A practical and entertaining volume, Cage-Busting Leadership will be of profound interest and value to school and district leaders—and to everyone with a stake in school improvement. Rick Hess aptly describes his aims at the start of this provocative book: "I believe that two things are true. It is true, as would-be reformers often argue, that statutes, policies, rules, regulations, contracts, and case law make it tougher than it should be for school and system leaders to drive improvement and, well, lead. However, it is also the case that leaders have far more freedom to transform, reimagine, and invigorate teaching, learning, and schooling than is widely believed.” In his travels across the country, Rick Hess has met school and system leaders who have shared stories about evading, blasting through, or reshaping unnecessary and counterproductive constraints. Drawing on these stories, and with his sharp eye, Hess shows current and aspiring leaders how they can cultivate and sustain powerful cultures of teaching and learning.
About the Author
Frederick M. Hess is resident scholar and director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The American education system is surrounded with a lot of polices, rules, politics, and regulations, which put pressure on principals and educational leaders to make teaching more effective. However, a lot of educational leaders think that limited time and resources make effective teaching seem like a far-reached goal. According to Cage-Busting Leadership by Frederick M. Hess, these regulations and rules are like a cage that educational leaders put themselves inside. In his book, he wants leaders and administrators to think out of the cage. He requests them to bust this kind of illusionary cage and to be more effective and innovative. Frederick M. Hess is the Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He is an educator, political scientist, and a writer who focuses on studying K-12 and higher education issues. Hess’s extensive experience in the educational field and the many stories that he had collected from school leaders has helped him to present in his book how we can develop and flourish many schools even though they have very limited resources. He emphasizes the importance of finding problems in the school, and with ingenious thinking, finding the solution by busting the cage. The book will enable leaders to find more methods, and to use money wisely towards the academic success of students. Cage-Busting Leadership makes the reader an expert on how to examine policies and analyze the fine print of rules to find a way to solve problems. Excuses are not acceptable for Hess. It is not about money and technology, it is about finding the right tools and methods to make students’ success the number one goal of the school. Cage-busting leaders check payroll for accuracy, move teachers in the building according to strengths, and spend less on unnecessary programs. These positive strategies can be simple answers to big problems. Some leaders become too familiar with their previous practices that when faced with new challenges, fail to find new solutions to new problems. This book offers leaders many new answers that can switch the problem from no to yes. Throughout the book, real examples from principals, superintendents, and community resources are used to help educational leaders on how they can become cage-busters. These techniques are positive ways that can open our minds to see things differently. This book offers several innovative ideas, however, many of the examples and ideas are repeated more than once throughout the book. Most of his wonderful insight is focused in the first two chapters, while the rest of the book has a lot of repetition that makes the book lengthy. In general, this book provides a lot of examples of how to be creative and how to be a problem-solving oriented leader. This book is for you if you are an educational leader who wants to be more effective and wants to improve their school. This book is for you if you want better future of the educational system. Reading the book is very easy and enjoyable. You can share it with your colleagues and friends.