In returning to the classroom, schools are at a crossroads and uniquely positioned to recreate and reinvent themselves. The current issues of equity, social-emotional sensitivity, curriculum reform, civic involvement, public health policy and environmental infrastructure are opportunities to build more responsive schools with students better prepared for the future.
Vincent F. Cotter, as superintendent of schools, was the primary innovator of a unique school improvement program that dramatically improved student achievement, and for his efforts, he was awarded the prestigious American Society for Quality’s International Juran Medal in the field of education for sustained systemic improvement.
Part I: Unrelenting Leadership
1: “Leaning Forward”
2: “Leading Forward”
3: “Learning Forward”
Part II: Retrofitting Schools for the 21st Century
4: Reinventing the Schools
5: Restructuring the Schools
Part III: The Process of Transformation
6: Transforming the Leadership Team
7: A Transformational Model
8: Transformational Lessons
9: Getting “It” Right
Appendix A: Performance Assessment Instruments
Appendix B: Leadership Training Model
Appendix C: Leadership Skills that Ignite Performance
About the Author
Leaning into the Future successful flips the narrative from one of reaction to proactivity. Understanding how to resolve complex issues without internal chaos is an art. We often only get one opportunity to “get it right.” Leaning into the Future provides all leaders with that opportunity.
The concept of “leaning forward” is an established action in a number of fields: athletics, leadership, military, etc. Dr. Cotter takes the notion of “leaning forward” and focuses “laser like” upon current educational issues facing our community schools. The concepts and processes presented serve as a gateway for the coordinated efforts for all who have a vested interest in enhancing school and school district achievement.
Now is the time to respond to the learning crisis proactively and with purpose. Cotter’s book provides a strategic guide for educational leaders to “lean forward” and address the current learning crisis in a transformational manner. Cotter outlines the need for “synertegic” leaders to commit, respond, and reinvent our schools utilizing a continuous improvement model. This book is essential reading for educators preparing to move their schools and districts “Above and Beyond.
Excellence and student achievement were the hallmarks of Dr. Cotter’s legacy as principal and superintendent. His message was always clear and consistent and needed now more than ever---achieving success must be at the heart of every decision every day. Leaning into the Future eliminates the “theater of reform” by focusing on transformational strategies for improvement through balanced and skillful leadership.