Today, the entire success of a school seems to be the responsibility of the principal and the teachers. The thesis of this book is that principals and teachers can only take a school so far because of other factors that also impact on the success or failure of a school: (1) Federal, state, local and district regulations and policies; (2) the physical plant and location of the school; (3) parents; (4) students; (5) the non-teaching staff. The book explores all these, but also has an underlying theme: Money
It is a cliché that if a school has more money, it will have better results. Monies allocated to education do have an impact, but poverty level and income inequality have an equal if not greater impact on school success on the national, state and local levels. Principals and teachers have absolutely no control on poverty and income inequality which negatively impact schools regardless of how dedicated and hard-working the pedagogical staff.
After exploring the other factors impacting on school success, the book will look at teachers and principals, not from the viewpoint of what they can do, but the viewpoint of their limitations. Much of this is economic, leading to high staff turnover and therefore a lack of continuity in a school.
Charles A. Bonnici has been an educator for fifty years, serving the children of New York City as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and then as an instructor and mentor of aspiring school leaders. He has written three previous books on educational leadership; currently he is a consultant with the Executive Leadership Institute in New York City.
Table of Contents
Mark Cannizzaro, President, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, New York City
Chapter 1: Money
Chapter 2: “The Powers That Be”
Chapter 3: The School Building
Chapter 4: Parents
Chapter 5: Students
Chapter 6: Non-Teaching Staff and a Foray into Bargaining Agreements
Chapter 7: Teachers
Chapter 8: Principals
In his book Principals and Teachers Can’t Do It All: Other Factors That Impact on the Success of Students and Schools Charles Bonnici alerts the reader to the fact that statistics and analytics fail to incorporate key factors that lead to students’ and schools’ successes or failures. They discount societal factors that severely limit what teachers and school leaders can actually accomplish. The author offers many practical suggestions on how some of these factors working against school and student success can be addressed and overcome. He proffers his opinion that his suggestions along with total shifts in economic policies to eliminate poverty and income inequality in the United States will result in a world class school system where the vast majority of children and schools succeed.
School facilities, students, parents, teachers, school and district leaders, other school staff, school communities, policy makers and big business are key elements, trees if you will, in student and school success. Charlie presents a solid discussion of each providing some historical context as well. Particularly powerful is Charlie’s opening chapter “Money” and the impact of poverty on the efforts of our teachers, our school leaders and our schools. Education reform efforts have often focused on these factors individually ignoring the relationship of one to another and how, together, they create the forest. Charlie’s vast experience as a school leader and educator provides a personal and informed look at these key factors but also examines them in their larger context. Through vignettes of school leaders, Charlie shares real examples of the challenges teachers and school leaders face daily. School reformers need to understand their stories if we are to make meaningful and lasting change in improving student learning and student and school success. This is a realistic examination of the challenges to school reform. Through the intelligent use of data and statistics, Charlie provides evidence to support his arguments. Teachers and Principals can’t do it only. Others need to help but they too need to see the forest as well as the trees! In other words, this book is about systems thinking! This book needs to be read by aspiring teachers and aspiring school leaders to gain a better understanding of the challenges they are likely to face and the root causes for these challenges.
Charles Bonnici’s new book, Principals and Teachers Can’t Do It All, contains important new ideas that will have great influence on current and future educational efforts. As such, it is a seminal work to help formulate student success.
Seminal… in the fact that it cuts through the clutter surrounding fallacious concepts about school funding and student success; and delineates the present societal factors at play with a specific outline for the future of education in America.
The author bases this hopeful vision using pages and pages of overwhelming statistics drawn from studies throughout the country and from around the world. Not currying any favor from sacred cows, Bonnici questions the positions championed by state and federal lawmakers and legislators in the areas of school violence, local school funding, the separation of state and federal jurisdictions in education under the 10th amendment to the United States Constitution, and state policies affecting home schooling and charter schools, among others.Of equal importance are the sections in which he covers technology, bullying, student victimization, common sense appreciation and recognition of support staff, and criteria for identifying and promoting master teachers and team leaders.