Learning First!: A School Leader's Guide to Closing Achievement Gaps

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'With the spotlight on schools and the achievement of subgroups of students, educators need to read this book and reflect on the guiding questions. Then we need to take the challenge and do what we know is right so we are doubling student performance and closing achievement gaps'-Leslie Standerfer, Principal Estrella Foothills High School, Goodyear, AZ 'This text is the product of considerable research and disciplined reflection on closing the student achievement gap in schools, unquestionably the most important challenge facing schools. The book offers a wealth of well-illustrated advice about how to address this challenge and should be required reading for every principal and superintendent'-Kenneth Leithwood, Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto The keys to closing achievement gaps from principals who have been there! What does it take to reach across cultural and socioeconomic barriers to bridge student achievement gaps? Drawing on five years of nationwide research, the authors present Learning First, an integrated schoolwide framework of collaborative leadership that helps school leaders advance learning for all students. Using case examples that illustrate how Learning First works in action and providing worksheets, checklists, and rubrics to support implementation, the book shows principals how to apply this field-tested model to four critical dimensions of leadership: - Advancing equity and excellence in student learning - Developing teachers' instructional capacity - Managing and aligning resources - Building and engaging community Learning First! offers an approach that strengthens principals' leadership skills, delineates shared goals for professional communities, and helps educators keep their eyes on the prize-closing the achievement gap in their schools.