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The Little School System That Could: Transforming a City School District


reviewed by Anthony H. Normore — June 11, 2008

coverTitle: The Little School System That Could: Transforming a City School District
Author(s): Daniel L. Duke
Publisher: State University of New York Press, Albany
ISBN: 0791473805, Pages: 171, Year: 2008
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What does it take to turn around a low-performing school system? Interest in this question has increased substantially since the advent of the landmark No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and other state and federal measures aimed at greater educational accountability. Daniel Duke’s The Little School System That Could: Transforming a City School District is a compelling example of the new realities confronted by superintendents who engage turning around low-performing school systems. Duke shares a decade’s worth of organizational change, transformation, and reform movements invoked by a new superintendent in a small city school system - Manassas Park - in northern Virginia. Faced with a variety of problems that ranged from inadequate resources, deplorable buildings to mismanagement, incompetence, and personnel turnover, low staff morale and subpar student achievement, newly hired Superintendent Tom Debolt and his allies transformed this fledgling school system in ten years. Debolt’s experiences, challenges, obstacles and support... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: June 11, 2008
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15275, Date Accessed: 12/17/2017 11:00:43 AM

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About the Author
  • Anthony Normore
    California State University-Dominguez Hills
    E-mail Author
    ANTHONY H. NORMORE is Associate Professor and Program development Coordinator of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership in the Graduate Education Division, College of Education, California State University-Dominguez Hills in the Los Angeles area. A former K-12 educator for 20 years (teacher, school administrator, district office Program Director), Dr. Normore has conducted keynote addresses at national conferences and Leadership Academies (e.g., Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering/Education, Houston, Texas; and Ransom Everglades High School, Miami, Florida). He regularly presents his research at local, state, provincial, national and international conferences in Canada and United States. He is editor of two “forthcoming” books with Information Age Publishing. One is titled, Leadership for social justice: Promoting equity and excellence through inquiry and reflective practice. His second book is co-edited and titled Leadership praxis and intercultural dynamics. His current research focuses on leadership development of urban school leaders in the context of ethics and social justice. Much of his publications appears in national and international peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of School Leadership, Journal of Educational Administration, Values and Ethics in Educational Administration, The Alberta Journal of Educational Research, Canadian Journal of Education Administration and Policy, International Journal of Urban Educational Leadership, Educational Policy, International Electronic Journal for Leadership in Learning, Educational Policy, and Journal of Research on Leadership Education.
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