School Renewal in Action
Edited By Jianping Shen and Walter L. Burt
Chapter Six: Implementing and Sustaining School Renewal Activities: Lessons Learned from Howard-Ellis Elementary School
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Implementing AND Sustaining School Renewal Activities
Lessons Learned from Howard-Ellis Elementary School
WALTER L. BURT AND MICHELLE ASMUS
School districts across the country are under a lot of pressure to improve the performance of students on state accountability systems (Cooley & Shen, 2013; Fullan, 2007; Leithwood & Louis, 2012; National Association of Secondary School Principals & National Association of Elementary School Principals, 2013; Shen, Cooley, Ma, Reeves, Burt, Rainey, Yuan, 2012; Wallace Foundation, 2013). This demand is a direct outcry from America’s institution to equip students with knowledge and skills that would enable them to compete, or even surpass, students from other industrialized nations (Mullis, Martin, Foy, & Arora, 2012; Schmidt, McKnight, Houang, Wang, Wiley, Cogan, & Wolfe, 2001).
Due to the demands of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and attenuating Race to the Top (RTTT), increased attention has been given to schools as they seek ways to improve student academic achievement and close the achievement gap among student subgroups. Nowhere is there more interest being given to high-poverty and low-performing urban school districts—especially those districts that have historically demonstrated the least success in raising student achievement and sustaining school improvement initiatives (Brewster & Railsback, 2003).
According to Leithwood and his colleagues (2004), “effective or successful leadership is critical to school reform. This is why we need to know what it looks like and understand a great...
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