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Noteworthy Books

The Latest Reads

Recommended reading for district leaders.

School Public Relations for Student Success

Corwin Press, $33.95

Author Edward H. Moore provides a comprehensive guide to public relations and communications for schools in his new book, intended to advise administrators on such important tasks as generating community support, managing crises and handling media inquiries. The book outlines the key components of successful communications programs, describes how to set reasonable expectations, and provides checklists and questions for assessing public relations needs and advice from professionals in the field.


Managing to Change: How Schools Can Survive (and Sometimes Thrive) in Turbulent Times

Teachers College Press, $27.95

Teachers College professor Thomas Hatch describes how school improvement efforts are often undermined by changing conditions surrounding schools, as well as the very policies and programs instituted to effect improvement. Hatch argues that instead of waiting for conditions to improve or for policymakers to provide necessary support, school leaders need to create the conditions for their own success. Hatch describes a small set of key practices to help school leaders gain resources, manage external demands, and build their schools’ capacities to make and sustain improvements.


The School Leaders Our Children Deserve: Seven Keys to Equity, Social Justice and School Reform

Teachers College Press, $24.95

Former principal and current Syracuse University professor of education George Theoharis draws on the experiences and words of public school principals committed to advancing equity, social justice and school reform in his new book. Despite facing formidable challenges, the principals profiled made measurable progress in closing achievement gaps in their schools through equitable practices. Through a combination of theory and practical strategies, the book describes why social justice leadership is needed and how real school leaders can seek, create and sustain equitable schools.


Inside Urban Charter Schools: Promising Practices and Strategies in Five High-Performing Schools

Harvard Education Press, $29.95

Katherine K. Merseth, director of Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Teacher Education Program, and her team of researchers profile five high-performing urban charter schools serving predominantly low-income, minority youth in Massachusetts in this new book. The authors draw upon research conducted over two years to provide an accurate portrayal of daily life in these charter schools and demonstrate how their structures, systems, human resource strategies, cultures and clarity of mission were particularly well executed, drawing conclusions relevant to both charter and traditional K12 schools.

Evaluation in Distance Education and E-Learning: The Unfolding Model


Guilford Press, $34.00

Authors Valerie Ruhe and Bruno D. Zumbo provide a road map to guide evaluation practice in the rapidly growing learning environments of distance education and e-learning. They describe practical guidelines and tools for conducting evaluation studies, including how to deal with stakeholders, develop surveys and interview protocols, collect other scientific evidence, and analyze and blend mixed methods data. The “unfolding model” presented in the book draws upon Messick’s influential assessment framework and applies it to program evaluation.

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