Aim High, Achieve More: How to Transform Urban Schools Through Fearless Leadership
Yvette Jackson & Veronica McDermott
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About This Book
Many urban educators live in fear: of their schools being labeled failures, of increasingly punitive sanctions, of loss of respect and livelihood. This fear pervades the entire school community, affecting the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of its members.
The authors of this guide to transformation in urban schools are convinced that the key ingredient for school renewal is fearless leadership. Fearless leaders work in schools under-resourced and overburdened and serve disproportionately large numbers of children who live in poverty and face racism daily. They are ordinary educators committed to proving that demographics need not be destiny.
This inspirational yet practical book will help you bridge the divide that separates urban students from their birthright of a high-quality education. You will learn how to
- Adopt a leadership approach, consisting of affirmation, inspiration, and mediation (AIM), that will transform your school into a flourishing learning community.
- Build a leadership team of important stakeholders—including students—that is committed to improvement.
- Tap into the resources that already exist in your school and jettison institutional arrangements that prevent your school from becoming an enriching and creative community.
- Create supports that enable teachers to nurture their students' potential to meet high standards and become self-actualized learners.
Each chapter closes with reflections and activities that will help your leadership team produce its own roadmap for change.
Succeeding in the tough landscape of urban schools requires more than just passion and a sense of urgency; it requires real skills. Aim High, Achieve More provides insights gleaned from real-world experiences that will enable you to create a successful, vibrant learning environment.
See the book's table of contents and read excerpts.
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"At a time when public education is being held hostage by the crush of privatization, I found Aim High, Achieve More to be a respite in the storm. Jackson and McDermott provide a model of strategic thinking about the transformation of schools that is well grounded in academic research, knowledge of organizational change, and a belief in the resilience of the human spirit. They provide a detailed roadmap with examples of courageous leaders that have led school communities to success. I can't wait to share this book with school leaders across the county."
—Janice Jackson, Ed.D., Executive Director of Stanford Center
for Opportunity Policy in Education, Stanford, Calif.
About the Authors
YVETTE JACKSON is internationally recognized for her work in assessing and capitalizing on the learning potential of disenfranchised students. As director of gifted programs for New York City Public Schools, Dr. Jackson designed the New York City Gifted Programs Framework. She later served as the executive director of instruction and professional development for the New York City Public Schools. She currently serves as chief executive officer of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education.
VERONICA McDERMOTT began her career in the public schools of Long Island, New York, in 1970 and has worked in numerous educational roles ever since, including superintendent of schools, principal, district director, dean, and classroom teacher. She has taught, presented, and consulted for school districts, colleges and universities, and national and international organizations, and she has written for many national and local publications.
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