Getting It Done

Getting It Done Leading Academic Success in Unexpected Schools

Karin Chenoweth and Christina Theokas, foreword by Ronald F. Ferguson
cloth, 208 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-102-4
Price: $44.95

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Pub. Date: October 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-433-9
paper, 208 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-101-7
Price: $28.00

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Look Inside the Book

Getting It Done describes in clear and helpful detail what leaders of successful high-poverty and high-minority schools have done to promote and sustain student achievement.


With an astonishing combination of detailed evidence and nuanced insight, Getting It Done provides a blueprint for leaders of our most challenging schools. There are no quick fixes or feel-good stories here. Chenoweth and Theokas give us simultaneous doses of encouragement and challenge, letting us know that academic excellence is possible in a high-poverty school while being candid about the difficulties involved. Principals should read this book to gain a sense of hope, and then study it with every staff member to apply these essential lessons. — Douglas B. Reeves, founder, The Leadership and Learning Center

Getting It Done makes me more certain than ever that an important way forward for American education is to study what our best school leaders do and to use what we learn to improve professional development for current and future school principals. Chenoweth and Theokas show that there are indeed lessons to be harvested and passed along. Improving school leadership is an achievable goal that will advance both equity and excellence in the nation’s educational outcomes. Let’s get it done! — From the Foreword by Ronald F. Ferguson, faculty director, Achievement Gap Initiative, Harvard University

Drawing on close to forty case studies, Chenoweth and Theokas highlight essential lessons about leadership in high-needs schools. This is not a story about superheroes; it is a compelling portrayal of experienced, well-prepared, solution-focused leaders who work with their staffs to pool knowledge and expertise on behalf of their students. — Michelle D. Young, professor, University of Virginia, and executive director, University Council for Educational Administration

This book tackles a most crucial question: What is different about the leadership in successful schools for children of poverty? It goes a long way toward unpacking the black box of leadership that matters. — Charles M. Payne, Frank P. Hixon Professor, University of Chicago

Getting It Done: Leading Academic Success in Unexpected Schools will prove invaluable reading for principles, superintendents, and anyone else charged with a leadership responsibility or role in a K-12 school setting. — Midwest Book Review

Getting It Done, the third book in Chenoweth’s trilogy (along with It’s Being Done and How It’s Being Done), is an excellent resource for any school struggling to find the right formula for achieving academic success without regard to student demographics or the zip codes in which they live. It provides principals with specific practical strategies that are adaptable to a variety of settings. — Larry Leverett, School Administrator

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About the Authors

Karin Chenoweth is writer-in-residence at The Education Trust.

Christina Theokas is director of research at The Education Trust.