The School Administrator

April 08 Cover

April 2008 Number 4, Vol. 65The Work of TransformationJohn Kotter on fomenting change in a school system


  • John Kotter on Leading System Transformation

    by Amelia Newcomb

    Ask an education leader how to adapt the schools nimbly to a fast-paced global society and you may get silence. But John Kotter, a Harvard Business School professor, has plenty to share on leadership and change in an education environment in this Q&A with The School Administrator.

    Similar Reading: AASA training on Kotter's change process

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  • Selective Lessons From Business

    by Phillip C. Schlechty

    The author has participated in many gatherings where business leaders have been invited to provide educational leaders with advice about leading their schools. Some proved satisfying, but some others proved disastrous.

    Similar Reading: Helping a community rethink its schools and Claudia Mansfield Sutton: Status of superintendent pipeline

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  • Strategic Communication During Times of Great Change

    by Francis M. Duffy

    Not all systemic change is transformational change. The author, a professor of change leadership in education at Gallaudet University, clarifies the alternative definitions and describes the components of a transformational journey in a school system.

    Similar Reading: Donald H. Stinson: District reinvention and Learning from Baldrige winners and Conditions for transformational change and Additional resources

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  • Boardroom to Classroom: Continuous Improvement in Cedar Rapids

    by Dave Markward and J. Jay Marino

    Using the Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence framework as a guide, these leaders of an Iowa school district earnestly launched a continuous improvement journey three years ago. They see indications the district is “improving on purpose.”

    Similar Reading: Mary Leiker: Applying Senge's principles

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  • It's the System, Not the Staff, That Needs a Tuneup

    by Lee L. Jenkins

    The author of From Systems Thinking to Systemic Action outlines 12 questions a school system lead might want to ask before acting on the root causes of what ails the school district.

    Similar Reading: Leslie Goldring Ford: Acting like a system

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  • Vote No! Managing Organized Opposition

    by Don E. Lifto and J. Bradford Senden

    When it’s time for the school district to stage a community vote on a school bond measure or a tax levy, you can count on Web-savvy, anti-public education groups to be out in force. The authors’ research finds the opposition generally is categorized into four types. They offer tactics for dealing with each.

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    A Mighty Warrior Roars by Jay P. Goldman

    Rudy Crew, long a tenacious battler for his ideas, is now being hailed as 2008 National Superintendent of the Year.

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    Board-Savvy Superintendent

    Two Years Later, Washoe's Baby Takes Major Steps by Doug Eadie

    In December 2005, the strategic governing team of the Washoe County, Nev., Public Schools took a dramatic step forward on the governance front. Where are they today?

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    Guest Columns

    Chocolate Milk Tastes Better When I Am Not Being Violated by Michael Smith

    The superintendent in Oakland, Ill., admits some of the best things about being an administrator are dealing with kindergarten kids. Except one day he discovered they have a dark side.

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    Why We Send Our Students Off on Excursions by James Henry Russell

    Four reasons the superintendent in Texarkana, Texas, finds it is advantageous to promote educational travel opportunities in other states and foreign countries for his students.

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    Executive Perspective

    Crazy or Stupid? by Paul D. Houston

    Accountability should flow both ways. School leaders are told accountability is essential by people who refuse to be accountable for underfunding schools and who think simple answers exist for complex problems.

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    Tracking promotions, retirements and recent honors among superintendents nationwide. The Sidelight shines on an Indiana superintendent who has turned her passion for making creative jewelry into a web-based money-making enterprise.

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    Tech Leadership

    Online Assessment: Put Down Your Pencils by Lane B. Mills

    No. 2 pencils might be suffering from “bubbling withdrawal” in many school systems as more districts are introducing online testing to assess student learning.

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    Deterring Crime Through Environmental Design by Terrance M. Tucker

    If school violence could touch a peaceful Amish community in rural Pennsylvania, how safe and secure is anyone’s school campus? The author tries to answer a piece of the question though a crime prevention del.

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    President's Corner

    The Road Less Traveled Probably Isn't Paved by Sarah D. Jerome

    The important role schools can play in guiding well-balanced children to become healthy citizens of the world. Unfortunately, most of the school-age children needing mental health services do not receive them.

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    Federal Dateline

    Now You See Them, Now You Don't: Enrollment Trends by Noelle M. Ellerson

    What AASA sees in the complex national picture of shifting student enrollment from some types of communities to others.

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