The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence: Lessons From a Transformational Leader

Overview

How to bring out the best in your staff—and in yourself

How do we attract and retain high-quality teachers? This text offers a refreshing alternative to the portfolio and high-stakes accountability models of school improvement. Based on the successful methods of Dealous Cox, this book describes a leadership philosophy based on the search for wisdom through personal reflection and community. The authors share their experience with this leadership style and document the ...

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The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence: Lessons From a Transformational Leader

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Overview

How to bring out the best in your staff—and in yourself

How do we attract and retain high-quality teachers? This text offers a refreshing alternative to the portfolio and high-stakes accountability models of school improvement. Based on the successful methods of Dealous Cox, this book describes a leadership philosophy based on the search for wisdom through personal reflection and community. The authors share their experience with this leadership style and document the sustainable results of transformational leaders working with teachers as partners rather than adversaries. These results include:

  • Consistently improved teacher performance
  • Improved teacher quality
  • Greater professional satisfaction for teachers
  • Stronger community support for schools

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Editorial Reviews

Midwest Book Review
"Chapters offer a concrete formula for bringing out the best in school leaders, presenting a proven leadership model that works well in the school environment. "
Gary L. Willhite
“This book provides a hands-on approach to leadership. The story of how Dea Cox transformed education through his leadership style is worth promoting.”
Lynn Macan
“At a time when unarguable strong leadership and identifiable heroes are harder to find, the story of Dealous Cox provides both hope and faith that good leadership can facilitate solving some of the complex issues that face public education in the 21st century.”
Midwest Book Review
"Chapters offer a concrete formula for bringing out the best in school leaders, presenting a proven leadership model that works well in the school environment."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412996457
  • Publisher: Corwin Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/10/2012
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Sagor founded ISIE (pronounced “I see”), the Institute for the Study of Inquiry in Education, in 1997, to work with schools and educational organizations on the use of action research and data-based school improvement while he was a professor of educational leadership at Washington State University (WSU). Prior to joining the faculty at WSU, Sagor had 14 years of public school administrative experience, including service as an assistant superintendent, high school principal, instruction vice principal, disciplinary vice principal, and alternative school head teacher. He has taught the entire range of students, from the gifted to the learning disabled, in the areas of social studies, reading, and written composition. Educated in the public schools of New York, Sagor received his BA from New York University and two MA degrees as well as a Ph D in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Oregon. Beyond his work as a teacher and administrator, Sagor has had extensive international consulting experience. He served as a site visitor for the United States Department of Education’s Secondary School Recognition Program and has worked with the Department of Defense’s overseas schools, numerous state departments of education, and over 200 separate school districts across North America. His consulting has focused primarily on leadership development, the use of data with standards-based school improvement, collaborative action research, teacher motivation, and teaching at-risk youth. His articles on school reform and action research have received awards from the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Educational Press Association of America. Sagor’s books include The TQE Principal: A Transformed Leader; At-Risk Students: Reaching and Teaching Them; How To Conduct Collaborative Action Research; Local Control and Accountability: Getting it, Keeping it, and Improving School Performance; Guiding School Improvement With Action Research, and Motivating Students and Teachers in an Era of Standards.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
Foreword by Sheldon H. Berman
Preface
Acknowledgments
About the Authors
Introduction
1. The West Linn School District
District Context
2. Three Key Leadership Functions
Transformational Leadership
The Development and Nurturing of Shared Community Vision
The Development and Nurturing of an Ethic of Continuous Improvement
The Development and Nurturing of the Organization's Commitment to Productive and Ethical Human Relations
Quaker Theology: As a Belief System and a Metaphor
3. Making a Virtue Out of a Necessity: The Beginnings of the People Strategy
The People Strategy for School Improvement
Supervising the Probationary Teacher
Annual Celebration of Excellence
4. Hiring the Very Best
The Eye of the Proprietor
Faculty Recruitment/Selection at West Linn High School
Reflection Questions: Hiring the Very Best
5. Making Continuous Professional Learning an Organizational Norm
Professional Development and the People Strategy
Professional Development Strategy #1: Budgeted Building and District Funds
Professional Development Strategy #2: Professional Growth Planning
Professional Development Strategy #3: Tuition Reimbursement
Professional Development Strategy #4: Cooperative Master's Program
Professional Development Strategy #5: Professional Development Fund
Leading Through Limited Partnerships
Reflection Questions: Making Continuous Professional Learning an Organizational Norm
6. Providing Responsive Developmental Supervision
Four Key Concepts Governing Supervision
Supervision When Professionals Are Having Problems
A Veteran Teacher Struggling With Classroom Management
Reflection Questions: Providing Responsive Developmental Supervision
7. Differentiated Supervision: Evaluation Outside the Box
Supervision and Evaluation at West Linn High School
When is Traditional Evaluation Necessary?
The Proposal for a Differentiated Supervision System
Reflection Questions: Differentiated Supervision
8. The Extended Shadow of the Leader
An Outside Superintendent
Example #1: Assigning Students to Classrooms at Cedaroak Park Elementary School
A Keen Eye for Talent
Example #2: Multiage Classrooms at Boeckman Creek Elementary School
Reflection Questions: The Extended Shadow of Leadership
9. The Acceptance of Uncertainty
Scientific Management and Proven Practices
Feigning Certainty
Choosing a District-Wide Computing Platform
Providing Developmentally Appropriate Education at Willamette Elementary School
Uncertainty and School Culture
Reflection Questions: Acceptance of Uncertainty
10. Hubris: An Ever Present Concern
The "Worrier in Chief "
The Political Context of Public Schools
Owning Up To Flaws
The High School Annual Report: Warts and All
The Gang of 1,000
Reflection Questions: Keeping Hubris at Bay
A Final Word
Epilogue
References
Index

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