Real Leaders, Real Schools

Real Leaders, Real Schools Stories of Success Against Enormous Odds

Gerald C. Leader, with Amy F. Stern
Pub. Date: September 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-025-6
paper, 256 Pages
Pub. Date: September 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1-891792-96-0
Price: $30.00

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Real Leaders, Real Schools tells the stories of five urban public school principals who led their schools
through profound and transformative changes. In each of these cases, their efforts resulted in dramatic
improvements in student achievement—improvements that occurred within the current environment
of high-stakes tests.


Real Leaders, Real Schools breaks new ground with its in-depth profiles of five school leaders in the Boston Public Schools. It sheds new light on how school leaders can achieve positive results for all students by providing support to staff and students in courageous, focused, creative, and innovative ways. The book provides a wealth of insights into school leadership—and how leadership can be shaped by continuous learning and reflection. — Thomas Payzant, Professor of Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and former Superintendent, Boston Public Schools

The well-written, inspiring accounts of leadership in Real Leaders, Real Schools tell us much about the current state of education. The book reveals how improvement too often requires almost superhuman funds of stamina and talent from its leaders—and a willingness to go against the prevailing culture of teaching and supervision. A penetrating study of schools and school leadership. — Mike Schmoker, author of Results NOW: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning

Real Leaders, Real Schools confronts the most important question in education today: What difference can school leaders and teachers make in schools that are confronted with seemingly overwhelming challenges? With compelling cases and a thoughtful synthesis of evidence, the book provides important insights not only for those serving high-poverty schools, but for everyone committed to educational equity and excellence. — Douglas B. Reeves, Founder, The Leadership and Learning Center

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About the Authors

Gerald C. Leader is Professor Emeritus at Boston University. He has researched and taught leadership for more than thirty years in educational, nonprofit, and private-sector organizations. After earning an undergraduate degree in engineering, he completed his MBA and doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Business. He has been on the graduate business faculties of Harvard University, Tulane University, Boston University, and Stanford University, where he also served on the faculty of the Graduate School of Education.   

Currently, Professor Leader directs and teaches in the Educator Leadership Institute, which he founded in 2002 to prepare educational leaders for public and charter schools in the metropolitan Boston area. The Institute, a program within the Educational Collaborative of Greater Boston, is a self-sustaining, nonprofit organization preparing teacher candidates through graduate coursework and an intensive internship for principal and director licensure.

Amy Stern has been on staff at the Edward Everett Elementary School in Boston from 2002 to the present. She served for four years as special assistant to Principal Kathleen Flannery (Chapter 5) and is currently the director of School Programs. Prior to working in the Boston Public Schools, Ms. Stern was a research assistant at Education Development Center, Inc., in Newton, Massachusetts. She earned her BA in psychology from Vassar College and her EdM. in School Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

E-book available through online booksellers

"Creating a Culture of Reciprocal Accountability" by Gerald Leader

Table of Contents (PDF)

Introduction (PDF)

Gerald Leader on "No Principal Left Behind"

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