A School Leader's Guide to Excellence: Collaborating Our Way to Better Schools

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Overview


This book is an enormous gift. It has the power to change you and your school in ways that will bring vibrancy and excellence to your community.
- Lucy Calkins
Author of Units of Study for Primary Writing
and Units of Study for Teaching Writing, 3 - 5

What a pleasure to read a book on leadership that focuses on ideas so humane, clear, and wise that the reader wonders how we ever made the art of leadership so complicated and didactic.

- Ellin Oliver Keene

Coauthor of Mosaic of Thought, Second Edition

A veritable treasurehouse of practical help, inspiring support and constructive challenge from two high level leaders who have keep completely in touch with the classroom and never lose sight of the humanity of their own learning and leadership.

- Andy Hargreaves
Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education
Boston College

Carmen and Laura translate their soaring vision into a clear, . . . easy-to-use, friendly guide any educator can apply.

- Bill Cirone

Superintendent of Santa Barbara County Office of Education

Is something - no matter how big or small - holding your school back? If so, turn to Carmen Farina and Laura Kotch. In New York City they've transformed struggling schools into excellent schools and made good ones great. And in A School Leader's Guide to Excellence they'll show you a direct, detailed road to improving schoolwide achievement.

A School Leader's Guide to Excellence gets at what's really important when you're leading the way to change:

  • gathering the energy of the school community for change
  • focusing that energy on problem solving
  • assuring ownership and sustainability so that new practices last.

Farina and Kotch present their ideas with step-by-step instructions, implementation and evaluation advice, artifacts of their own reform efforts, and all the modifiable forms and documents you'll need. Their strategies will help you:
  • form a doable vision of change
  • collect information and create urgency
  • spark professional conversation and reinforce beliefs
  • motivate change through celebration
  • involve every staff member
  • secure parents' support
  • develop a culture of professional learning
  • make your job easier by nurturing teacher leaders
  • lead in the moment by planning in advance.


Energize your school for change, make reform happen, and make it last. Improve the performance - and the lives - of your students. And do it all with a realistic plan developed by people who've been there and know the way to success.

Read A School Leader's Guide to Excellence and raise your school to new heights.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325011387
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 3/18/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 538,192
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Carmen Farina is the coauthor, with her longtime collaborator Laura Kotch, of A School Leader's Guide to Excellence. They have in-depth experience with helping all schools make the changes they need to achieve excellence. As professional partners they have held numerous roles in the New York City public schools. Most recently, Carmen was the Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning of the New York City Department of Education, while Laura was its Executive Director of Professional Development and Curriculum. Their vast experiences also include tenures as Superintendent and Deputy of District 15 (a thirty-two-school district) and Region 8 (154 schools), Principal and Staff Developer, college instructors, teacher leaders, and classroom teachers. Currently they work with principals to create structures that improve schoolwide teaching and learning.

Laura Kotch is the coauthor, with her longtime collaborator Carmen Farina, of A School Leader's Guide to Excellence. They have in-depth experience with helping all schools make the changes they need to achieve excellence. As professional partners they have held numerous roles in the New York City public schools. Most recently, Carmen was the Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning of the New York City Department of Education, while Laura was its Executive Director of Professional Development and Curriculum. Their vast experiences also include tenures as Superintendent and Deputy of District 15 (a thirty-two-school district) and Region 8 (154 schools), Principal and Staff Developer, college instructors, teacher leaders, and classroom teachers. Currently they work with principals to create structures that improve schoolwide teaching and learning.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2008

    Prescription Medicine From Dr. Kervorkian

    Okay, on the day I was about to purchase this book '28 August, 2008' the NY Post prints this in an editorial titled 'Doubts on NYC's Schools Gains': 'But now - in the exam that serves as the standard in assessing students' readiness for college [, the SAT,] - city students aren't just falling behind, they are posting some of the worst scores in the nation. City averages were 55 points to 64 points behind the national average in the three standardized exams.' I did some research. In the years leading up to the SAT, Laura Kotch and Carmen Farina played a MAJOR role in implementing the instructional methodologies and techniques that were used to 'enhance' math and reading skills in the New York City School system. I've decided to save my money and spend it elsewhere. Perhaps there is something of value in this text BUT I'm not comfortable with the idea of taking the advice of officials who have had these kinds of results. Especially officials from a school system that places great emphasis on test results - after all, when your kids do this poorly on a test designed to be an indicator of college eligibility, maybe you ought refrain from writing books on 'better schools'. I am not saying that you shouldn't buy this book. What I am saying is that their results have convinced me to find another text on 'educational leadership' and 'better schools'. I remember an old teacher's adage: 'You keep whatever works and discard what doesn't.'

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