Managing A School

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Managing a School

Managing a School

Overview of the Case

Assume you are in charge of a school. All classrooms are overcrowded; students are spilling into portables; teachers are underpaid, overworked, and unhappy about working conditions; parents are upset; and the mandated, standardized test scores of students are plummeting at an exponential rate. In short, the principal have a problem that needs a solution. Using the eight characteristics of research as paragraph headings, formulate a research plan that might help you find at least one solution to your problem.

Research Question

The school is handled quite poorly from all aspects of management and teaching quality. Therefore, the research question that arises here is that how would the principal of the school manage the prevailing problems with all the stakeholders of the school?

Research Problem

Leading successful change and improvement involves developing and managing six critical components of schooling: (1) a clear, strong, and collectively held educational vision and institutional mission; (2) a strong, committed professional community within the school; (3) learning environments that promote high standards for student achievement; (4) sustained professional development to improve learning; (5) successful partnerships with parents, health and human service agencies, businesses, universities, and other community organizations; and (6) a systematic planning and implementation process for instituting needed changes. Louis and Miles (1990), drawing on several case studies of urban high schools, emphasize the importance of planning: "Substantial change programs do not run themselves. They need active orchestration and coordination."


School leaders encourage and support the development of a collaborative school culture, with clear educational missions and processes, structures, and resources that allow educational change to flourish.

School leaders shape the school culture through their actions, words, and deeds; what they get excited about; and the plans and activities to which they devote their energy (Deal & Peterson, 1994).

School leaders understand the dynamics of the change process. Successful schools have leaders in administration and the classroom who can overcome the obstacles and challenges that develop during the change process.

School leaders are committed to providing high-quality learning for all students, initiating, implementing, and integrating programs that improve access to engaged teaching and learning for all students. They are concerned with issues of equity and access to powerful learning, particularly for those students most at risk of academic failure.

School leaders appreciate the importance of working in teams and facilitate the development and work of teams that lead school improvement initiatives.

School leaders use the resources and expertise of parents, businesses, and social service and community agencies to foster the academic, emotional, and social well-being of students.

Plan of Procedure for the Goal

Before beginning the change process, become familiar with the school improvement cycle, the stages of the change process, and change models associated with each. Leaders must be able to distinguish between the school improvement cycle and the change process, determine where the school is located within the change process, and identify appropriate next steps.

Learn more about the complexities of the change process by reading (see, for example, Sparks's (1993) "thirteen tips for managing ...
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