Inventing Better Schools: An Action Plan for Educational Reform

Overview

"Schlechty offers a clear and concise vision of systemic change to address the problems with education."—The School Administrator

In this powerful wake-up call to educators, Phillip Schlechty argues that schools must change or become obsolete—and that central to this change is a rethinking of old rules, roles, and relationships. Inventing Better Schools offers a plan of attack that is thoughtful, practical, and full of step-by-step advice. Schlechty shows both educators and parents how to envision reform and ...
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Inventing Better Schools: An Action Plan for Educational Reform

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Overview

"Schlechty offers a clear and concise vision of systemic change to address the problems with education."—The School Administrator

In this powerful wake-up call to educators, Phillip Schlechty argues that schools must change or become obsolete—and that central to this change is a rethinking of old rules, roles, and relationships. Inventing Better Schools offers a plan of attack that is thoughtful, practical, and full of step-by-step advice. Schlechty shows both educators and parents how to envision reform and design quality educational systems. He explains how the visioning process must be rooted in real shared beliefs, how mission statements must unpack visions into concrete goals that are connected to action, and how the results of reform can be usefully assessed. He points out that reinventing schools must be looked upon as a continual process—and provides leaders with the tools to negotiate their way through it.

Drawing on the author's vast experience in the day-to-day work of implementing school reform, Inventing Better Schools offers new approaches for setting standards and ensuring accountability—and includes samples of actual mission statements and strategic plans of successful school districts.

Inventing Better Schools is a winner of the National Staff Development Counsel Book Award

"Schlechty marshals readers through the ideas-to-action labyrinth of improving schools. . . . A worthy successor to his earlier work." —The American School Board Journal

"A book filled with hope. . . . Not all reformers in the country will agree with Schlechty's solutions or even the problems, but they will be the richer for having read what he has to say on the subject." —Louisville Courier-Journal

"Schlechty adds a refreshing voice to the ongoing how-to-fix-our-schools debate. . . . Highly recommended." —Library Journal
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Schlechty offers a clear and concise vision of systemic change to address the problems with education." (The School Administrator)

"Schlechty marshals readers through the ideas-to-action labyrinth of improving schools. . . . A worthy successor to his earlier work." (The American School Board Journal)

"A book filled with hope. . . . Not all reformers in the country will agree with Schlechty's solutions or even the problems, but they will be the richer for having read what he has to say on the subject." (Louisville Courier-Journal)

"Schlechty adds a refreshing voice to the ongoing how-to-fix-our-schools debate. . . . Highly recommended." (Library Journal)

Library Journal
A well-known school reform advocate, Schlechty adds a refreshing voice to the ongoing how-to-fix-our-schools debate (e.g., E.D. Hirsch, The Schools We Need & Why We Don't Have Them, LJ 10/1/96). Drawing from strategic planning and quality management, he argues that truly reinventing schools requires a fundamental conceptual shift, replacing the focus on teacher and student test performances and behavior with a renewed focus on "knowledge work": intellectual challenge and daily creative engagement. Blocking this shift is our obsession with test scores, teacher performance, and policy nostrums such as charter schools and privatization; as an alternative, Schlechty suggests a "charter district system" that would assemble public schooling's major constituenciesparents, educators, business, community leadersand force them toward common goals. The basic plan of this lively book, including several process-oriented chapters, is founded on years of trial and error. Despite a disappointing bibliography, it is highly recommended for all academic education collections.Jessica George, Illinois State Univ., Normal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787956103
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,472,217
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

PHILLIP C. SCHLECHTY is founder and CEO of the Center for Leadership in School Reform. The creator of some of the nation's most innovative professional development programs for educators, he has been the recipient of the American Federation of Teachers Quest Citation and the American Educational Research Association's Professional Service Award. Schlechty is the author of Schools for the 21st Century and Shaking Up the School House.

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Table of Contents

The Never-Ending Story.

The Need for Invention.

The Technological Imperative.

Producing Knowledge Work.

Beliefs, Vision, and Mission.

Assessing District Capacity.

Creating the Capacity to Support Change.

Changing the System.

Working on the Work.

Measuring What Matters Most.

Leading the Change Process.

Inventing the Future: The Task Before Us.

Appendices: Action Plans for School Restructuring.

A. Memphis City Schools, Memphis, Tennessee.

B. Phillipsburg School District, Phillipsburg, New Jersey: School District Profile Team Report.

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