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September 17, 2003 8 min read
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Educational Leadership | Evaluation & Supervision
International Education
Multiculturalism | Principals| Race and Schooling

Educational Leadership

Leadership Capacity for Lasting School Improvement
by Linda Lambert (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1703 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria, VA 22311; 128 pp., $18.95 paperback, member, $23.95 paperback, nonmember).

Written by the founder of the Center for Educational Leadership at California State University-Hayward, this short guide describes five prerequisites for “high leadership capacity": skillful participation in the work of leadership; inquiry-based use of data to inform decisions and practice; broad involvement and collective responsibility for student learning; reflective practice that leads to innovation; and high or steadily improving student achievement. Surveys and rubrics are included to help readers assess their leadership qualities.

Saving Our Students, Saving Our Schools: 50 Proven Strategies for Revitalizing At-Risk Students and Low-Performing Schools
by Robert D. Barr and William H. Parrett (Skylight Professional Development, 1900 E. Lake Ave., Glenview, IL 60025; 496 pp., $32.95 paperback).

A practical guide on improving classrooms that provides 50 strategies to aid school leaders in their efforts to reform low-achieving schools. The authors describe how to effectively apply and use these strategies, which are specifically designed for at-risk students.

Evaluation & Supervision

Evaluating Programs to Increase Student Achievement
by Martin H. Jason (Skylight Professional Development, 1900 E. Lake Ave., Glenview, IL 60025; 216 pp., $26.95 paperback).

A book designed for school leaders who have little or no experience in program evaluation. It outlines the phases of assessment with step-by-step procedures for each assessment phase.

Honoring Diverse Teaching Styles: A Guide for Supervisors
by Edward Pajak (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1703 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria, VA 22311; 118 pp., $18.95 paperback, member, $22.95 paperback, nonmember).

A guide for fostering effective teacher development. The book includes descriptions and examples of the four basic styles of teaching; tips for matching a supervisor’s communication style with the teacher’s preferred style; tools for effectively observing classroom practice; and ideas for helping teachers build on their strengths while exploring different ways of teaching.

International Education

Local Meanings, Global Schooling: Anthropology and World Culture Theory
ed. by Kathryn Anderson-Levitt (Palgrave Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010; 272 pp., $22.95 paperback, $69.95 hardcover).

A book that poses the question: “Is there one global culture of schooling, or many national and local cultures?” then examines worldwide education reform movements to find an answer. Case studies from the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia show how national ministries of education and local schools “reinvent every reform,” while “teachers and local reformers operate ‘within and against’ global models.” Contributors include Thomas Hatch and Meredith L. Honig, Lesley Bartlett, Lisa Rosen, and Francisco O. Ramirez.

Quotable ‘Not everything can be learned incidentally, but many things can be. Much of value sticks to us, as Robert Frost said, ‘like burrs’ when we walk in the fields. There should be lots of free gifts in education, lots of aimless but delight-filled walks in the fields of learning. Although we agree that there is more to happiness than [what the sociologists call] Subjective Well-Being, it doesn’t hurt to pause now and then and ask children and ourselves: How much fun are you having?’

—Nel Noddings, the Lee L. Jacks professor of education, emerita, at Stanford University, from her book Happiness and Education, an examination of and meditation on the emotion she says most parents list as their primary desire for their children—yet one that too few educators in this time of preoccupation with test scores and economic outcomes take time to study. The book was published this month by Cambridge University Press (40 W. 20th St., New York, NY 10011; 308 pp., $30 hardcover).

The Lost Apple: Operation Pedro Pan, Cuban Children in the U.S., and the Promise of a Better Future
by Maria de los Angeles Torres (Beacon Press, 25 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02108; 335 pp., $29 hardcover).

An examination of the clandestine program to rescue Cuban children during the early 1960s, partially funded by the U.S. government, that was known as Operation Pedro Pan. From 1960 to 1962, more than 14,000 children were secretly transported to Miami by parents who were afraid the new government of Fidel Castro would send their children to Soviet work camps. The author, now a professor of political science at DePaul University, was one of those children. She was 6 years old when she took part in the massive airlift. Her book focuses on the plight of the refugee children and offers an analysis of the action from both a personal and historical perspective.


Mi Lengua: Spanish as a Heritage Language in the United States
ed. by Ana Roca and M. Cecilia Colombi (Georgetown University Press, 3240 Prospect St. N.W., Washington, DC 20007; 320 pp., $29.95 paperback).

The editors of this collection say they conceived the book because they saw a need for greater accessibility of scholarly research in applied linguistics and pedagogy that “address the development and maintenance of Spanish as a heritage language, and the teaching of Spanish to U.S. Hispanic bilingual students.” Contributors explore theoretical considerations as well as community- and classroom-based research at the elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels.

Our Stories Remember: American Indian History, Culture, and Values Through Storytelling
by Joseph Bruchac (Fulcrum Publishing, 16100 Table Mountain Parkway, Suite 300, Golden, CO 80403; 192 pp., $16.95 paperback).

A renowned Native American storyteller retells traditional stories from a diverse range of Native groups, including Tlingit, Navaho, Cree, Abenaki, Yupik, Seminole, Sioux, Cherokee, and others, revealing in the process much about American Indian history, culture, and values. Some of the questions asked and answered in this text include: What do the ancient stories mean? How do Native Americans define themselves? How do they relate to the natural world? And, how do traditional stories sustain tribal American peoples even today?


Practical Advice for Principals
by Albert Lee Snow (Scarecrow Press, 4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706; 128 pp., $19.95 paperback).

Written by a principal with 23 years of experience, this how-to guide provides future and practicing school administrators with strategies to help them survive and succeed as principals at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. It focuses on principals’ daily duties, as well as priorities in the areas of personnel, academic improvement, discipline, school safety, and community relations.

The Principalship: Tribulations and Triumphs
by Steve Gallon III (Tri-Star Leadership Inc., PO Box 693955, Miami, FL 33269; 289 pp., $19.95 paperback).

The school principalship, as exemplified in one man’s storya story that also illuminates the hard realities faced by educators in today’s schools. The story is that of Darryl Gilliam, a new principal in an inner-city school in the community where he grew up—one plagued by poverty, violence, and drugs. Written by an administrator in the Miami-Dade County public schools, this portrait shows not only the hardships and triumphs of the job, but also Mr. Gilliam’s determination to improve the lives of children in his school and community.

Straight Talk for Principals
by Raymond E. Lemley (Scarecrow Press, 4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706; 200 pp., $34.95 paperback).

A book addressing the everyday issues that confront principals. Divided into 45 chapters, each exploring a self-contained topic or theme, it also includes two appendices: a checklist for principals and a leadership-behavior inventory.

Race and Schooling

Race in the Schoolyard: Negotiating the Color Line in Classrooms and Communities
by Amanda E. Lewis (Rutgers University Press, 100 Joyce Kilmer Ave., Piscataway, NJ 08854; 288 pp., $22 paperback, $60 hardcover).

Described as an “ethnography,” this book takes readers inside the classroom and playground to show the ways students learn about race there. The author, a sociologist and African-American studies professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, visited three elementary schools, two she describes as multiracial urban and one, white suburban. Over the course of a year, she discovered how race insinuates itself into everyday life in the schools. Her analysis shows how teacher-student and student-student interactions frame ideas about race, helping to perpetuate some of the continuing racial inequalities in schools.

What African-American Parents Want Educators to Know
by Gail L. Thompson (Praeger Publishers, 88 Post Road W., Westport, CT 06881; 232 pp., $64.95 hardcover).

If the achievement gap between black and white students is ever to be abolished, this book argues, then teachers, administrators, researchers, and policymakers must be willing to change their perceptions and start viewing African-American parents and guardians as assets in their endeavors. The author, an assistant professor of education at the Claremont Graduate University, suggests that African-American parents must be “invited to verbalize their concerns” if meaningful and lasting change is to occur in public schools, and that those concerns must then be taken seriously. She elaborates on some of the concerns that may top the list, using responses from a study whose participants included biological parents in two-parent homes, single parents, grandparents, foster parents, and stepparents who were raising school-age children.


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