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Linking Leadership to Student Learning



Linking Leadership to Student Learning

Kenneth Leithwood, Karen Seashore-Louis

ISBN: 978-0-470-62331-2 December 2011 Jossey-Bass 320 Pages

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Linking Leadership to Student Learning

Linking Leadership to Student Learning clearly shows how school leadership improves student achievement. The book is based on an ambitious five-year study on educational leadership that was sponsored by The Wallace Foundation. The authors studied 43 districts, across 9 states and 180 elementary, middle, and secondary schools. In this book, Kenneth Leithwood, Karen Seashore Louis, and their colleagues report on what they found. They examined leadership at each organizational level in the school system—classroom, school, district, community, and state. Their comprehensive approach to investigating school leadership offers a balanced understanding of how the structures within which leaders operate shape what they do. The results within will have significant implications for future policy and practice.

Praise for Linking Leadership to Student Learning

"Kenneth Leithwood and Karen Seashore Louis offer a seminal new contribution to the leadership field. They provide a rich and authoritative evidence base that demonstrates clearly just why school leadership is so important and how it promotes successful student learning."
PAMELA SAMMONS, Ph.D., Professor of Education, Department of Education, University of Oxford, Oxford

"This ambitious, groundbreaking, and thought provoking treatment of the link between school leadership and student learning is a testament to the outstanding work of these exemplary scholars. This is a 'must read' for academics and practitioners alike."
MARTHA McCARTHY, President's Professor, Loyola Marymount University, and Chancellor's Professor Emeritus, Indiana University

"The question is no longer whether school and district leader's impact student learning, but rather how they do it. The authors provide a convincing answer, one that recognizes the crucial interaction between leader and locality."
DANIEL L. DUKE, Professor of Educational Leadership, University of Virginia

Figures and Tables ix

Acknowledgments xiii

About the Authors xv

About the Contributors xvii

Foreword xix
Michael S. Knapp

Preface xxiii

1 Leadership and Learning: The Critical Connection 1

Part One: School Leadership That Matters for Students 9

2 Collective Leadership: The Reality of Leadership Distribution Within the School Community 11
Kenneth Leithwood and Doris Jantzi

3 Shared and Instructional Leadership: When Principals and Teachers Successfully Lead Together 25
Karen Seashore Louis and Kyla Wahlstrom

4 Distributed Leadership in Action: A Complex Pattern of People, Tasks, and Goals 42
Stephen E. Anderson

5 Core Practices: The Four Essential Components of the Leader’s Repertoire 57
Kenneth Leithwood

6 An Up-Close View of Instructional Leadership: A Grounded Analysis 68
Kyla Wahlstrom

Part Two: The Broad and Unique Role of Districts in the School Improvement Business 87

7 How to Harness Family and Community Energy: The District’s Role 89
Molly F. Gordon and Karen Seashore Louis

8 Confidence for School Improvement: A Priority for Principals 107
Kenneth Leithwood, Blair Mascall, and Doris Jantzi

9 Principal Efficacy: District-Led Professional Development 119
Kenneth Leithwood, Stephen E. Anderson, and Karen Seashore Louis

10 Succession: A Coordinated Approach to Leadership Distribution 142
Blair Mascall and Kenneth Leithwood

11 Data Use: An Exploration from the District to the School 158
Stephen E. Anderson, Kenneth Leithwood, and Karen Seashore Louis

12 The “District Difference”: A New Perspective on the Local Challenges for Improvement 181
Stephen E. Anderson and Karen Seashore Louis

13 Case Studies: District Responses to State Leadership 203
Karen Seashore Louis, Stephen E. Anderson, and Emanda Thomas

Conclusion 227

Appendix A: Scale Reliability for Variables 237

Appendix B: Additional Evidence Related to Chapter Seven 241

Notes 247

References 257

Index 275