Journey to a High-Achieving School: Eliminate Destructive Excuses (Hardback)
  • Journey to a High-Achieving School: Eliminate Destructive Excuses (Hardback)

Journey to a High-Achieving School: Eliminate Destructive Excuses (Hardback)

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Hardback 136 Pages / Published: 16/05/2013
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Journey to a High-Achieving School: Eliminate Destructive Excuses examines the range of devastating excuses often expressed for failure to attain significant improvement in our schools. Using the methods of systems thinking and leadership practices that are employed in high-performing organizations of all kinds, this book shows concretely and specifically that what is at the root of these excuses can be overcome.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781475800449
Number of pages: 136
Weight: 354 g
Dimensions: 235 x 163 x 16 mm

'How important is the education of our children?' ask the authors of Journey to a High-Achieving School. Although no one denies the importance of education, many offer excuses that become obstacles to achieving the highest quality education for our students. At the Academy for Educational Leaders, founded by the book's three authors, strong, authentic leadership is considered the key to high achievement in education. The book examines seven common obstacles posed by educators and encourages the reader to examine the root cause of each obstacle. Only at their root can the journey to overcoming these barriers begin. * School Administrator *
This work provides refreshing, direct and bold responses to the common excuses for "why this will not work," which every education reformer or leader has heard. Historically, these excuses have often gone unanswered or have been met with a sympathetic nod in the education community. This is perhaps due to a lack of commitment to engage in the difficult conversations to address such excuses, or perhaps simply due to the inability to refute these sometimes compelling justifications. Abbate, Biddle and Tomaselli don't shy away from the difficult conversations, and in this work they arm educational leaders with commonsense responses, approaches, systems and processes to confront the excuses. Applying these principles has helped my organization better respond to change because we are clear about what we stand for our values, mission, vision, and goals. Because of our adherence to the principles of this work, when faced with outside forces, mandates, or requirements, our organization is poised to connect change forces to OUR Vision and OUR Plan, rather than simply reacting. The ideas presented in Defeat Destructive Excuses! prevent "the tail from wagging the dog." They empower an organization to take control of its results and its future. -- Christopher M. Manno, Superintendent of Schools, Burlington Township School District; New Jersey State Superintendent of the Year, 2013
If you have ever reflected upon our schools as complex structures and questioned the reasons why many of our schools have evolved into stagnant, frustrating, and excuse-riddled organizations, Journey To A High-Achieving School: Eliminate Destructive Excuses will have immense meaning for you. Abbate, Biddle, and Tomaselli have written an approachable and inspirational book of ideas and reflections that captures the soul of a transformative journey designed to establish authentic leadership and build a culture of success and high achievement. Along the way, they emphasize the need for the leader to visit, revisit, and understand his/her core values and apply them to build teamwork and trust within the organization. The book is based upon the concepts applied by Performance Excellence Group in its Academy for Educational Leaders. The process for improvement merges leadership and systems thinking tools into a unified way of understanding and dealing with problems, challenges, opportunities, planning, decision making, and accountability. In my opinion, it is a "must" reading for anyone truly interested in building and maintaining a culture of excellence in our schools. -- George F. Sharp, Ed.D., Retired Superintendent of Schools; Assistant Professor of Education, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
This hard-hitting book demands that we all take a hard look at how we approach school improvement. We are in an era where state assessments are used to label and often punish our schools in the name of accountability. Unfortunately, labeling and punishing a school does very little to actually improve it. The [authors] have developed a system that works. I have personally embraced and implemented [their] approach as a school superintendent. Simply stated, we are seeing amazing results! Although the journey to a high performing school can be uncomfortable - our kids deserve real school improvement. This book has the potential to be a real game-changer in education as it debunks several common excuses that are used to hinder real reform while also providing tools that can easily be applied to begin improving your school immediately. I give this book the highest recommendation possible. It is a must read for all educators. -- David Gentile, Ed.D., Chief Education Officer, Millville Public Schools, NJ
Managing this rapidly changing education environment is a huge challenge. This book clearly communicates processes and practices that support educators in effectively navigating these challenges, and making a real difference for students staff and community stakeholders. The authors of this book offer a rich array of practical and proven methods for establishing and sustaining a school culture of continuous improvement...It is a handbook for navigating the many challenges teachers and administrators face as they strive to ensure the highest student achievement. -- Sandra Chronic, Supervisor and District Facilitator, Hunterdon Central Regional High School

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