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Why do some schools perform outstandingly well when others of the same size and serving the same kind of community do not? How do some schools sustain their record of exceeding expectations when others can only maintain it for short periods of time or under particular leaders? Can schools reverse a worrying record of decline with existing staff and leadership, or do they always need new brooms to sweep them clean? And how do you get performance that exceeds expectations not just in one or two exceptional schools but in entire groups of them within one community or local authority?
This book draws upon the findings from a unique project – the Beyond Expectations Project - that explored how the best school districts/local authorities and school systems perform beyond expectations (PBE). It looks at the ways in which the highest performing schools, districts/local authorities and school systems achieve and sustain excellence, especially with challenging communities or after years of poor performance and decline.
Based on rich data from over twenty education sites across three countries, and full of detailed case studies from Finland, Alberta, Ontario and Singapore – all with stellar records of student achievement on international test comparisons - the book illuminates and illustrates the key factors of success. Chapters cover:
A final chapter concludes the book by identifying action guidelines for developing and delivering PBE change that can assist other schools, districts and systems to think about how they might move towards PBE.
This book will be of interest to school leaders, teacher, local authority and district officers, policy makers, system leaders and all those with an interest and involvement in securing high performance in schools and school systems.
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Andy Hargreaves is Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education, Boston College, USA.
Alma Harris is Professor of Education, Institute of Education, University of London, UK.
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