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Noteworthy Books

"School Reform City" and other reading picks for district leaders

Recommended reading includes books on energizing meetings, literacy and direct instruction
Author Melissa Bailey examines New Haven's more collaborative approach to school reform in "School Reform City."
Author Melissa Bailey examines New Haven's more collaborative approach to school reform in "School Reform City."

School Reform City: Voices from An American Experiment

New Haven Independent Press

Instead of locking horns with the local union, New Haven Public Schools in Connecticut took a more collaborative approach to school reform—the district let teachers manage a failing school.

Author Melissa Bailey brings out the voices of students and teachers in a city that is defying a national trend toward bitter public battles over how to educate poor and minority kids. Bailey also covers other widely debated education topics, such as charter schools and Teach for America. Amazon: School Reform City

Energize Your Meetings! 35 Interactive Learning Structures for Educators

Northeast Foundation for Children

In this book, educators will find ideas for large-group brainstorming, small-group problem solving and idea exchanges. It includes a guide for structuring meetings and how to vary the agenda to keep things lively.

The book also provides examples of each meeting structure in action. The book’s goal is to help administrators run meetings that educators look forward to and leave feeling invigorated. Amazon: Energize Your Meetings!

The Science and Success of Engelmann’s Direct Instruction


For almost a half-century, educator Siegfried Engelmann has shown how all children can learn if they are taught effectively with his Direct Instruction (DI) curricular programs. Edited by Jean Stockard, the chapters in this book are written by educators from multiple generations and disciplines, bringing a variety of perspectives on Engelmann's impact.

The book also considers the potential for wider acceptance of Engelmann's programs and how they can drive achievement in America's schools. Amazon: The Science and Success of Engelmann's Direct Instruction

Read, Write, Lead: Breakthrough Strategies for Schoolwide Literacy Success


Drawing on her experience as a mentor teacher, reading specialist and staff developer, author Regie Routman offers advice on creating a schoolwide learning culture where literacy thrives.

In this book, she also suggests daily literacy practices that can reduce the need for intervention. Scattered throughout Read, Write, Lead are "Quick Wins” or ideas that produce positive results as educators tackle the tough work of long-term change. Amazon: Read, Write, Lead