What are the critical practices of leaders in high-performing schools? Based on extensive observations, interviews, and in-depth case studies of principals and superintendents who significantly increase student learning and achievement, this exciting new book provides novice and veteran school leaders with the five critical steps for effective school leadership:
- Focus on Direction
- Build a Powerful Organization
- Ensure Student-Focused Vision and Action
- Give Life to Data
- Lead Learning
Rich with voices from highly effective leaders, this book provides an accessible, research-based framework for school improvement that is correlated with the field’s standards. The engaging case studies in this vital resource show the power of these five key critical practices to make a difference in the lives of students and transform schools to support learning for all.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
Critical Practice I: FOCUS ON DIRECTION
CHAPTER 2: CREATING AN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE
CHAPTER 3: WORKING WITH OTHERS TO SUPPORT, ENCOURAGE, OR REQUIRE HIGH PERFORMANCE
CHAPTER 4: USING A VISION, MISSION, AND STRATEGIC PLAN TO MAKE DECISIONS AND INFORM ACTIONS
Critical Practice II: BUILD A POWERFUL ORGANIZATION
CHAPTER 5: WORKING WITH OTHERS TO CREATE A POWERFUL ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
CHAPTER 6: LEADING AN ORGANIZATION IN BECOMING AGILE AND FLEXIBLE
CHAPTER 7: LEADING OTHERS IN DEVELOPING, MAINTAINING, AND IMPROVING PROCESSES THAT INCREASE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE ORGANIZATION
Critical Practice III: ENSURE STUDENT-FOCUSED VISION AND ACTION
CHAPTER 8: CREATING A VISION AND CULTURE THAT FOCUS ON STUDENT LEARNING AND STUDENT NEEDS
CHAPTER 9: PROVIDING INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP
CHAPTER 10: LEADING THE DEVELOPMENT OF GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES FOR LEARNING
Critical Practice IV: GIVE LIFE TO DATA
CHAPTER 11: ENSURING THAT KEY DATA ARE ANALYZED IN A DELIBERATE MANNER
CHAPTER 12: USING DATA AND CURRENT RESEARCH TO IMPROVE STUDENT LEARNING *
CHAPTER 13: COMMUNICATING KEY DATA TO ALL STAKEHOLDERS
Critical Practice V: LEAD LEARNING
CHAPTER 14: ESTABLISHING AN ENVIRONMENT OF DAILY LEARNING FOR ALL
CHAPTER 15: CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO AND WORKING WITH OTHERS TO ACHIEVE CHANGE GOALS
CHAPTER 16: IMPLEMENTING METHODS TO MOTIVATE, SUPPORT, AND/OR ENCOURAGE INNOVATION
Chapter 17: CONCLUSION
APPENDIX A: DATA ANALYSIS TOOLS
APPENDIX B: FIVE CRITICAL PRACTICES SCHOOL OR DISTRICT INVENTORY
APPENDIX C: FIVE CRITICAL PRACTICES FRAMEWORK
Ruth C. Ash is a long-time educator, a nationally known consultant in the areas of education, leadership, and organizational effectiveness, and a Founding Partner of Education Solutions.
Pat H. Hodge is a lifelong educator, working with administrators and teachers in developing student-focused instructional practices and cultures, and a Founding Partner of Education Solutions.
"Ash and Hodge have conducted an intensive review of the literature on effective leadership to synthesize five critical practices that impact effective schooling. Leaders today will find this book among the essential resources needed on their journey towards success."
--Deborah Childs-Bowen, Educational Consultant, Creative Mind Enterprise
"This is a book about what school leadership ought to be—and can be. It roots leadership in caring deeply—about colleagues, young people, community, and vision. The book’s clarity and practicality make this an accessible and encouraging primer for educators who have the will to lead."
--Carol Ann Tomlinson, William Clay Parrish Jr. Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy, University of Virginia
"This book contains a wealth of tools that are immediately applicable to educators at all levels! The ‘Tips for Leaders’ is particularly helpful, distilling the information into succinct, actionable steps that ensure successful implementation of each practice. The balance of research-based practices, case studies, and practical tools makes this book a must-have for all educational leaders."
--Leslie A. Texas, Educational Consultant and Trainer
"This book shows that leadership can be taught if done correctly. Dr. Ash and Dr. Hodge have created a systemic step-by-step road map as well as the steps needed to implement them. Written by two lifelong educators, the book includes observations, interviews, and in-depth case studies of highly successful principals and superintendents who have increased achievement and student learning. BRILLIANT!"
--Franklin Schargel, Former Education Division Chair of the American Society of Quality Improvement, and author of 12 books on education reform
"Five Critical Leadership Practices is rich with case studies, testimonials, tools, and strategies of value to school leaders who are committed to creating and maintaining a true focus on students in their schools. This practical book is written by two practitioners who have witnessed firsthand the critical role of leaders in transforming schools."
--George Thompson, President and CEO of the Schlechty Center, KY