State and local school systems maintained autonomy of schools, curriculum, classrooms, and instructional practices until roughly the year 2000. The passage of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation in 2001 shifted the educational role of the Federal Government, beginning an increased focus on accountability measures to ensure that the children of the United States remain globally competitive. However, the implementation of NLCB and, more recently, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has proven difficult for state and local school leaders. Important leadership skills such as increased communication (to ensure collaboration and capacity-building) and shared decision-making will assist leaders with necessary clarity and focus to successfully implement two concurrent educational approaches and ensure high accountability and achievement for all students in a globally competitive marketplace.

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