Managing School Districts for High Performance
May 28, 2008
Stacey Childress, Richard F. Elmore, Allen S. Grossman, Susan Moore Johnson, eds.
Harvard Education Press
This bulky "case book" seeks to apply business-school teaching methods to the preparation (or mid-course tune-ups) of education leaders (superintendents, mostly). Edited by four Harvard faculty members (two at the ed school, two at the B-school) and published by the Harvard Education Press, it sorts 19 case studies into 5 categories: "Making Coherence Concrete," "Finding and Supporting Personnel," "Building a High-Performance Organization," "Managing Schools Across Difference," and "Sustaining High Performance Over Time." Each 20- to 30-page case study is accompanied by a few questions to provoke discussion, but optimal use of this tool clearly depends on gifted instructors who can elicit, elucidate, and enlighten through probing questions and analysis rather than the more traditional use of textbook and exhortation. You can learn more here.