Designing School Systems for All Students: A Toolbox to Fix America's Schools

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9781607093732: Designing School Systems for All Students: A Toolbox to Fix America's Schools
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Designing School Systems for All Students provides a clear methodology for school leaders, teachers, and school board members to follow as they redesign their schools for the benefit of students. The authors demonstrate how school leaders set the expectations for all students to learn and grow as important contributors to the culture. In the effective schools that the authors describe, students deliver performances, discuss and conduct important inquiries, and lead profound learning activities. The book explains how curriculum can be redesigned to engage students in advanced cognitive and social and emotional development. Additionally, several barriers to great schools that include assessment practices, false testing procedures, poor governance, ineffective leadership and staff development are described in stark detail. Throughout the book are examples of effective practices that make it possible for all students to prosper in school. This book is filled with practical ideas that are compiled into a toolkit to fix America's schools.

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About the Author:

Robert Manley, professor of educational administration at Dowling College, has served in a variety of administrative positions, including assistant principal at Babylon Junior/Senior High School, principal at Plainedge, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, and superintendent of schools in West Babylon, New York. He also served as president of the board of directors for the Suffolk County Library System and the Suffolk County Organization to Promote Education.

Rich Hawkins spent eight years as assistant superintendent and twelve as superintendent with the William Floyd School District. Under his leadership, the district has experienced marked growth in student enrollments, increased student achievement, a rebuilding of the district's infrastructure, as well as numerous other systemic changes designed to make students, their school environs, their local community, and faculty and staff successful .

Review:

Remarkably wise, insightful, and practical. Manley and Hawkins have compiled a superb and much-needed book on schools that work for all students. They provide a groundbreaking guide for educators who want to translate a commitment into effective action. Their unique perspective, developed as leaders in school districts and college institutions, makes their book a must-read for practicing and aspiring educators. (Kevin N. McGuire, professor, Center for Educational Leadership and Accountability, St. John's University)

This is a book school leaders will find very useful. Manley and Hawkins adopt a pragmatic approach using mini cases or relevant situations they have experienced as school leaders and scholars in the field of educational leadership. Although the book is about American public schools, educators from other countries will find the issues discussed to be quite universal―as the experiences in China and India described in the book illustrate. (Carlos Omar Trejo-Pech, professor and academic chair of finance, Universidad Panamericana at Guadalajara, Mexico)

This deeply insightful book reflects a strong understanding of how things really work in secondary school systems in the United States. The authors focus on the right outcomes for study―this is of critical importance. Some material may even be appropriate for use in improving higher education outcomes. This is a very useful―if not essential―tool for any high level secondary school administrator or aspirant. (Bruce A. Heiman, assistant professor of international business, Department of International Business, San Francisco State University)

The authors have distilled the literature and research on school district organization, governance, leadership, and instructional practice while embedding their own personal experience into a comprehensive and functional guidebook. This valuable resource will be of interest to aspiring administrators, building principals, superintendents, and board members because it provides a framework for understanding the operational nature of schools. Manley and Hawkins attack the premise set forth by NCLB to test excellence into school systems but offer a glimpse into what twenty-first-century schools might become with appropriate leadership. (Edward J. Zero, superintendent, Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services, New York)

Superintendents, board members, teachers and public policy makers all have something to gain from reading Designing School Systems for All Students. The authors draw upon their rich experiences, as well as those of other educators, to illustrate how to integrate curriculum alignment, testing, professional development, and character education into a system that achieves and rewards success. Stories link theory and successful practice with research. The result is a practical toolbox filled with specific strategies that will inspire the reader to take the actions necessary to improve America's public schools. I only wish this manual for success had been available when I began my career in administration. (Candee Swenson, executive director of the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association; former superintendent of Longwood Public Schools; S)

Manley and Hawkins are skilled educators whose practices are guided by deep understandings of systems. They are also, as evidenced by this work, skilled writers who, in very practical language, allow us to benefit from their knowledge and upgrade learning opportunities for all. Excellent! (Roberta Gerold, superintendent, Middle Country Central School District, New York)

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