Examines, from four organizational perspectives, Virginia’s Manassas Park City School’s ten-year turnaround.
The Little School System That Could is a story about transformation. In 1995, equipped with not much more than a vision of the quality education that urban students deserved, Tom DeBolt, the new superintendent of the Manassas Park School System, set into motion a series of reforms that transformed the district. By 2005 every school was accredited, passing rates on state tests had doubled, and the school system was attracting national attention. Daniel L. Duke examines the district's ten-year turnaround, from four organizational perspectives and addresses the critical role of professional and political leadership in overcoming the challenges of low morale, scarce resources, changing demographics, and dysfunctional school-community relations.
Daniel L. Duke is Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Virginia. He is the author of many books, including Education Empire: The Evolution of an Excellent Suburban School System and coeditor (with Margaret Grogan, Pamela D. Tucker, and Walter F. Heinecke) of Educational Leadership in an Age of Accountability: The Virginia Experience, both also published by SUNY Press.
"This short book covers the broad sweep of real life, from politics and facilities to instruction and learning." — The School Administrator
"Virtually all states have moved toward deregulation and decentralization in an effort to require local districts to forge need-specific improvements. Historically, superintendents have been instruments of change and not reform architects. This book both exposes new realities of practices and provides an excellent example of one school district's journey." — Theodore J. Kowalski, coauthor of Effective Communication for School Administrators: A Necessity in an Information Age