Skip to main content
Location: United States |  Change Location
Male flipping through Corwin book

Hands-on, Practical Guidance for Educators

From math, literacy, equity, multilingual learners, and SEL, to assessment, school counseling, and education leadership, our books are research-based and authored by experts on topics most relevant to what educators are facing today.


The Governance Core - Book Cover Look Inside

The Governance Core

School Boards, Superintendents, and Schools Working Together

By: Davis W. Campbell, Michael Fullan

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

Price: $31.95

Price: $31.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Exam Copy

By selecting the request for exam copy above, you will be redirected to our parent site, Sage Publishing, to process your inspection copy request.  Thank you.



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 W. Campbell photo

Davis W. 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, (OC) is the former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and Professor Emeritus of the University of Toronto. He is co-leader of the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning global initiative ( Recognized as a worldwide authority on educational reform, he advises policymakers, local leaders, and school communities in helping to achieve the moral purpose of all children’s learning. He served as Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Special Policy Adviser in Ontario from 2003-2013. Fullan received the Order of Canada (OC) in December 2012. He holds five honorary doctorates from universities around the world.

Fullan’s latest books are: Coherence: Putting the right drivers in action (with Quinn); Deep Learning: Engage the World Change the World (with Quinn, McEachen); Dive into Deep Learning: Tools for Engagement (Quinn, McEachen, Fullan, Gardner, & Drummy), Surreal Change (autobiography), Core Governance (with Davis Campbell), Nuance: Why Some Leaders Succeed and others Fail, The devil is in the details: System solutions for equity, excellence , and well-being (with Gallagher), Spirit work and the science of collaboration (with Mark Edwards).

Fullan and his team currently work on ‘system transformation’ in education in several countries globally. For more information on books, articles, videos, podcasts please go to

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