Leading Schools During Crisis: What School Administrators Must Know

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School leadership is synonymous with challenge. However, some school leaders face true crises - situations threatening the continuing existence of their school. Leading Schools During Crisis analyzes leadership and behaviors of principals in these extraordinary circumstances. A simultaneously scholarly and practice-oriented book, Leading Schools During Crisis proposes the first school-specific model of defining and analyzing crises. Through authentic case studies, Leading Schools During Crisis offers a detailed theoretical and practical analysis of each crisis and the lessons from it for all school leaders.

Highlights of the twelve case studies include: P.S. 234, Manhattan. At nine a.m. on September 11, 2001, the thirty-seven teachers and 650 elementary students of P.S. 234 were twelve hundred feet from Ground Zero. Principal Anna Switzer states, "[r]ight when the second plane crashed--that's when we knew that it wasn't an accident." George Washington Carver H.S., New Orleans, Louisiana. Principal Vanessa Eugene believed Katrina would be another chapter in New Orleans' long history of near-miss hurricanes. Carver's campus was soon under ten feet of water. Sobrante Park E.S., Oakland, California. Like many schools, Sobrante Park only slowly realized the paradigm shift associated with the No Child Left Behind Act--until the fifth year of failing to make Adequate Yearly Progress. "What do you do when all the data is bad?" asked Principal Marco Franco. Platte Canyon H.S, Bailey, Colorado. Principal Brian Krause was approached by a frantic student who reported: "'[T]here's a guy in the English classroom with a gun' . . . . I remember thinking, okay, he said guy. He didn't say student or kid or Johnny." Other case studies include the challenges inherent in starting charter schools, discovery of systemic and deliberate grade fraud, rezoning of 95 percent of a elementary school's student population, and leading a school populated by changing--and often contentious--refugee groups.

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