Bridge the achievement gap with proven strategies for student success Breakthrough Principals debunks the myth of the 'superhero' principal by detailing the common actions and practices of leaders at our nation's fastest-gaining public schools. Based on the authors' Transformational Leadership Framework, which they developed through in-depth study of more than 100 high-gaining, high-poverty schools, the book distills findings into a practical, action-focused plan for diagnosing school needs and implementing structures, systems and practices that accelerate student achievement. Brought to life by case studies of principals who have led dramatic gains in student achievement, the book is a how-to guide for increasing the quality of teaching and learning; improving school culture; attracting and supporting high-performing teachers; and involving parents and community to help students achieve. You'll learn how breakthrough principals make the school's mission a real part of both strategy and practice, and set up sustainable systems that support consistent, ongoing improvement.
High-impact practices are organized into five broad categories: learning and teaching, school-wide culture, aligned staff, operations and systems, and personal leadership. The primary job of school leadership is to help students succeed. It begins with first recognizing and prioritizing areas of need, then finding and implementing the most effective solutions. Whether you work in a turn around environment, or want to make a good school better, this book will give you a set of concrete practices illustrated through examples of real principals in real schools that have been proven to work. * Discover the primary drivers of student achievement * Work toward the school's vision in staffing, operations, and systems * Set the tone for all relationships and practices with good leadership Closing the achievement gap is a major goal of educational leadership, and principals are forever searching for viable methods that help them better serve their students. Breakthrough Principals unveils the details behind the success stories from across the nation to provide a roadmap to transformative gains.
JEAN DESRAVINES serves as chief executive officer of New Leaders, an innovative school reform organization that develops and supports highly effective leaders to turn around the nation's high-need public schools. JAIME AQUINO is chief program officer at New Leaders. BENJAMIN FENTON is cofounder and chief strategy officer at New Leaders.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS xi ABOUT NEW LEADERS xv PART ONE Diagnosing Your School s Stages of Development 1 INTRODUCTION 3 The Transformational Leadership Framework in Action 4 Why Focus on theWork of the Principal? 7 What Is the Transformational Leadership Framework? 8 The Structure of the Transformational Leadership Framework 9 Stages of School Development 11 How to Use This Book 12 CHAPTER ONE The Stages of School Development 15 Overview of Stages 16 How the Stages of the TLFWork 18 Moving through the Stages 20 Putting the Framework toWork 26 CHAPTER TWO Diagnosis and Action Planning 27 A Different Approach to School Planning 28 Case Study: The Four Steps of Planning 32 Step 1: Using Multiple Data Points to Diagnose School Practices 32 Step 2: Bringing the Outputs of the Diagnosis Together to Identify Priorities 38 Step 3: Set Goals, Identify Strategies, and Create an Action Plan 40 Step 4: Monitor and Adjust Action Plan 47 Next Steps 48 PART TWO The Transformational Leadership Framework 49 CHAPTER THREE Learning and Teaching 51 The Importance of Instructional Leadership 52 Lever 1: Aligned Curriculum 56 Lever 1: Action 1: Scope and Sequence 56 Lever 1: Action 2: Units of Study 61 Lever 2: Classroom Practices and Instruction 68 Instructional Strategies 70 Monitoring and Adjusting Strategies 75 Lever 3: Data 76 Lever 3: Action 1: Identifying Data Sources and Assessments 76 Lever 3: Action 2: Data Analysis and Action Planning 78 Lever 3: Action 3: Feedback on Progress 83 Lever 4: Student-Centered Differentiation 87 Lever 4: Action 1: Interventions and Accelerations 88 Next Steps 96 CHAPTER FOUR School Culture 99 Lever 1: Shared Mission and Values 102 Lever 1: Action 1: Vision, Mission, and Values 102 Lever 1: Action 2: Behavioral Expectations 109 Lever 1: Action 3: Adult and Student Efficacy 114 Lever 1: Action 4: Social-Emotional Learning Skills and Supports 120 Lever 2: Relationships 124 Advisories and Referrals 124 Lever 2: Action 1: Supportive Adult-Student Relationships 125 Lever 2: Action 2: Cultural Competency and Diversity 128 Lever 2: Action 3: Student Voice 136 Lever 3: Family and Community Engagement 140 Lever 3: Action 1: Involving Family and Community 141 Next Steps 143 CHAPTER FIVE Talent Management 145 Why Managing Talent Matters 147 Lever 1: Recruitment and Onboarding 150 Lever 1: Action 1: Recruitment 151 Lever 1: Action 2: Selection and Hiring 152 Lever 1: Action 3: Staff Assignment 158 Lever 1: Action 4: Induction 159 Lever 2: Instructional Leadership Team 162 Lever 2: Action 1: Instructional Leadership Team Roles, Expectations, and Supports 163 Lever 2: Action 2: Teacher Leadership 168 Lever 3: PerformanceMonitoring and Evaluation 174 Lever 3: Action 1: Performance Expectations 175 Lever 3: Action 2: Observation and Actionable Feedback 176 Lever 3: Actions 3 and 4: Monitoring Implementation and Performance Evaluation 180 Lever 4: Professional Learning and Collaboration 181 Lever 4: Action 1: Ongoing Professional Learning 184 Lever 4: Action 2: Collaborative Teacher Team Structures 186 Next Steps 190 CHAPTER SIX Planning and Operations 193 Lever 1: Goal Setting and Action Planning 197 Lever 2: Time Management 197 Lever 3: Budget 211 Lever 3: Action 1: Budget and Resources 211 Lever 3: Action 2: External Partnerships 217 Lever 3: Action 3: Facilities 218 Lever 4: Community and District Relations 221 Action 1: Stakeholder Communications and Engagement 222 Lever 4: Action 2 : District Relationships 224 Next Steps 225 CHAPTER SEVEN Personal Leadership 227 Lever 1: Belief-Based and Goal-Driven Leadership 232 Lever 2: Equity-Focused Leadership 237 Lever 3: Interpersonal Leadership 238 Be Transparent about Expectations and Treat Everyone with Respect 239 Create a Culture of Trust 240 Use Appropriate Facilitation and Communication Strategies for Every Situation 241 Lever 4: Adaptive Leadership 245 Identifying Challenges and Their Root Causes 245 Managing Change 246 Lever 5: Resilient Leadership 251 Next Steps 253 PART THREE A Role for Principal Supervisors and Coaches 255 CHAPTER EIGHT Principal Coaching Using the TLF 257 Building Alignment across the District 258 Prior to the Start of the Year: Supporting an Effective School Diagnosis 259 Setting Principal Goals 260 Planning Your Coaching Time 261 Targeted Visits andWalk-Throughs 261 Mid- and End-of-Year Reviews 262 Personal Leadership 263 District-Level Strategies 263 Learning and Teaching 264 Operations 265 Talent Management 265 CONCLUSION 267 APPENDIX The Principal s Tool Kit 269 NOTES 327 INDEX 333