Leading Schools in Challenging Times

Eye to the Future

Edited by:
Bruce Anthony Jones, University of Houston
Anthony Rolle, University of Houston

A volume in the series: Educational Policy in the 21st Century: Opportunities, Challenges and Solutions. Editor(s): Bruce Anthony Jones, University of Houston.

Published 2016

Over the past 30 years our public school system has received an unprecedented amount of attention as this concerns methods of school reform and policy strategies for bringing about this reform. During the 1980s the emphasis of school reform was on transparency through school-community partnerships. Business and philanthropy, for example, became involved with issues of schooling that was unheard of prior to this period. The 1980s also gave rise to issues of school finance and student performance that went beyond traditional views that tended to focus on finance “adequacy” to views that focused more on school finance arrangements that would lead to actual “equitable outcomes” in student performance.

The 1990s witnessed the emergence of the comprehensive school reform movement whereby curriculum outsourcing occurred at rates that had never occurred before. With this movement, the role of teachers and school leaders in the creation of school curriculum diminished as school districts increasingly purchased vendor-related curriculum packages, which included teacher and leader training modules and methods of curriculum assessment. On the heels of the increasing tendency of school districts to outsource school curriculum to curriculum-vendors came a rise in demands for school accountability and school outcomes. This was particularly evident with the passage of No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) (2001). NCLB was also developed within a political context that called for demands in the academic improvement of schools and school districts that housed historically disenfranchised students. These demands were particularly important as the nation experienced and continues to experience dramatic increases in student racial and ethnic diversity.

This volume, entitled, Leading Schools in Challenging Times: Eye to the Future, discusses varying types of school leadership in the context of key topics that have been at the center of on-going school reform in the United States. These topics include challenges, opportunities and issues associated with our administrator and teacher leadership pipeline, preparation and development; leadership and school finance reform, leadership and changing student and population demographics; leadership and the role of community; issues of leadership, policy, public accountability and school performance outcomes. The authors also explicate these issues with a view to the future and the status of leadership in our public school system.

Chapter One: Re-evaluating the values and principles of educational leadership with a view toward the future, Michael Dantley. Chapter Two: To see and be seen: Managing systems of instructional leadership, Jenifer Neale and William Black. Chapter Three: Wading through the educational accountability fog: Optimizing the pursuit of principal accountability success indicators, Jennifer Rinck, Anthony Rolle, and Leonard Burrello. Chapter Four: Research on the principal pipeline in a single state context: Implications for preparing and supporting school leaders, Arnold Danzig, William Black and Gary Martin. Chapter Five: Disruptive demographics: The triple whammy of geographic disadvantage and the future of K-12 education in America, James Johnson, Allen Tawannah, Emma Boundy and Allan Parnell. Chapter Six: Institutional responsiveness to the increasing Latina/o population: An educational leadership imperative, Gloria Rodriguez and Lisceth Brazil-Cruz. Chapter Seven: Perceptions may matter most: A comparative examination of teachers’ perceptions of “undocumented” Latino students in two high schools, Micere Keels and Sylvia Rusin. Chapter Eight: Teachers leaders as learners and advocates of science: What can happen when K-12, higher education and philanthropy join forces, Bruce A. Jones, Robert J. Van Der Velde and Karen Walter. Chapter Nine: Public investment in education: Economics of education, Nicola Alexander.

"In sum, we believe Leading Schools in Challenging Times makes an important contribution to the literature on principal preparation and educational leadership in the current context of school reform and shifting U.S. demographics. This book can be of even greater use when supplemented with other resources focusing more on educational leadership issues and the challenges associated with creating more equitable schools and communities..." David Edward DeMatthews & Becca Gregory University of Texas at El Paso in Teachers College Record (Read full review)