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The Governance Core

School Boards, Superintendents, and Schools Working Together
By: Davis Campbell, Michael Fullan

Forewords by Frank Pugh and John Malloy
Co-Publication with Phi Delta Kappa Logo only when reprinted

The model outlined in this book develops a systems approach to governing local schools collaboratively to become an exemplar of highly effective decision-making, leadership, and action.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781544344331
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2019
  • Page Count: 200
  • Publication date: April 18, 2019

Price: $31.95



Working together for excellence for all children

As our society faces daunting and evolving challenges, education might well be the social institution that offers the most hope and opportunity for change. Overloaded with multiple, diverse issues, however, where do educational leaders even begin?

Davis Campbell and Michael Fullan believe efficacy must be achieved with a systems focus. The Governance Core provides strategies and tools for board members, superintendents and school leaders to unify and face the complex challenges of school governance together. Practical and authentic, the Governance Core is based upon:

  • A governance mindset
  • A shared moral imperative
  • A unified, cohesive governance system
  • A commitment to system-wide coherence
  • A focus on continuous improvement in the district

Essential for local education governance – school boards in collaboration with district and school leadership – this guide will help you operate at the highest levels of effectiveness.

Key features

Fig 1.1 The Governance Core – offers the infrastructure needed for effective work

Throughout the book readers will find clear guidelines and tips for governance, real-world examples, and cases from the field.

2 Forewords – 1 from a prominent national School Board official / 1 from a prominent Superintendent

Great authorship: Michael Fullan, the leading education change expert, and Davis Campbell, a longtime district leader, school board leader, and organization leader.


Davis Campbell photo

Davis Campbell

Davis Campbell is the former Executive Director of the California School Boards Association and is Chair of the University of California, Davis, School of Education, Board of Advisors and a Senior Fellow. He also serves as a Trustee on the Stuart Foundation Board of Trustees.

Campbell has a deep and broad background in public education. He served for 12 years in the California Department of Education, serving six of those years as Deputy State Superintendent of Public Instruction in charge of all education programs. In 1988, he was appointed Executive Director of the California School Boards Association, serving in that capacity until his retirement in 2001. He also served as an elected trustee on the Yolo County Board of Education.

Campbell maintains an active consulting practice in effective governance in education as well as public and nonprofit agencies at both the state and international level. In California, in addition to trainings and workshops with school districts, most recently he conducted numerous workshops with nonprofit organizations as well as training sessions with cities, counties, and special districts. Campbell's international governance work includes board support for the American School of Madrid (15 years), the American School of Barcelona, the American School of Paris, the American Cooperative School, Tunis, Tunisia, the American International School of Egypt, and effective governance workshops in Lisbon, Portugal, and Rome, and Milan, Italy.
Michael Fullan photo

Michael Fullan

Michael Fullan currently serves as co-leader of the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning global initiative. He is the former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. Prior to his work as an educator, Fullan acted as Special Policy Adviser to Premier Dalton McGuinty in Ontario from 2003 to 2013. Fullan received the Order of Canada in December 2012, as well as five honorary doctorates from various universities around the world. Currently, Fullan and his team focus on system transformation in education across multiple countries. For more information, visit www.michaefullan.ca.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by Frank Pugh

Foreword by John Malloy

Introduction: Politics, Governance, and System Improvement

Unity of Purpose: Driven by a Shared Moral Imperative

Politics, Governance, and System Improvement

How This Book Is Structured

Shift to Positive Drivers

Concluding Comments


Chapter 1. Moral Imperative and the Governance Core

The Nature of Governance

A Fundamental Choice

Five Major Themes of Good Governance

The Governance Core

Concluding Comments

Chapter 2. Trustee Governance Mindset

Systems Thinking

Strategic Focus

Deep Learning


Concluding Comments

Chapter 3. Superintendent Governance Mindset

Typical Governance Styles

Examples of Purposeful Superintendent Support for Governance

What These Superintendents Have in Common

Supporting a Trustee Governance Mindset

Concluding Comments

Chapter 4. Welcoming New Trustees

The First 100 Days: What the Board Should Do

The First 100 Days: What New Trustees Should Do

Concluding Comments


Chapter 5. Governing With Coherence


Coherence Making

Coherence in Perspective

Distractions and Challenges to Coherence

Concluding Comments

Chapter 6. Governance Culture

Processes That Develop Governance Infrastructure

Concluding Comments

Chapter 7. The Governance Job: Systems Thinking and Strategic Action

Setting Strategic Direction

Policy Direction and Approval

Stewardship and Support

Oversight and Accountability

Community Leadership Throughout

Concluding Comments

Chapter 8. Governance Tools

Discussion Meetings

Governance Handbooks

Board Self-Evaluations

Continuing Board Education

Concluding Comments


Chapter 9. Rising to the Occasion

All Rise

Appendix I: Template for Creating Board Protocols

Appendix II: Three Comparisons of Effective Governance Principles




About the Authors



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