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Noteworthy Books

New Books

Recommended reading for district leaders.

Realization: The Change Imperative for Deepening District-Wide Reform


Corwin Press, $22.95

Experienced district administrator Lyn Sharratt and education professor Michael Fullan offer this guidebook of strategies learned from successful districtwide reform efforts. The book teaches reform-minded administrators how to move from capacity building to full implementation by empowering their colleagues throughout their districts. It includes school-specifi c strategies that support effective assessment and instruction, and moves through 13 research-based parameters for improving performance, leading up to the 14th, called "Realization," a parameter that demonstrates how to extend beyond local capacity building to accomplish systemwide change.

Leading 21st-Century Schools: Harnessing Technology for Engagement and Achievement


Corwin Press, $33.95

Professors of education Lynne Schrum and Barbara B. Levin present a clear plan for developing and leading a 21st-century school, written for district administrators, technology directors and school leaders. The book includes strategies for integrating new technology into teaching and learning across K12 content areas and realizing measurable improvement in student achievement. Additional content includes descriptions of Web 2.0 tools and their applications in instruction, recommended activities and resources and testimonial insights from leaders of technologically advanced, nationally recognized schools.

Performance Incentives: Their Growing Impact on American K-12 Education


Brookings Institution Press, $26.95

Editor Matthew G. Springer, director of the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University, presents this volume of research by education scholars addressing the critical issues related to the advancing, yet still controversial, strategy of merit pay for teachers. The authors identify the strengths and weaknesses of performance incentives through three main sections: a survey of various political, legal and market-based perspectives on the issue; an exploration of measurement and design issues, including responses from teachers; and an analysis of lessons learned from different national and international merit pay programs.

Strategy in Action: How School Systems Can Support Powerful Learning and Teaching


Harvard Education Press, $29.95

Education consultant Rachel E. Curtis and professor Elizabeth A. City author this exploration of how school systems can effectively engage in systematically improving the quality of classroom instruction to raise the achievement of all students. The authors believe successful districts accomplish this goal through three core competencies: a deep understanding of the mission of facilitating learning, as well as an accurate assessment of the status of one's own district, a knowledge of concrete strategies for implementing this mission and fostering individual and organizational cultures of continuous improvement. Each chapter includes illustrative examples, self assessment questions and other resources for building capacity at different levels and stages of development.

Community Organizing for Stronger Schools: Strategies and Successes


Harvard Education Press, $29.95

The culmination of a national six-year study by New York Community Trust education program offi cer Kavitha Mediratta and Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University researchers Seema Shah and Sara McAlister, this book provides an analysis of the national trend of community organizations taking a greater role in school reform. The authors examine how community organizing can build up both social and political capital to ultimately improve educational outcomes for students in some of the country's most challenged school districts, describe the best strategic choices administrators can make toward increasing civic engagement in their districts and sustaining education reform and detail the political challenges faced by those looking to implement this new philosophy of school improvement.