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There's no mystery in turning around low-performing or failing schools, but there are also no recipes. In Turnaround Principals for Underperforming Schools Rosemary Papa and Fenwick English identify the essential ingredients for success. The causesof failure are complex and interactive. Schools are not inert structures but living organisms. Putting schools back together is a collaborative venture. It takes a team to turn around a school, but it all begins with the leadership. The key to success rests in a school leader who has a fundamental understanding of the dynamics of schooling, human motivation, and possesses the resiliency and energy to engage in altering the internal landscape of an unsuccessful school. Two veteran educators have put together a work based on their research and experience for the past half-century. They pull no punches. The challenge is not only to turn low-performing or failing schools around, but to enable them to become more socially just places for all students.
This book provides a valuable balance between what one must know and what one must do to turn around low-performing schools. The 3-E framework simplifies this complex process by focusing resources on the environment, the executive, and the execution of the turnaround plan. Central to each of these components is a spotlight on the values supporting change and an examination of the unique perspectives and actions required at the school, district and state levels in renewing chronically underperforming schools. A set of case studies on individuals who have led successful turnarounds of schools gives life to the theoretical concepts. These cases focus on the principal as turnaround specialist, offering leadership profiles from their varied perspectives and demonstrate the resilience of these leaders across settings and challenges. The book concludes with a discussion of how the developing field of school turnarounds affects educational policy in the K-12 and higher education arenas.
Praise for Leading School Turnaround "Going beyond their previous considerable work on the study of leadership, Kenneth Leithwood, Alma Harris, and Tiiu Strauss now get up-close and detailed. They use their powerful framework for how school leaders influence student learning, but this time they get inside the 'how.' Practical, powerful, interesting, and insightful—an indispensible resource for turnaround leaders."—Michael Fullan, professor emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto "The problem of bringing about change in those schools where it is needed most remains one of the most intractable challenges in school leadership. This book is written by international scholars who understand the complexities of this challenge. Unlike other volumes based on a single person's experience or a reading of the literature, these authors offer useful specific insights based on data about what leaders in schools that accomplish fundamental change actually do."—Philip Hallinger, Chair Professor of Leadership and Change, Hong Kong Institute of Education
A contour is usually defined as an outline or the structure or characteristic of something. A contour line which is shown on a contour map indicates points of elevation. We think that all of these definitions fit Contours of Great Leadership. This book brings together many aspects of concepts and theories of leadership. It is an amalgam of ideas from the social sciences and the humanities woven together in the idea of leadership as an accoutrement, that is, a deliberate woven garment comprising science, art, experience, and craft knowledge. Thus we see leadership not as either/or an art or a science; or craft knowledge vs. scientific or research based knowledge, but rather as all of them combined and which occurs between followers and leaders within distinctive cultures and modes of communication. The importance of context and culture as the milieu in which leadership is acquired and learned is critical. In the end leadership is a performing art form, which while it can be studied scientifically, cannot be understood solely as a science without connecting it to the arts and ultimately to practice.
With the increasing demands on principals, current high-stakes school environments, and the growing need for competent persons to take on the role of principal, it is crucial to provide opportunities for success and longevity so that these principals may improve schools and mentor tomorrow's educational leaders.
This book presents the outcomes of research and practical endeavour in some of the diverse contexts in which learning takes place: classrooms, schools, professional development settings, community projects and service sector agencies. It invites the reader to engage with two related questions of contemporary concern in the leadership field: "What can we learn about the important influence of different contexts on leadership practice and how are people brought together as collective human agents in different patterns of distributive leadership?" In doing so, this collection emphasises three of the critical concepts at play when leadership is viewed, not as position, but as activity. The three concepts are purpose, context and human agency. When this view of leadership is understood, it is always about achieving shared goals with people power, no matter the circumstances in which they are gathered together.
No school district can be all charismatic leaders and super-teachers. It can't start from scratch, and it can't fire all its teachers and principals when students do poorly. Great charter schools can only serve a tiny minority of students. Whether we like it or not, most of our youngsters will continue to be educated in mainstream public schools. The good news, as David L. Kirp reveals in Improbable Scholars, is that there's a sensible way to rebuild public education and close the achievement gap for all students. Indeed, this is precisely what's happening in a most unlikely place: Union City, New Jersey, a poor, crowded Latino community just across the Hudson from Manhattan. The school district--once one of the worst in the state--has ignored trendy reforms in favor of proven game-changers like quality early education, a word-soaked curriculum, and hands-on help for teachers. When beneficial new strategies have emerged, like using sophisticated data-crunching to generate pinpoint assessments to help individual students, they have been folded into the mix. The results demand that we take notice--from third grade through high school, Union City scores on the high-stakes state tests approximate the statewide average. In other words, these inner-city kids are achieving just as much as their suburban cousins in reading, writing, and math. What's even more impressive, nearly ninety percent of high school students are earning their diplomas and sixty percent of them are going to college. Top students are winning national science awards and full rides at Ivy League universities. These schools are not just good places for poor kids. They are good places for kids, period. Improbable Scholars offers a playbook--not a prayer book--for reform that will dramatically change our approach to reviving public education.