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Understanding the issues and the challenges faced daily by school leaders takes on a significant role when creating, managing, and sustaining high expectations and performance. With limited resources available on this industry specific topic, Cameron Curry has created a user-friendly guide to help emerging or seasoned school leaders focus on five key elements for school success.
This dissertation examines how three successful urban charter schools are using key elements of charter school autonomy---budgets, staffing, curriculum and instruction, and school culture---to bridge the achievement gap between African-American and White students. The research design rests on four assumptions: (1) Schools have the capacity to be effective in bridging the achievement gap; (2) Standardized test scores provide a useful measure of the effectiveness of individual schools in bridging the achievement gap; (3) As a result of their autonomy---defined as freedom plus accountability---charter schools are uniquely positioned (i.e., differently positioned than district schools) to implement effective practices; (4) Decisions about budgets, staffing, curriculum and instruction, and school culture contribute to the effectiveness of three urban charter schools in bridging the achievement gap. Case studies are constructed from published documents, interviews with school leaders, and focus groups with teachers, parents, trustees, and students, using four research questions: (1) How, if at all, do these schools allocate their resources to advance student achievement? (2) How, if at all, do these schools recruit, support, evaluate, and retain school staff to advance student achievement? (3) How, if at all, do these schools develop, assess, and refine their curricula to advance student achievement? (4) How, if at all, does each of these schools cultivate and sustain a student, parent, and staff culture to advance student achievement? A cross-case analysis reveals that while individual practices vary significantly, a common set of hypotheses about the culture necessary to bridge the achievement gap drives decision-making: (1) a culture that teaches that effort yields success; (2) a culture of high expectations that shapes student beliefs; (3) a disciplined culture that yields a physically and emotionally safe context for learning; (4) a culture built on relationships that yield trust; and (5) a culture of excellence in teaching that challenges and inspires. The dissertation discusses implications for practice and policy, and calls for further research into life within high-performing charters, the differences between high-performing charters and other schools serving similar populations, and the role of school leaders in fostering the cultures within high-performing charters.
A critical challenge for urban charter/autonomous/independent schools is finding educational leaders with the courage to lead with authenticity; integrity and ingenuity using standards based practices to effect transformational change within schools. Two decades after the first charter school opened, leaders still continue to face a range of challenges that traditional public school leaders do not face. Without the type of district support that traditional public school leaders benefit from, charter/autonomous leaders must be able to prepare themselves by tapping into alternative resources quickly and efficiently. This book begins by cultivating the balance of self, both personal and professional, that will guide leaders to manage the operational and educational demands of leading a charter/autonomous school. With a didactic approach identifying skills and capacities needed above and beyond the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards (ISLLC), this book will give administrators the requisite skills and necessary tools to effectively manage the complexities of leadership in urban charter/autonomous schools.
Each book includes a 15 gift card from DonorsChoose.org to give to a classroom in need. The American public school system is in crisis, failing millions of students, producing as many drop-outs as graduates, and threatening our economic future. By 2020, the United States will have 123 million high-skill jobs to fill—and fewer than 50 million Americans qualified to fill them. Educators, parents, political leaders, business people, and concerned citizens are determined to save our educational system. Waiting for "Superman" offers powerful insights from some of those at the leading edge of educational innovation, including Bill and Melinda Gates, Michelle Rhee, Geoffrey Canada, and more. Waiting for "Superman" is an inspiring call for reform and includes special chapters that provide resources, ideas, and hands-on suggestions for improving the schools in your own community as well as throughout the nation. For parents, teachers, and concerned citizens alike, Waiting for "Superman" is an essential guide to the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing America’s schools.
What’s missing in education reform in the United States? The answer is leadership; specifically, the ability of school and district leaders to construct and continually nurture a culture of sustained high performance. A true leader needs to have not only a vision of the desired culture, but the skills and information necessary to make that vision a reality. Providing a combined 70 years of classroom and administrative experience, renowned authors James Guthrie and Patrick Schuermann offer a practice-based approach, grounded in research and theory, to achieving and maintaining an atmosphere of success in schools through effective leadership.
This authoritative handbook examines the community, district, and teacher leadership roles that affect urban schools. It will serve as a foundation for pedagogical and educational leadership practices that foster social justice, equity, and advocacy for those who have been traditionally and historically underserved in education.
Through real-life single and multiple case studies, Learning to Lead Together addresses how principals and their staffs struggle with the challenge of shared leadership, how they encourage teacher growth and development, and how shared leadership can lead to higher levels of student learning. The cases show how shared leadership, a powerful adaptive change, is socially constructed across contexts and evolves as teachers and principals learn how to work together. The book also illustrates how principal preparation and professional development programs that utilize problem-based learning and provide opportunities for genuine collaboration with colleagues can provide school leaders with the skills they need to share leadership and accountability effectively.

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