School Leadership That Works: From Research to Results

School Leadership That Works: From Research to Results

School Leadership That Works: From Research to Results

School Leadership That Works: From Research to Results

Synopsis

What does research tell us about the effects of school leadership on student achievement? What specific leadership practices make a real difference in school effectiveness? How should school leaders use these practices in their day-to-day management of schools and during the stressful times that accompany major change initiatives? Robert J. Marzano, Timothy Waters, and Brian A. McNulty provide answers to these and other questions in School Leadership That Works. Based on their analysis of 69 studies conducted since 1970 that met their selection criteria and a recent survey of more than 650 building principals, the authors have developed a list of 21 leadership responsibilities that have a significant effect on student achievement. Readers will learn the specific behaviors associated with the 21 leadership responsibilities; the difference between first-order change and second-order change and the leadership responsibilities that are most important for each; how to work smart by choosing the right work to focus on to improve student achievement; the advantages and disadvantages of comprehensive school reform models for improving student achievement; how to develop a site-specific approach to improving student achievement, using a framework of 11 factors and 39 action steps; and a five-step plan for effective school leadership. Combining rigorous research with practical advice, School Leadership That Works gives school administrators the guidance they need to provide strong leadership for better schools.

Excerpt

Unlike many other books about school leadership, this one blends practical advice and research. Most books on the topic address one or the other, but not both. We believe that, at this particular time in the history of K–12 education in the United States, a book like this one is not only useful but also necessary because calls for research-based practices have never been as strong as they are now. Similarly, calls for school leadership that translates into enhanced student achievement have never been as strong. To answer both calls we conducted a meta-analysis of the research on school leadership spanning 35 years and found studies from 1978 to 2001 that met our selection criteria. Additionally, we conducted a factor analysis of a survey derived from our meta-analysis and administered to more than 650 building principals.

To answer those who rightfully will want to know the specifics of our methodology and the assumptions underlying our conclusions, we provide what we consider to be all requisite technical information in a series of notes beginning on page 124. To provide practical guidance for those who face the daily challenges of leading a school, we translate all of our findings into specific recommendations for practice. We believe that our advice will help those interested in our research methodology better understand our purpose and focus. Alternatively, we believe that our discussion of the research will help those interested in our practical advice understand the solid research base underlying our recommendations.

For those who want to more closely examine their own leadership challenges, we offer McREL's Balanced Leadership Profile 360™, a subscription-based online survey and professional development tool based on the 21 principal leadership responsibilities described in this book. You may access the principal self-assessment . . .

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