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School Systems That Learn

School Systems That Learn
Improving Professional Practice, Overcoming Limitations, and Diffusing Innovation

January 2013 | 208 pages | Corwin
When school systems learn, professional practice improves and student achievement increases

Picture this: Teachers sharing insights and challenges. Principals leading with trust. Central office leaders inspiring and supporting principals. A synergistic learning system that results in all students succeeding. This practitioner's guide to creating a system-wide learning organization focuses on professional learning as the stimulus to improving student achievement. Experienced superintendents Paul Ash and John D'Auria provide a blueprint to:

- Improve schools through system-wide professional learning

- Increase student achievement by instilling a deep-rooted culture of curiosity

- Bolster faculty and staff morale with trust-building initiatives

- Align professional development with student-centered district standards

About the Authors
1. Six Reasons Why School Systems Don’t Educate All Students at High Levels
2. The Four Right Drivers of Change
3. The Importance of Trust
4. Collaboration in All Directions: Elevating the Importance of Teamwork
5. Capacity Building for All Educators
6. Leaders at All Levels
7. Why Building a K-12 Learning School System Is so Difficult
8. Whole School System Change and the Diffusion of Innovation

"Paul B. Ash and John D'Auria draw on their deep understanding of school districts to help explain why so many American students are left behind. Their solution—to build the capacity of educators through collaboration and honest reflection—should make their book required reading for anyone who aspires to educational leadership."

Karin Chenoweth, co-author, Getting It Done: Leading Academic Success in Unexpected Schools

"School Systems That Learn applies and extends organizational learning research to the K-12 school system context – an ambitious idea that is long overdue. Rooted in the authors' combined sixty years of experience in school leadership, the book shows how school systems that nurture and support the learning and development of their educators can produce higher achievement for all students. This is a carefully developed and immensely practical guide for educators on how to build trust, develop collaborative capacity, and foster leadership at all levels – from the classroom teacher to the superintendent."

Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School
Author, Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate and Compete in the Knowledge Economy

"The authors use their collective experiences to promote the development of a school system in which all district staff and board members work together to improve all aspects of the educational experience. The authors emphasize the shift from individual mindsets to collegiality and collective responsibility, featuring trust, collaboration, capacity building and leadership opportunities cultivated at all levels of the organization."

School Administrator, August 2014

Paul B. Ash

Dr. Paul B. Ash has served as Superintendent of the Lexington Public Schools since 2005. Previously, he served as the Superintendent of Schools in the Westwood, Massachusetts Public Schools from 1998 to 2005. He has also held the following positions in the Wellesley, Massachusetts Public Schools - Director of Professional Personnel and Staff Development; Assistant Superintendent for Personnel, Finance and Administration; Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Planning; and Interim Superintendent of Schools. He started his career in education as a chemistry/physics/earth science teacher at the Dover-Sherborn Regional High School, Dover,... More About Author

John D'Auria

John D’Auria, Ed.D, moved from directing the Canton Public Schools as Superintendent to becoming President of Teachers21, a non-profit organization working to ensure that all school-aged children are given an equal opportunity to succeed by endeavoring to provide them with educators who are eminently knowledgeable and qualified to teach them. In a career that has spanned four decades as a math teacher, guidance counselor, principal and superintendent, Dr. D’Auria has worked with hundreds of school leaders around sharpening the academic focus of school teams, developing a vibrant school culture, and managing conflict in the workplace. Dr. D... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781452271989

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