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March 1, 1993
Vol. 50
No. 6


Instructional Strategies

Evaluating Literacy

Evaluating Literacy: A Perspective for Change by Robert J. Anthony, Terry D. Johnson, Norma I. Mickelson, and Alison Preece. Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann, 1991.
Evaluating Literacy is filled with anecdotes, examples, and practical suggestions for making the assessment process more meaningful for students, parents, and teachers. And the “action plan for change in assessment and evaluation” (p. 176) provides readers with more than a new perspective for looking at literacy.
The authors believe that teachers are not the only ones who should be involved in assessment and evaluation. They describe practices such as inviting parents to share information about children's literacy experiences at home, having students conduct conferences with parents to show and explain what they learned, and producing a school newsletter that features student writing and commentary that explains the progress evidenced in the writing samples. These practices may seem radical to some educators, but the book is clearly and convincingly written and provides many concrete, helpful ideas. The authors make change seem desirable and possible.
The principles apply to all grade levels, but most examples are drawn from primary and elementary grades. Evaluating Literacy would be especially useful for educators exploring ways to make assessment and evaluation more authentic because it provides a map for expanding the process beyond standardized tests and traditional report cards.
Available from Heinemann Educational Books, Inc., 361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801, for $17.50.
—Reviewed by Anne Wescott Dodd, Brunswick, Maine.

Moral Leadership

Moral Leadership by Thomas J. Sergiovanni. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1992.
In this delightfully subversive little book, Sergiovanni argues that traditional forms of management based upon bureaucratic control, psychological knowledge, and technical-rational authority may be necessary, but they are by no means sufficient. Some current practices, he suggests, diminish the ability and the will of teachers to respond from within, ignore their values and beliefs, and stand in their way of becoming self-directed professionals.
This expanded notion of leadership encompasses such concepts as followership, authenticity, professional and moral authority, trust, collegiality, virtue, and servant leadership. Moral Leadership provides a vision of what could (and probably should) be, not a cookbook on how to be a great leader by mastering 20 competencies. Although the book is short, it is loaded with substance, and the reader may want to revisit some sections for further reflection.
Cynics will say that Sergiovanni's ideas are just not practical, and a complete redefinition of school governance and practice would be required. Sergiovanni might respond, “The leadership that counts, in the end, is the kind that touches people differently. It taps their emotions, appeals to their values, and responds to their connections with other people. It is morally based leadership—a form of stewardship” (p. 120).
Available from Jossey-Bass, Inc., 350 Sansome St., San Francisco, CA 94104-1310, for $23.95.
—Reviewed by Ken Michaels, North Miami Beach, Florida.

This article was published anonymously, or the author name was removed in the process of digital storage.

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