School turnaround experts in educational leadership are becoming ever more popular in certain parts of the country. A recent NPR report on the use of Turnaround for Children in the Bronx provides an interesting overview on the situation creating this need as well as some insight into their approach.
Many of my clients are masters of educational leadership and, as such, are anxious to learn about how their teachers really feel. Principals typically feel as if they know whether teachers are generally pleased or not with their current lot. But, if their teachers are unhappy, just how unhappy are they? If their teachers are highly committed, how highly committed are they? And most importantly, if school leadership is focused on a massive school improvement initiative, how successful can they be if their teachers are marginally committed to the school?
Climate and culture within a school is often underrated as a cause of failure among our schools. Indeed most leaders -- and students of education leadership -- spend far more time focused on instructional related matters, educational leadership issues, personnel issues, bus schedules and even lunch duty. While these are all important aspects of running a school, many leaders spend little time truly understanding and actively managing school culture.