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Noteworthy Books

New Books

Recommended reading for district leaders.

The Bee Eater: Michelle Rhee Takes On the Nation's Worst School District

Jossey-Bass, $24.95

Richard Whitmire presents this inside look at Michelle Rhee's controversial tenure as chancellor of the Washington, D.C., school system, tracing her journey from growing up as the daughter of Korean immigrants, to working as a classroom teacher in Baltimore, to becoming a nationally known, maverick school reformer. The book details the issues Rhee faced while in office—including school closings, battles with unions, and contentious community politics—that became the subject of national debate and a key part of the documentary Waiting for Superman, and it describes the circumstances around her leaving office and subsequently founding the nonprofit organization Children First.


Working With Difficult and Resistant Staff

Solution Tree, $24.95

Authors John F. Eller and Sheila A. Eller believe that while school leaders must deal with difficult employees, they must do so "while sending the message that a few people cannot halt change." The book provides new insights into the motivations and methods of oppositional staff, with a goal of helping leaders counteract negative behaviors, build consensus and monitor the condition of staff to ensure effective implementation of new initiatives.


Leadership For Social Justice and Democracy in Our Schools

Corwin, $30.95

The final volume in Corwin's Soul of Educational Leadership series, produced with the HOPE Foundation and AASA, offers practical strategies for promoting socially responsible school cultures that foster greater student engagement and achievement. Edited by Alan M. Blankstein and Paul D. Houston, the book includes essays by education leadership experts exploring key issues of respect, character and equity, and how educators can implement democratic practices in their schools, and instill democratic values in their students, the citizens of the future.


The Elements of Power: Lessons on Leadership and Influence

Amacom, $27.95

Leadership consultant and author Terry Bacon offers this study of personal and organizational power. Bacon identifies the nature and character of true power: how it works in an organization, how leaders attain or lose it, what its sources are, and what its relationship is with effective and influential leadership. The book combines the latest research into power with a self-assessment guide and case studies of powerful leaders in a variety of organizations around the world.


Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People

Harvard Business Review Press, $26.95

Author and psychiatrist Edward Hallowell's new book explores the latest research into brain science, happiness and performance and presents a five-step process to help managers of any organization produce peak performance out of their employees. The book takes managers through a strategy that identifies how to effectively match employees with responsibilities, develop positive interpersonal connections, encourage "play" as part of peak performance, deal with pressure by challenging the right people at the right time, and effectively recognize and reward employees for their performance.


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