Room 162

Phone (903) 886-5150 or (903) 886-5835

Fax (903) 468-8148

Email: Sandi.Patton@tamuc.edu

Website: https://new.tamuc.edu/sdrs/?level=freshman&stage=interested&interests=&ab=y#tamuc-section-29799

Nondiscrimination Notice

Texas A&M University-Commerce will comply in the classroom, and in online courses, with all federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination and related retaliation on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, genetic information or veteran status. Further, an environment free from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression will be maintained.

Campus Concealed Carry Statement

Texas Senate Bill – 11 (Government Code 411.2031, et al.) authorizes the carrying of a concealed handgun in Texas A&M University-Commerce buildings only by persons who have been issued and are in possession of a Texas License to Carry a Handgun. Qualified law enforcement officers or those who are otherwise authorized to carry a concealed handgun in the State of Texas are also permitted to do so. Pursuant to Penal Code (PC) 46.035 and A&M-Commerce Rule 34.06.02.R1, license holders may not carry a concealed handgun in restricted locations.

For a list of locations, please refer to the Carrying Concealed Handguns On Campus

document and/or consult your event organizer. 

Web url: http://www.tamuc.edu/aboutUs/policiesProceduresStandardsStatements/rulesProcedures/34SafetyOfEmployeesAndStudents/34.06.02.R1.pdf

Pursuant to PC 46.035, the open carrying of handguns is prohibited on all A&M-Commerce campuses. Report violations to the University Police Department at 903-886-5868 or 9-1-1.

If, you ever find yourself on campus, please refer to the following guidelines.

“A&M-Commerce requires the use of face-coverings in all instructional and research classrooms/laboratories. Exceptions may be made by faculty where warranted. Faculty have management over their classrooms. Students not using face-coverings can be required to leave class. Repetitive refusal to comply can be reported to the Office of Students’ Rights and Responsibilities as a violation of the student Code of Conduct.”

“Students should not attend class when ill or after exposure to anyone with a communicable illness. Communicate such instances directly with your instructor. Faculty will work to support the student getting access to missed content or completing missed assignments.”

Oval: Calendar
EDAD 515:  Summer I 2021 (June 7– July 8)ModulesAssignmentsDue Dates
Module 1 June 7–13Meet Your Classmates – Student LoungeSunday, June 13 @ 11:59 p.m.
Assigned Readings: Read Chapter 1&2 (Vornberg & Hickey Text) and all Lesson Tab Materials  Sunday, June 13 @ 11:59 p.m.
Discussion Thread ParticipationSunday, June 13 @ 11:59 p.m.
 Reflection PaperSunday, June 13 @ 11:59 p.m.
Module 2 June 14–20  Assigned Readings: Read Chapter 3&24 (Vornberg & Hickey Text) Lesson Tab Materials and Principal Standards/Competencies  Sunday, June 20 @ 11:59 p.m.
  Discussion Thread ParticipationSunday, June 20 @ 11:59 p.m.
   Reflection Paper  Sunday, June 20 @ 11:59 p.m.
Module 3 June 21–27  Assigned Readings: Read Chapter 4&5 (Vornberg & Hickey Text) and all Lesson Tab Materials  Sunday, June 27 @ 11:59 p.m.
Discussion Thread ParticipationSunday, June 27  @ 11:59 p.m.
  Leadership PaperSunday, June 27  @ 11:59 p.m.
Module 4 June 28–July 4  Assigned Readings: Read Chapter 6&9 (Vornberg & Hickey Text) and all Lesson Tab Materials      Sunday, July 4 @ 11:59 p.m.
  Discussion Thread Participation                                                           Sunday, July 4 @ 11:59 p.m.
     Reflection Paper                                                Sunday, July 4 @ 11:59 p.m.
Module 5 July 5–8Pillar Assignment- Group ProjectThursday, July 8 @ 11:59 p.m.
Discussion Thread ParticipationThursday, July 8 @ 11:59 p.m.