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The Restructuring Handbook: A Guide to School Revitalization cover
  • ISBN: 9780205140091
  • ISBN10: 0205140092

The Restructuring Handbook: a Guide to School Revitalization

by Whitaker, Kathryn S.

  • List Price: $58.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
  • Publish date: 08/04/1993
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Recurring budget shortfalls, the complex needs of students, and the call for higher standards and achievement are only a few of the daily realities that make schools more difficult to lead and influence than ever before. It is now widely accepted that public schools must be restructured if the U.S. is to meet the intellectual, emotional, economic, and social challenges that lie ahead. To accomplish this task, many administrators and teachers find themselves struggling with the daunting task of turning restructuring theory into a workable plan for enhancing student growth and achievement. In this practitioner-oriented guide, educators will find dozens of concrete, practical suggestions for changing the way schools operate - without increasing funding significantly or resorting to voucher systems. The authors also provide suggestions for overcoming obstacles during the restructuring process. Unlike policy books, this comprehensive volume is designed to help school leaders take action. From creating a shared vision for the school to creating alliances with the community, the authors offer specific steps that educational leaders can take to build an educational system in which students are motivated to excel. The authors show that as restructuring takes hold, the role of principals evolves from school manager to instructional leader to facilitator of change. Teachers are empowered to redefine their roles and make important decisions that affect their work. The authors present ten essential components to successfully restructure schools. They organize these components into three categories: the visionary elements, quality improvement elements, and collaborative elements. The process ofrestructuring begins with a total reconceptualization of what schools are for and how they function. During this process, educational leaders must work to create a shared vision of success where student performance improves and the school is viewed as a model of organizational excellence. Once the school vision and mission have been developed and articulated, school leaders facilitate the realignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment, while reorganizing the school to fit the school's newly defined mission. After presenting the visionary elements of restructuring, the authors discuss concrete ways to improve school quality. Enhancing the teaching profession, implementing school-centered decision making, expanding the use of technology, and providing excellent service lead to higher standards and improved performance for students, teachers, and administrators. The collaborative elements of restructuring include increasing parent and community involvement, building collaborative relationships internally and externally, and providing extended services. The authors emphasize the importance of building collaborative relationships within schools and then extending those relationships to the broader school community. The authors also elaborate on the leadership qualities and skills necessary for restructuring, the type of school culture required for restructuring, and methods to understand, influence, and involve key players in the process. The book concludes on a visionary note with a look into the future of restructuring schools.
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