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The NEW School Rules - Book Cover Look Inside

The NEW School Rules

6 Vital Practices for Thriving and Responsive Schools

By: Anthony Kim, Alexis Gonzales-Black

Designed for continuous innovation, this resource expands cutting-edge management and organizational techniques to empower schools with the agility and responsiveness vital in the business world.

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506352763
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2018
  • Page Count: 216
  • Publication date: January 31, 2018

Price: $33.95

Price: $33.95
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Actions to increase effectiveness of schools in a rapidly changing world

To stay relevant and impactful, organizations from the military to government agencies to businesses must constantly evolve. Organizations that cling to rigid structures designed for less dynamic times are stuck in routines that don’t get results.  Instead of withstanding a structure built for the industrial age, how can we empower our schools to be nimble and equipped to prepare their students for this new world?

The NEW School Rules expands cutting-edge organizational and management strategies into an operating system for responsive schools. These principles and practices provide the framework for transitioning rigid, slow-moving institutions into environments of continuous innovation.

  • 6 simple rules create a unified vision of responsiveness among educators
  • Real life case studies illustrate responsive techniques implemented in a variety of educational demographics
  • 15 experiments guide school and district leaders toward increased responsiveness in their faculty and staff

Download your copy of The NEW School Rules poster



Anthony Kim photo

Anthony Kim

Anthony Kim is a nationally recognized leader in education technology, school design, and personalized learning. As founder and CEO of Education Elements, he has been involved in helping hundreds of schools change the way they think about teaching and learning. As the author of “The Personalized Learning Playbook, Why the Time Is Now”, Anthony has influenced many educators. He has contributed to many publications on new school models including “Lessons Learned from Blended Programs: Experiences and Recommendations from the Field”. Anthony is a nationally recognized speaker on personalized learning and his work has been referenced by the Christensen Institute, iNACOL, EdSurge, CompetencyWorks, EdWeek, District Administrator, and numerous other research reports.

Anthony also founded Provost Systems, which provided online learning solutions to school districts. Provost Systems was acquired by EdisonLearning, where he served as Executive Vice President of Online. Anthony is passionate helping school district can become more nimble, understanding what motivates adult learners, and designing schools that plan for the needs of our future.

Outside of education, Anthony is passionate about triathlons and learning about people who overcome remarkable challenges. He is a San Francisco native and continues to live there with his wife Angela and rescued dogs.

Alexis Gonzales-Black photo

Alexis Gonzales-Black

Alexis Gonzales Black is an expert in organizational design and change initiatives with deep experience in the education, retail, and technology sectors. A Principal Designer at the global design firm IDEO, she designs and implements new organizational models to fuel innovation, agility, and engagement.

Alexis earned a B.S in biology from James Madison University, and developed a passion for teaching and social justice as a high school science teacher and recruiter for Teach For America. At, Alexis led college recruiting and diversity initiatives while co-leading the online retailer's transition to the Holacracy model of organizational design. She founded Thoughtful Org Partners, a consultancy where she partners with organizations to break through?rigidity and introduce self-organizing principles.

Alexis’s work has been widely covered in such media outlets as Forbes, Huffington Post, Fox, and CNN Money. She?is a board member of Responsive Org and formerly an elected member of the Nevada State Board of Education and the West Ed Board of Directors. She lives in the Bay Area with her family.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Authors

Introduction: Why We Need New Organizational Practices for Thriving Schools and Students Today

     The Promise of Responsiveness

     How Responsive Organizational Thinking Evolved

     How This Book Is Designed

     A Note About Who This Book Is For

CHAPTER 1. PLANNING: Plan for Change, Not Perfection

     When Plans Are More Important Than Our Purpose

     Planning Without Learning

     Control Is Confused With Planning

     Build Roadmaps, Not Manuals

     Use Cadences and Pivot Points, Not Just Schedules and Deadlines

     Encourage Testing, Experiments, and Responsiveness

     EXPERIMENT 1. Define a Clear Purpose

     EXPERIMENT 2. Delineate Between What You Know and What You Anticipate

CHAPTER 2. TEAMING: Build Trust and Allow Authority to Spread

     We’re Dragged Down by the Slow and Unwieldy Legacy of Hierarchies

     Land Grabs Are Still Too Common

     When Everyone and No One Is Responsible

     Clarify the Purpose of Every Team . . . and Revisit It

     Build Trust and Address Tensions

     Develop Effective Team Habits That Support Distributed Authority

     Embrace Dynamic Team Structures That Evolve and End

     EXPERIMENT 3. Offer Feedback as Data

     EXPERIMENT 4. Team Meeting Protocol

CHAPTER 3. MANAGING ROLES: Define the Work Before You Define the People

     Job Descriptions Get in the Way

     Role Overwhelm (and Underwhelm)

     Put a Role’s Purpose Before Politics

     Separate Roles for Personal Clarity and Smarter Decisions

     Value Each Voice as a Human Sensor

     EXPERIMENT 5. Role Mapping

     EXPERIMENT 6. The One-Question Technique

     EXPERIMENT 7. Guidelines for Being an Effective Sensor

CHAPTER 4. DECISION MAKING: Aim for “Safe Enough to Try” Instead of Consensus

     The Cycle of Meeting Paralysis

     The Risks of Delayed Decision Making

     The False Promise of Consensus . . . or Defaulting to a Decider-in-Chief

     Get Aligned and Clear Out the Noise

     Decide on Things You Can Decide On: Make Decisions Smaller

     Fail Forward: Approach Planning and Big Decisions as Decision Cycles

     EXPERIMENT 8. Three Language Shifts for Decision-Making Discussions

     EXPERIMENT 9. Protocol for a Starting Proposal

     EXPERIMENT 10. Default to Yes and Defend No—One Decision at a Time

CHAPTER 5. SHARING INFORMATION: Harness the Flow and Let Information Go

     A False Sense of Transparency

     Information Has an Expiration Date

     Accept Ambiguity

     Think of Others: Apply the Reverse Precautionary Principle

     Ask for What You Need: Apply the Lesson of Self-Advocacy

     Plan Communication as a Process, Not an Event

     EXPERIMENT 11. Say “Thank You” for Asking

     EXPERIMENT 12. The 3 × 3 Rule


     “Best Practices” Are Inhibiting Learning and Innovation

     There Isn’t Learning Without Listening

     The Mindset of Efficiency

     Use the Physical Environment to Build a Learning Environment

     Promote Optimal Zones of Learning (for Adults as Well, Not Just Kids)

     Develop a Learning Mindset: The Stance of Agent, Not Subject

     Face the Truth

     EXPERIMENT 13. Start a Reflection Practice

     EXPERIMENT 14. Create a Habit of Learning Every Day

     EXPERIMENT 15. Personal Portfolios

A Responsive Roadmap: Beginning the Shift to New Organizational Practices

     Three Dimensions of Change

     A Plan for Implementation

     Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

     List of New Rules and Lessons

     List of Experiments