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The Superintendent's Fieldbook
A Guide for Leaders of Learning

Second Edition

National Superintendents Roundtable



April 2013 | 400 pages | Corwin

Guidance for ever-changing challenges, success through improved effectiveness

 

Equip yourself to face the demands of a superintendent with this practical guide for new and veteran school leaders. Understanding leadership and budgets is only one piece of a pie that has grown to include privatization, performance-based teacher compensation, technology, and global comparisons like PISA.

 

Based on 15 years of research with 300 superintendents, including members of the National Superintendents Roundtable, The Superintendent’s Fieldbook will become your touchstone for practical advice that you can implement today. The authors developed this new edition to help you

  • Navigate difficult situations through sample cases and tips for action
  • Lead with an eye on global impacts by illuminating education abroad
  • Understand the Common Core standards as explained by fellow superintendents
  • Explore instructional coaching and rounds as professional learning opportunities

“This remarkable book for new as well as veteran superintendents is thoroughly researched, practical, and compelling. If I could have but one book on my shelf to support the all-encompassing work we do, The Superintendent's Fieldbook would be the one.”
—Suzanne Cusick, Superintendent
Longview School District, WA

“I've found most guides for superintendents to be long on theory and short on practical advice. The Superintendent's Fieldbook doesn't make that mistake. This is where school leaders and aspiring superintendents can learn how to survive on the job, bargain like a pro, engage with the public, and work with their boards while tackling the achievement gap and explaining to the public what's right with American schools.”
—Gloria J. Davis, Superintendent
Decatur Public Schools, Decatur, IL


 
Preface to the Second Edition
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Part I: Orientation
 
A. Introduction: Leading Learning in New Times
 
B. Fifty Years of School Reform
1. Why Have We Fallen Short, and Where Do We Go From Here?  
2. A Public Man Looks at Public Education  
3. Role of the Superintendent in a New Age and a Different World  
 
C. The "Commonplaces" of School Leadership
D. Tools  
 
E. Reflective Practice
 
Part II: Leading Your Schools
 
A. Leadership Theory for the Theoretically Challenged
1. The Leadership Literature Landscape  
 
B. Thinking About Your Organization
1. Images of Organization  
 
C. Encouraging Adaptive Leadership
1. Principles of Adaptive Leadership  
2. Questions for Getting on the Balcony  
D. From Lone Ranger to Lead Learner: One Superintendent's Journey  
 
E. Creating Your Learning Organization
1. The Five Disciplines  
2. Archetypes of Systems Thinking  
3. The Iceberg  
 
F. Building a Core Learning Group
 
G. From Theory to Practice
1. Getting the Job  
2. Implementing Systems Thinking in a District  
3. How to Thrive as a Superintendent  
 
H. Tools
1. The Ladder of Inference  
2. The Transition Conversation  
3. Dialogue: Suspending the Elephant Over the Table  
 
I. Reflective Practice
 
Part III: Coping With Governance Challenges
 
A. Privatization
1. The Growth of Charters and Vouchers  
2. Ohio Study: Achievement in Charter Schools No Better Than in Traditional Public Schools  
 
B. The Challenges of Public Administration
C. Changes in State Agencies  
 
D. Working With Images of Organization
 
E. Working With Your Board
1. Getting It Right With the Board  
2. Tips on Working With the Board  
3. School Finance 101: No Surprises Around Money  
F. Working With Your Unions  
1. A Primer on Labor-Management Relations and Contracts  
2. Do's and Don'ts in Contract Negotiations  
3. Bargain Like a Pro  
 
G. The Small-District Superintendent
 
H. Tools
1. Build an Entry Plan  
2. How Well Is Your Board Functioning?  
3. Leading While Surviving Professionally and Emotionally  
4. Ten Ground Rules for Survival  
 
I. Reflective Practice
 
Part IV: Learning and Assessment
 
A. The Shape of the New Discussion
 
B. Principles of Learning
1. Effort-Based Education  
C. Emerging Issues in Neuroscience  
1. The Neuroscience of Mindfulness  
2. The Embodied Brain  
 
D. Common Core State Standards
1. The Case for the Common Core  
2. A Think Tank Examines the Common Core  
3. Local Educators Look at the Common Core  
 
E. The Achievement Gap
1. It's Not Good Enough: A Personal Perspective on Urban Student Achievement  
2. Whistling Past the Schoolyard  
 
F. Value-Added Assessment of Teachers
1. The Case for Value-Added Assessment  
2. The Case Against Value-Added Assessment  
3. A New Model for Teacher Evaluation and Compensation  
4. Another Model  
5. Central Office Practice Around Learning and Assessment  
G. Tools  
1. Effective State Accountability Systems  
2. Assessing Your State's Accountability System  
 
H. Reflective Practice
 
Part V: Addressing Race and Class
 
A. Why Race and Class?
1. Holding Difficult Conversations  
2. Sabotaging the Conversation  
3. Crisis Facing Minority Males  
4. Thinking About Educating Men of Color  
5. Taking Risks Around Race  
 
B. Superintendents Consider Race and Class
 
C. Can We Close the Gap?
1. Race and District Complexity as Factors in Superintendents' Responses  
2. Schools Can't Do It Alone  
3. An Asset-Based Approach  
4. Twenty External Developmental Assets  
5. Twenty Internal Developmental Assets  
6. Deficits or Assets in Over-the-Rhine?  
7. A Pastor Looks at Assets  
 
D. Tools
1. Kiva: A Tool for Talking  
2. The Kiva in Action  
3. Microlab, Peeling the Onion, and Active Listening  
 
E. Reflective Practice
1. Thinking About Learners at the Fringes  
2. Questions for Reflective Practice  
 
Part VI: Developing Your Principals
 
A. Leading Student Learning
1. What Does It Take to Lead a School?  
2. The School Principal as Leader  
3. Help Wanted: Implications for District Leadership  
4. The Challenge of Pricipal Turnover  
 
B. Instructional Leadership
C. Facilitating Change  
 
1. Nature of the Change Process
2. The Hall Innovation Category Scale (HiC)  
3. The Leap of Faith  
4. Stages of Concern  
5. Bridging the Leap of Faith  
6. Your Task as a Superintendent  
 
D. Tools for Instructional Leaders
1. Nine Tools for the Instructional Leader  
2. The Walkthrough  
 
E. Reflective Practice
1. A Teaching or a Learning System?  
2. Questions for Reflective Practice  
 
Part VII: Collaborating With Your Allies
 
A. What Is Collaboration?
1. Build Boats, Not Houses  
2. A New Way of Thinking  
3. Picturing a New Way of Thinking  
 
B. Engage the Public in Terms It Can Understand
 
C. Think Assets, Not Deficits
 
D. Need for Early Care and Education
1. Orientation  
2. Where Learning Begins: The Remarkable Human Brain  
3. The Need for and Value of Early Learning Programs  
 
E. Engaging Community in St. Martin Parish
 
F. Tools
1. First Steps: Getting Started  
2. Parental Involvement  
3. Parents and Steps to Success for Children  
4. Key Elements of Collaboration  
5. Identify Core Community Values  
 
G. Reflective Practice
 
Part VIII: Engaging Your Community
 
A. Public Engagement
1. From Public Relations to Public Engagement  
2. Listening to Your Public  
3. A Seven-Stage Model of Engagement  
 
B. Public Engagement and Education
 
C. Working With the Public on Education Reform
1. Guidelines on Opinion Research  
 
D. Community Conversations in San Jose
 
E. Working With Your News and Media Outlets
1. Reframe--Inoculate--Communicate  
2. Sandy Hook Elementary: Catastrophe Strikes  
3. District Policy on Weapons and Gun Violence  
 
F. Communications Planning
1. Communications: Internal and External  
2. A Communications Audit  
3. Vital Signs of Public Engagement  
 
G. Tools
1. Tips on the Seven Stages  
2. Focus Groups and Surveys  
3. Community Conversations: A Tool for Public Engagement  
4. Framing Community Conversations  
5. Twenty Questions  
6. Creating a Newsworthy Statement  
7. Tackling the Media Interview  
 
H. Reflective Practice
 
Part IX: So, What Does All This Mean?
 
A. Reconciling "Commonplaces" and Images
1. Inherited Images  
2. Emerging Images  
3. Mutually Exclusive?  
4. The New Governance Paradigm  
 
B. School Reform: A "Wicked" Problem
 
C. A 15-Year Urban Case Study in the United States
 
D. Are You and Educators Like You the Problem?
1. Spending More and Getting Less?  
2. Student Achievement Declining?  
3. Threat to American International Competitiveness?  
4. Observations on Education Abroad  
5. China Is Not "Eating Our Lunch"  
E. Single-Loop or Double-Loop Thinking?  
1. Are We "Shifting the Burden" in Schools?  
 
F. Four Leadership Styles
1. Leader as Poet, Prophet, Coach, or Therapist  
 
G. Reflective Practice
 
Appendices
 
Appendix A: The National Superintendents Roundtable and the Forum for the American School Superintendent
 
Appendix B: Members of the Danforth Forum for the American School Superintendent
 
Appendix C: Members of the National Superintendents Roundtable
 
Appendix D: Contributors
 
Index

"The Superintendent's Fieldbook accomplishes everything it sets out to do. This remarkable book for new as well as veteran superintendents is thoroughly researched, practical, and compelling. If I could have but one book on my shelf to support the all-encompassing work we do, The Superintendent's Fieldbook would be the one."

Suzanne Cusick, Superintendent
Longview School District, Longview, WA

"I've found most guides for superintendents to be long on theory and short on practical advice. The Superintendent's Fieldbook doesn't make that mistake. This is where school leaders and aspiring superintendents can learn how to survive on the job, bargain like a pro, engage with the public, and work with their boards while tackling the achievement gap and explaining to the public what's right with American schools."

Gloria J. Davis, Superintendent
Decatur Public Schools, Decatur, IL

"These are indeed difficult times to be an educator. To be in a position of leadership is especially daunting. The Superintendent's Fieldbook provides sound guidance to help leaders steer through a sea of half-truths, misleading claims, and misperceptions. More than ever, the public needs leaders who speak with wisdom and authority. This fieldbook will help in that task."

Diane Ravitch, Author/ Reasearch Professor of Education
New York University, NY

"The Superintendent's Fieldbook combines a lucid review of leadership theory with practical, hands-on advice for school leaders. Learn how to tackle the challenges of the superintendency from people who've done the job. And explore what systems thinking and leadership theory can contribute to the complex challenge of improving American schools."

Dan Domenech, Executive Director
American Association of School Administrators

"The Superintendent's Fieldbook provides insights, reflections, and invaluable guidance from a practitioner's perspective. By providing a variety of superintendents an opportunity to weigh in on current issues facing public education, this resource is greater than the sum of its parts. The book captures, in print, the depth of conversation, sense of urgency, and passion expressed in the dialogues that take place at the National Superintendent's Roundtable."

Steven M. Ladd, Superintendent
Elk Grove Unified School District, Elk Grove, CA

This text introduces school leaders to some of the most critical aspects of the superintendency and serves as a launch to their investigation of issues that hold relevance for the work of superintendents in a variety of district settings.

Dr Patricia Reeves
Teaching Learing Leadrshp Dept, Western Michigan University
January 13, 2015

Updated revision - have used this text (in current and previous edition) for last five years.

Dr Terry Higgins
Education Dept, Ohio State University-Newark
January 29, 2014
Key features
  1. Written by 4 expert educators with many years of experience, this book brings together the current thinking on the challenges and opportunities that confront all superintendents today.
  2. Many very current and relevant topics are explored in detail including; accountability, teacher and leader evaluation, value-added assessment, instructional leadership, and equity.
  3. Cases, Tools, Tips for Action, numerous examples and reflections are built into the book so that aspiring and practicing superintendents in large and small/urban, suburban and rural districts have a collection of resources to use when facing critical issues of practice.
  4. Districts are discussed in terms of global perspectives gained from various international measures such as PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS and trips to countires such as China.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface to Second Edition


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ISBN: 9781452217499
$43.95

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