Susan Moore Johnson, Geoff Marietta, Monica C. Higgins, Karen L. Mapp, and Allen Grossman, 2015
Achieving Coherence in District Improvement focuses on a problem of practice faced by educational leaders across the nation: how to effectively manage the relationship between the central office and schools. The book is based on a study of five large urban districts that have demonstrated improvement in student achievement. The authors—all members of Harvard University’s Public Education Leadership Project (PELP)—argue that there is no “one best way” to structure the central office-school relationship. Instead, they say, what matters is whether district leaders effectively select and implement their strategy by achieving coherence among key elements and actors—the district’s environment, resources, systems, structures, stakeholders, and culture.
Managing School Districts for High Performance: Cases in Public Education Leadership
Edited by Stacey Childress, Richard F. Elmore, Allen Grossman, and Susan Moore Johnson, November 2007
Managing School Districts for High Performance brings together more than twenty case studies and other readings that offer a powerful and transformative approach to advancing and sustaining the work of school improvement. At the center of this work is the concept of organizational coherence: aligning organizational design, human capital management, resource allocation, and accountability and performance improvement systems to support an overarching strategy. This central idea provides a valuable conceptual framework for current and future school leaders.
Leading for Equity
Stacey M. Childress, Denis P. Doyle, and David A. Thomas, July 2009
Leading for Equity tells the compelling story of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools and its transformation—in less than a decade—into a system committed to breaking the links between race and class and academic achievement.
In chapters organized around six core themes, the authors lay out the essential elements of MCPS’s success. They identify key lessons other districts can draw from MCPS’s experience and offer a framework for applying them. A dramatic departure from “business as usual,” MCPS has won nationwide attention as a compelling model for tackling the achievement and opportunity issues that confront our nation as a whole.
Education Reform in New York City, Ambitious Change in the Nation's Most Complex School System
Edited by Jennifer A. O’Day, Catherine S. Bitter, and Louis M. Gomez, April 2011
Chapter 4: Managing for Results at the New York City Department of Education
Stacey Childress, Monica Higgins, Ann Ishimaru, and Sola Takahashi
The education reforms in New York City’s public schools begun under the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and School Chancellor Joel Klein have been among the most ambitious of any large urban system in the country. Aimed at instituting evidence-based practices to produce higher and more equitable outcomes for all students, the policies that comprise the Children First initiative represent an attempt at organizational improvement and systemic learning that is unparalleled in U.S. public education. The tremendous scope of the reforms, the multiple and interrelated challenges involved in their implementation, and their undeniable impact all underscore their importance in providing lessons for the field and in framing the conversation about the next level of work in district-based reform.