Becoming a Great High School: 6 Strategies and 1 Attitude That Make a Difference

Becoming a Great High School: 6 Strategies and 1 Attitude That Make a Difference

Becoming a Great High School: 6 Strategies and 1 Attitude That Make a Difference

Becoming a Great High School: 6 Strategies and 1 Attitude That Make a Difference


What will it take to move your high school to the next level?

In Becoming a Great High School, former principal Tim Westerberg emphasizes that significant improvement in any high school must start with improving the quality of instruction in the classroom. But the isolated efforts of individual teachers aren't enough. If your school is functioning like "a collection of educational entrepreneurs held together by a common parking lot," it's time for teachers and administrators to work together and pursue comprehensive, coordinated strategies that will help all students succeed.

Westerberg's 6+1 Model for High School Reform shows how high-achieving schools maintain success and identifies what other schools can do to achieve similar results:

• Adopt a we-expect-success attitude.

• Develop clear instructional goals.

• Implement effective instruction.

• Use frequent formative assessment.

• Track student progress.

• Provide timely intervention for struggling students.

• Celebrate student success.

Westerberg provides comprehensive research on high school reform from leading education experts, candid examples from his 26 years as a principal, and thought-provoking insights from other high school leaders who have taken up the call to improve their schools.

If you're ready to take your high school to the next level, this book will give you the tools and strategies to make the leap and create a school that enables all students to reach their full potential.


By Robert J. Marzano

High schools are in the spotlight, and virtually all high schools, even high schools that have longstanding reputations in their communities as “good schools,” are under pressure to get better. Among the major sources of this pressure to improve—a force that few in leadership positions in a high school community can afford to ignore—are the No Child Left Behind Act, state accountability report cards, competition for students created through ever-expanding choice initiatives, and fears of losing our competitive advantage in the 21st century global economy.

While the forces of change are many, the “remedies” proposed to improve high schools are legion. What high school leaders and leadership teams wishing to significantly improve their schools need is a comprehensive and practical research-based model to guide them to those strategies and initiatives that have a proven track record of increasing student achievement. This book definitely fills that need—specifically by focusing on the 6+1 model.

Dr. Tim Westerberg, a 26-year veteran of the high school principalship and a nationally known high school reform activist, presents such a model in this book, Becoming a Great High School. Taken together, the research-based conclusions, recommendations, and examples in this work, briefly summarized here, provide a framework for helping any high school become a great high school.

High schools that get uncommon results from common student populations have several things in common, not the least of which is an effortbased, we-expect-success school culture. Examples from high-performing . . .

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