Finding Your Leadership Focus: What Matters Most for Student Results

Finding Your Leadership Focus: What Matters Most for Student Results

by Douglas Reeves
     
 

In his new book, author and international keynoter Douglas Reeves addresses a major challenge faced by today's school leaders: an ever-growing load of programs and initiatives. Reeves contends that program overload not only taxes leadership resources, but actually hurts rather than improves student performance. Drawing on recent research findings, this book

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Overview

In his new book, author and international keynoter Douglas Reeves addresses a major challenge faced by today's school leaders: an ever-growing load of programs and initiatives. Reeves contends that program overload not only taxes leadership resources, but actually hurts rather than improves student performance. Drawing on recent research findings, this book shows how leaders can pare down from a proliferation of initiatives to determine what is truly most important based on their local concerns, challenges, populations, and other school factors.

Identifying a specific set of leadership practices that are more strongly associated with improvements in student achievement, Reeves provides explicit guidelines for how school leaders can improve their most critical leadership decisions by simultaneously engaging in three essential strategies: monitoring teaching and leadership practices, building high degrees of efficacy among staff members, and focusing on a smaller number of priorities. Finding Your Leadership Focus is essential reading for new and veteran principals, teacher leaders, and PLC book study groups.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807751701
Publisher:
Teachers College Press
Publication date:
12/12/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
624,279
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Michael Fullan vii

Acknowledgments ix

1 The Law of Initiative Fatigue: Why Leadership Focus Matters 1

The Costs and Benefits of Focus 3

The Illogical Imperative: Do It All and Do It Now 4

Forces Against Focus: Politics, Bureaucracy, and Culture 7

The Good News: Change Is Possible 10

2 The Research 12

How the Research Was Conducted 14

Experimental Versus Quasi-Experimental Research 15

Multivariate Versus Two-Variable Analysis 17

The Standard of Evidence in Educational Research 19

Weighing Risks 22

3 The Essential Cluster of Leadership Practices 24

Competing Demands on Leadership Attention 24

Clusters of Effective Leadership Practices 26

Focus, Monitoring, and Efficacy: The Combined Impact on Performance and Morale 31

4 From Theory to Real-World Impact 33

Impact on Student Achievement 33

Leadership Practices Defined 36

Lead Like a Lifeguard 42

5 Weeding the Garden 43

Diversionary Weeds 44

Toxic Weeds 46

Unsustainable Programmatic Weeds 47

Eradicating Weeds 48

6 Focus at the System Level 51

Two Essential Questions 52

Toward Multidimensional Perspectives of Leadership 56

Beyond Efficiency and Effectiveness: The Power of the Greater Good 59

From the Pyramid to the Diamond 61

7 Focus at the School Level 65

Essential Questions Revisited 65

Individual Students 71

Teaching Quality 73

Conclusion 75

8 How Leaders Can Help Classroom Teachers to Focus, Save Time, and Improve Achievement 76

Too Many Standards, Too Little Time 77

Conclusion 91

9 Assessing and Sustaining Your Leadership Focus 92

The Leadership Focus Assessment 93

Scoring Your Leadership Focus Assessment 96

Sustaining Leadership Focus 97

Appendix A The Research in Depth 101

Appendix B PIM™ (Planning, Implementation, and Monitoring) School Improvement Audit 127

Appendix C Galileo's Dilemma 136

Appendix D Guidelines for Data Walls, or "The Science Fair for Grownups" 140

Appendix E Science Fair Reflections: "The Treasure Hunt" 143

References 145

Index 149

About the Author 158

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