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Differentiating School Leadership

Facing the Challenges of Practice

Use “organizational diagnostics” for applying differentiated leadership to four high-level priorities: preventing school decline, turning around a low-performing school, sustaining improvements, and designing a new school.

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Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary, Secondary
  • ISBN: 9781412970501
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2009
  • Page Count: 160
  • Publication date: December 10, 2012

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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Leadership Solutions

"Offers a set of extremely useful heuristics, mental models, and organizational checklists with which future and practicing school leaders can analyze leadership situations and take positive, focused action to improve school conditions. The author's gift for narration brings the reader into the case studies and allows you to almost be sitting alongside experienced educational leaders as they ponder about and make decisions concerning critical educational issues. This is highly insightful and helpful for the reader just learning about the complexity of educational leadership and a critical gift for their own future decision making."
—Dan W. Butin, Assistant Dean of Educational Leadership
Cambridge College

"The vignettes, cases, and stories provide insights into what an educational leader at the school level can face each day. These examples lend themselves to professional book study with practicing principals as well as those who aspire to take on that role."
—Michelle Gayle, Principal
Griffin Middle School, Tallahassee, FL

Diagnose your school's critical challenges and apply specific differentiated leadership strategies for improvement!

Whether yours is an urban or a rural school, every setting faces unique types of challenges requiring an appropriate and differentiated response. This book introduces the qualities of differentiated leadership and stresses the importance of understanding that different schools can face very distinct sets of challenges. The author provides principals with an overview of "organizational diagnostics" with guidelines for identifying critical issues and demonstrates how to apply differentiated leadership to four high-level priorities:

  • Preventing school decline
  • Turning around a low-performing school
  • Sustaining improvements
  • Designing a new school


Daniel L. Duke photo

Daniel L. Duke

After teaching high school social studies and serving as a secondary school administrator, Daniel L. Duke embarked on a career in higher education. For over three decades he has taught courses on educational leadership, organizational change, and school reform as well as conducted research on various aspects of public schools. After serving on the faculties of Lewis and Clark College and Stanford University, he came to the University of Virginia as chair of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Duke founded and directed the Thomas Jefferson Center for Educational Design and helped establish the Darden-Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education (PLE), a unique enterprise involving the Curry School of Education and the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. He serves as research director for the PLE. A prolific writer, Duke has authored or co-authored 27 books and several hundred scholarly articles, monographs, chapters, and reports. His most recent books include The Challenges of Educational Change (2004), Education Empire: The Evolution of an Excellent Suburban School System (2005), Teachers’ Guide to School Turnarounds (2007), and The Little School System That Could: Transforming a City School District (2008). A highly regarded consultant, Duke has worked with over 150 school systems, state agencies, foundations, and governments across the United States and abroad. He has served as president of the University Council for Educational Administration and was chosen as Professor of the Year at the Curry School of Education.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents


About the Author


Part I. The Challenge of School Decline

1. Recognizing the Potential for School Decline

A School on the Brink

Detecting Vulnerabilities

The Impact of Inadequate Funding

The Impact of a Weak Principal

The Impact of a Change in School Culture

Meeting the Challenge of School Decline

Key Lessons and Next Steps

2. Leadership to Prevent School Decline

Leading Schools That Face Demographic Changes

The Challenges of Changing Demographics

School Leadership in the Face of Demographic Change

Key Lessons and Next Steps

Part II. The Challenge of School Turnaround

3. Identifying the Characteristics of Low-Performing Schools

A School in Need of Turning Around

Analyzing the Causes of Low Performance

Diagnosing School-Based Causes

Meeting the Challenge of School Turnaround

Key Lessons and Next Steps

4. Leadership to Turn Around a Low-Performing School

Targeting Key Conditions

School Turnaround Leadership

Key Lessons and Next Steps

Part III. The Challenge of Sustaining School Improvement

5. Reversing School Failure Is Only the First Step

A Promising Start at Stuart High School

Determining the Unfinished Agenda

Meeting the Challenge of Sustained Improvement

Key Lessons and Next Steps

6. Leadership to Sustain School Improvement

Building Capacity for Sustained Success

The Challenges of Sustained School Improvement

Leadership for the Long Haul

Key Lessons and Next Steps

Part IV. The Challenge of Creating a New School

7. Leadership for Students Who Need a Different Learning Environment

Leading by Design

Meeting the Challenge of Creating a New School

Key Lessons and Next Steps

Part V. Leadership Lessons

8. Why School Leaders Fail

Self-Inflicted Problems

The Greatest Mistake of All

9. The Implications of Differentiating Leadership

Some Practical Consequences

Last Word





Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.