Resourceful Leadership

Resourceful Leadership Tradeoffs and Tough Decisions on the Road to School Improvement

By Elizabeth A. City, foreword by Karen Hawley Miles
paper, 206 Pages
Pub. Date: March 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1-891792-86-1
Price: $30.00

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In Resourceful Leadership, Elizabeth A. City examines decisions about the use of three key resources—time, money, and staff—and how tradeoffs among them are integrated into school leaders’ improvement strategies. She undertakes a detailed study of two small urban high schools in their first year of conversion from a large, comprehensive high school.


City realizes that the important part of the story is not about the numbers—it’s about the people. Within each chapter she weaves together seemingly disparate considerations such as values and beliefs, policies and funding, vision and hope. She delineates clearly the choices that each school leader makes, capturing the possibilities and the paradoxes of each step down the road. — Larry Myatt, Founding Headmaster, Fenway High School, Boston, Mass.

District administrators often think in very narrow and traditional ways about how to use resources. By offering a rich description of the change process in two urban high schools, Resourceful Leadership opens up a dialogue about new ways to think about and use resources. Combining the ‘hard’ analysis of resource use with the ‘soft’ but equally important side of the change process (vision, hope, trust, ideas, and energy) is an important contribution. This well-written and timely book offers powerful lessons for school and district leaders. — Jim Kushman, Director, Center for School and District Improvement, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory

Resourceful Leadership paints a rich portrait of the day-to-day complexity involved in leading school improvement. Liz City has thoughtfully woven together strands from research, practice, and policy. The result is a realistic and vivid description of the central challenges in the vitally important work of school leadership. — Paul Reville, President, Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy; Chairman, Massachusetts State Board of Education; and Director, Education Policy and Management Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education

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About the Author

Elizabeth A. City helps educators improve instruction through leadership development and the strategic use of data and resources. She works primarily with urban school districts and is a faculty member at Boston’s School Leadership Institute. City has served as a teacher, instructional coach, and principal. She is coeditor of Data Wise: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Assessment Results to Improve Teaching and Learning (Harvard Education Press, 2005) and coauthor of The Teacher’s Guide to Leading Student-Centered Discussions: Talking about Texts in the Classroom (Corwin Press, 2006).

Table of Contents (PDF)

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