Working for Kids: Educational Leadership as Inquiry and Invention

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Much of the current discourse on improving school leadership, and particularly the performance of principals, is misguided. There is too much emphasis on evaluation and standards as determined by policy makers and professors and not nearly enough attention paid to how one provides performance-driven leadership in the context of day-to-day practice.

This book draws on James H. Lytle's career as a school administrator and his experience teaching leadership at the graduate level. He uses personal stones to address such questions as: How does one learn to lead? How does one become a leader? How does one teach others to lead? What does it mean to lead for learning?

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Editorial Reviews

Gloria Hancock
Working for Kids is a must-read for current and prospective educational leaders interested in leading in the twenty-first century and beyond. It is a masterfully written account of the evolution of a school leader's entrepreneurial approach to both public and private school reform. The triumphs and challenges of this unconventional and transformative leader speaks from and to the heart of the matter, learning to lead and leading for learning. Lytle takes you on a journey as he boldly and intentionally crosses traditional boundaries and conventions by challenging the status quo of schooling and creating a space to improve outcomes for student students, teachers, and administrators. Although intended for educational leaders it transcends the educational sector and offers pearls of wisdom for anyone interested in the art of leadership.
Jerry Murphy
An engaging inside look at the rollercoaster career of a can-do urban educator who cares deeply about kids. Street-wise and book-wise, Lytle is an innovator who spells out what real leadership requires—not mechanistic shortcuts but purpose, respect, trust, inquiry, improvisation, and sometimes eating crow.
Thomas G. Maridada
We have diced and sliced the urban school reform pie until there is very little coherence in understanding what works in schools. We know that reinventing urban education is paramount, however we do not all agree on what the ingredients are for reinvention. This book provides a roadmap for how educators can have a positive impact on school culture and foster sustainable reform in schools. It is not a quick fix or microwave approach to transforming education; it is an intelligent course of action that educational leaders should be prompted to take if they want to have the greatest impact on learning and transforming the lives of the students that we serve in our classrooms
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607090564
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/15/2010
  • Series: New Frontiers in Education Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

James H. "Torch" Lytle is practice professor of educational leadership at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania. From 1998–2006 Lytle was superintendent of the Trenton, NJ Public Schools; prior to his appointment in Trenton, he served in a variety of capacities in the School District of Philadelphia as an elementary, middle, and high school principal; executive director for planning, research, and evaluation; regional superintendent; and assistant superintendent.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Emergence of a School Leader

1 Principal 3

2 Central Office and "Sabbatical" 17

3 Regional and Assistant Superintendent 29

4 Principal, Again 45

Pt. II Changing States: Superintendent, Trenton, New Jersey

5 Learning the Context 63

6 Determining the Work 77

7 Designing and Getting Under Way 87

8 Building Capacity 103

9 High School Reform 117

10 To What End? 127

Pt. III Leadership for Learning

11 Considering the Teaching of Leadership 137

Bibliography 157

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