International Perspectives on Leading Low-Performing Schools

Edited by:
Coby V. Meyers, University of Virginia
Marlene J. Darwin, American Institutes for Research

A volume in the series: Contemporary Perspectives on School Turnaround and Reform. Editor(s): Adam Kho, University of Southern California. Alisha Butler, Wesleyan University. Lam D. Pham, North Carolina State University.

Published 2018

Research is clear: School leadership quality matters. However, our knowledge of effective school leadership remains limited in at least three substantial ways. First, our understanding of school leadership effectiveness generally and school principal effectiveness specifically is limited to Western contexts, primarily North America and western European ones. Second, even in the confines of Western research and context, there has been relatively little specific focus on effectively leading low-performing schools. Third, even the conceptualization of leadership—do we mean the school principal, an administrative team, or a broader school leadership team—is a key factor in how we define and respond to the challenge of leading in low-performing schools. This book advances discussion and disseminates knowledge and global perspectives on what school leadership looks like, how it is enacted and under what circumstances, and when or where lessons might be portable.

We anticipate this book having wide appeal for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners considering school leadership and how to support it effectively. The chapters suggest a noticeable level of convergence globally on how to lead low-performing schools effectively. Yet, there are clear political and culture differences that add significant gradation to how school leaders might enact best practice locally or inform policymakers and systems leaders about how to set up school leaders for success and subsequently support them. This book is one of the first that prioritizes the universality and nuance of leading low-performing schools globally.

International Perspectives on Leading Low-Performing Schools: Opportunities for Local Improvement, Coby V. Meyers and Marlene J. Darwin. Reclaiming Turnaround for Equity and Excellence: Leadership Moves to Build Capacity for Teaching and Learning, Vicki Park, Cori Groth, Janice Bradley, and Andrea Rorrer. Successful School Leadership in Japan: A Principal’s Story in a High Minority Junior High School, Ruth Ahn, Betty Alford, Hisayoshi Mori, and Amy Gimino. Leadership Practices of Turning Around Low-Performing Schools in a Developing Country: An Asset-Based Perspective, Sekitla Daniel Makhasane and Fumane Portia Khanare. Against the Odds: Leadership Practices of a Redeployed Principal in Challenging Contexts in China, Cathy Ping Xie. The Negative Influence of Weak Leadership in Transforming a Low-Performing Rural School in Costa Rica, Heilyn Camacho and Mayela Coto. Building Cross-School Research Communities as a Leadership Strategy to Transform Chinese Rural Primary Turnaround School, Peng Liu. The Role of Leadership in Improving Low-Performing Schools: The Chilean Case, Xavier Vanni, Nicole Bustos, Juan Pablo Valenzuela, and Cristian Bellei. Generative Leadership in Alberta: The Power of Partnerships in School Improvement, Carmen Mombourquette and Pamela Adams. Supporting Schools in Challenging Circumstances in Germany: The Berlin Bonus Program, Susanne Boese, Marko Neumann, Theresè Gesswein, Eunji Lee, Stefan Brauckmann, and Kai Maaz. Leadership for Learning in Lithuania: Implications for Teaching and Student Achievements in Schools, Eglė Staniškienė, Berita Simonaitienė, Brigita Stanikūnienė, Jūratė Valuckienė, and Sigitas Balčiūnas. No Simple Fixes for Schools in Challenging Circumstances: Contextualization for Germany, Stephan Gerhard Huber. Leading Turnaround and Improvement in Low-Performing Schools in Malaysia and Indonesia, Alma Harris, Michelle Jones, Nashwa Ismail, Donnie Adams, and Bambang Sumintono. Understanding Leadership to Turn Schools Around: A Review of Research Evidence, Jingping Sun, Brenda Mendiola, Mingda Sun, and Sijia Zhang. The Paradox of Improvement: Aspirational Professionalism in an End-of-Exceptionalism Era, David Eddy-Spicer. About the Editors.