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Schools That Change
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Schools That Change
Evidence-Based Improvement and Effective Change Leadership

Edited by:
  • Lew Smith - National Principals Leadership Institute, Fordham University, USA


December 2007 | 320 pages | Corwin
Learn from schools that have made meaningful, positive, and lasting changes! The author presents an in-depth look at eight schools across the nation, winners of the National School Change Awards, that transformed themselves from low-performing to exemplary national status.

With specific examples, qualitative research, and portraiture, this insightful resource offers an inside view of the day-to-day dynamics of change in schools and provides answers to:

-Why are some schools able to change while other schools cannot?

-Why are people challenged by change?

-What is the best way to measure change?

-What characteristics must principals refine to bring about significant and sustainable change?

 
List of Figures
 
Foreword by Michael Fullan
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Introduction
Part I. The Dynamics of Change

 
 
1. Describing Change
 
2. Measuring Change
 
3. Examining Change
 
Part II. The Elementary Schools
 
4. "We're Closing This School": Government Hill Elementary: Anchorage, Alaska
 
5. "This School Must Be a Sanctuary": John Williams School No. 5: Rochester, New York
 
6. "California Dreaming": Skycrest Elementary: Citrus Heights, California
 
7. "We Succeed. No Exceptions. No Excuses": South Heights Elementary: Henderson, Kentucky
 
Part III. The Secondary Schools
 
8. "If the System Doesn't Work, Go Around It": Gustav Fritsche Middle School: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
 
9. "Desegregation or Else": George Washington Carver Academy: Waco, Texas
 
10. "Surrender Was Not an Option": Louis W. Fox Academic and Technical High School: San Antonio, Texas
 
11. "Why Are We Here?": Niles High School: Niles, Michigan
 
Part IV. Bringing About Significant School Change: The Essential Elements
 
12. The Essential Elements: Context
 
13. The Essential Elements: Capacity
 
14. The Essential Elements: Conversations
 
Part V. Bringing About Significant School Change: The Catalytic Variables
 
15. The Catalytic Variables: Internal Dissonance
 
16. The Catalytic Variables: External Forces
 
17. The Catalytic Variables: Leadership
 
Part VI. Creating Meaning
 
18. The Lessons We Can Learn
 
References and Suggested Readings
 
Credits
 
Index

"The author uses the individual school stories to tie educational research to the actual plan. Anyone interested in change can use it as a very clear road map to success!"

A. Joanne Cockrell, Retired Principal
Fox Tech High School, San Antonio, TX

"Lew Smith has identified eight incredible stories of change. This is a testament to the abilities of incredible people with an uncommon vision."

Rob Carroll, Principal
South Heights Elementary School, Henderson, KY

"In a thorough review of the literature, Smith describes both the beauty and the challenge of change. The messages and the lessons learned are grounded in the stories of real schools and the paths they took to work their way up to become high-performing schools. These stories will resonate with school leaders everywhere, particularly urban educators. The book is a great contribution to the field and is needed now more than ever."

Beverly L. Hall, Superintendent
Atlanta Public Schools, GA

"Provides every school with many valuable strategies to consider.”

W. Norton Grubb, David Gardner Chair in Higher Education
University of California, Berkeley

"An engaging, practitioner-friendly examination of successful school improvement from inside the school. Smith provides eight vivid portraits of schools that were once failing but that have subsequently pulled themselves together and improved dramatically. By blending theories of change with the policies and practices that have facilitated success across a variety of educational contexts, this text provides both instruction and hope to educators, parents, policy makers, and aspiring school leaders. It should be on the short list of required reading for all school stakeholders."

Stephen L. Jacobson, Professor and Associate Dean
University of Buffalo-SUNY

"This book vividly illuminates the incredible power of leadership as the key factor in turning schools around. The stories from the eight featured schools provide us with a bold and unvarnished account of the courage and tenacity of principals and teacher leaders who won’t accept the 'status quo' when that means accepting unsafe schools, failures in student learning, and policies that thwart effective instruction. This book will be incredibly useful for discussions among practicing and future educational leaders."

Kyla L. Wahlstrom, Director
Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement, University of Minnesota

Schools that Change captures that rare combination of intellectual rigor, challenging vision, and the passion. I have been eagerly awaiting this book to share with our Board and with all of our educators. Beyond the mechanistic change processes that are observed all too often, Lew helps us locate the work squarely where it resides; in the messy, organic world of human organizations where leaders must understand and work though the change essentials of context, capacity and conversations. In addition, by telling the stories of courageous school leaders, who have led schools of all sizes and levels throughout the United States, Lew has written a singular work that not only teaches …. it inspires and informs all of us who dream of sustained excellence in our schools that yes – it can be done!

Duane Brothers, superintendent and CEO
Sunrise School Division, Manitoba, Canada

“A rich guide for educators interested in nuts-and-bolts tools and resources to support the journey from low to high performance. Lew Smith has powerfully captured the lessons learned in his magnificently colorful portraits of eight schools selected for the National School Change Award. Practitioners will find Schools that Change to be wonderfully grounded in evidenced-based research and documented best practice."

Larry Leverett, Executive Director
Panasonic Foundation

“At last, a book that provides practical guidance by focusing on schools that have improved. Schools That Change offers sound insights from experienced educators on what it takes to create the schools we need to educate America's children.”

Pedro Noguera, Director, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education
Professor, New York University

"Smith's book captures real school change where it counts most: in schools and classrooms, and for children, teachers, and communities. A must-read!"

Bruce Cooper, Professor of Educational Leadership
Fordham University

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Foreword

Introduction

Part 1 and Chapter 1


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