All school districts have written statements of the educational values and goals that members of the school community believe are important and worth pursuing. They display these on the front page of all school district public relations packets and on the walls of school and district offices. While all segments of the school community enthusiastically embrace the values and goals stated in the documents, rarely, if ever, do they practice these goals and values in classrooms or administrative offices.
The gap between the educational ideals spoken from auditorium stages and the instructional regimes students experience in classrooms is the result of schools designed to achieve institutional goals—accountability, standardization, and efficiency—rather than educational goals—thoughtfulness, deep knowledge, and critically-informed citizens. This book is aimed at school administrators whose goal is restoring the why of schooling to the organizational structures and instructional routines that currently govern public schooling in this nation.
Alan C. Jones is an educational consultant specializing in curriculum, instruction, and instructional leadership. Jones has been a teacher, principal of an award-winning high school, professor of school administration, and has written numerous articles and books on school reform.
Chapter One: The Goal Maze
Chapter Two: Championing
Chapter Three: Main Office C
Chapter Four: Silver Bullets
Chapter Five: Following Through
Chapter Six: The Crisis of the Day
Chapter Seven: Noticing
Chapter Eight: Tools in the Toolbox
Chapter Nine: Getting to YES
Chapter Ten: Restoring the Why to Schooling
School leaders devote a great deal of time attending to the managerial routines of the organization without regard to how these routines might advance the mission of the school. As Alan Jones reports in Living Up to Your School Mission Statement, when preoccupied by managerial duties, school leaders seldom pursue intentionally the high-minded goals identified in a school’s mission statement. With this important book, Jones notes differences across managing, leading, and championing. He illustrates graphically how the preoccupations in the main office and the practices in the classroom often proceed without regard to what a mission statement identifies as the central endeavors of the school. For the committed school leader, Jones identifies a pathway for moving beyond recurring managerial tasks and devoting energies to the pursuit of the significant goals that a community has embraced as the mission of a school.
A definite reminder that mission statements are a big driver of positive outcomes for schools. Develop your statement and keep it relevant. Live your statement in everything you do, especially in the delivery of classroom instruction. This book is a must read!!!!’
Living Up to Your School Mission Statement is a challenge to educators who believe more is possible, even as they wonder if they’re strong enough to swim upstream against the educational status quo. Those courageous enough to follow Jones’ lead will be empowered, emboldened, and invigorated. So will their school communities.