Don't Teach the Canaries Not to Sing: Creating a School Culture That Boosts Achievement

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This how-to handbook defines what school culture is, how it works, and why it is critically important, and helps you assess how your school measures up.
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Editorial Reviews

Harriet Gould
"The book provides school leaders with an ABC format for building effective school culture. It is evident that the author has a wealth of knowledge in this field and has documented his work in this area. This book will make a unique and distinct contribution to the field."
Cary Dritz
"Avery enjoyable read, with lots of suggestions and ideas that can be implemented immediately. Site leaders will find the book refreshing and helpful for their daily activities. Each chapter has lots of thoughtful ideas, suggestions, recommendations, assessments, and profiles that can be used in improving school culture."
Edward J. Drugo
"The clear, concise themes for each chapter are backed by research and provide an understanding of what needs to be done to improve school climate. This book could be used for a team study of a building or district to measure the cultural temperature,by teacher teams to start a grassroots movement to improve school climate,or by reflective leaders who want to continuouslyimprove their organizations."
Virginia Drouin
"I found the material, topic, and examples extremely useful. I have already discussed several ideas with teachers and my superintendent."
Robert W. Fowls
"If school leaders would only do a few of the suggestions, those leaders would find clear evidence of improvement within their school. Just follow the steps offered and you too can become a better leader within you school’s culture while improving that culture."
Frank Buck
"There are other books on school culture, but the tell-it-like-it-is,no-holds-barred style of writing makes this a book I would recommend to others."
Stephen Handley
"The ideas are useful, thought provoking, and can be implemented within the limitations of the desire to truly make a change by those who have the wherewithal to do so."
The Bookwatch
“An outstanding analysis of what school culture is, how it works, and why it’s important to develop. Student performance and staff efforts pair with parental engagement and community support in such a process, creating a culture that is dynamic, interactive, and positive: here’s how to build it, with real-world examples adding vision and insights.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412948937
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,027,472
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert D. Ramsey is a lifelong educator who has served as a "leader of leaders" in three award-winning school districts in two different states. His frontline experience includes positions a teacher, counselor, assistant principal, curriculum director, assistant superintendent, acting superintendent, and adjunct professor. Most recently, he has served as associate superintendent in the St. Louis Park (MN) schools, where every school has been designated by the federal government as a National School of Excellence. Ramsey is now working full-time as a freelance writer in Minneapolis.

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Table of Contents

Preface: Why This Title
About the Author
Introduction: Culture Shock
1. School Culture Under the Microscope: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It's So Important
2. The Many Phases and Faces of School Personalities
3. Profile of a Healthy School Culture That Works for Everyone
4. How Do You Know It's Time to Tune Your Bagpipes? Signs of a Toxic School Culture
5. Assessing the DNA of Your School's Culture
6. Avoiding "Fratricide" (Death by Friendly Fire)
7. A Dresser of Sycamore Trees: The Leader's Role in Shaping the School's Culture
8. Don't Teach the Canaries Not to Sing: Creating a School Culture That Works for All Students
9. Use All the Gifts (Assets): Creating a School Culture That Works for Staff
10. The Dancing Bear Metaphor: Creating a School Culture That Works for Parents and the Community
11. A Results-Oriented Work Environment (ROWE): Linking Culture and Achievement
12. No Deposit, No Return: Culture Building Made Simple
Resource A. FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Resource B. FSWs: Frequently Stated Worries
Resource C. What Others Say About Organizational Culture
Resource D. Related Readings: The Short List
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