School Systems That Learn: Improving Professional Practice, Overcoming Limitations, and Diffusing Innovation


Paul B. Ash & John D'Auria

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  • Back Matter
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  • Dedication

    I want to thank my family for giving me love, support, and guidance throughout the writing process, and my colleagues for helping me clarify my thinking. I also want to thank Stephanie Hirsh of Learning Forward, who encouraged me to share my story on how to develop and nurture ongoing educator capacity building that improves learning for ALL students.

    —Paul B. Ash

    I would like to thank all the educators and students that I have had the good fortune to work with since 1971. What I have learned from them cannot be adequately measured.

    —John D'Auria


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    About the Authors

    Paul B. Ash, PhD, has served as superintendent of the Lexington, Massachusetts Public Schools since 2005. Previously, he served as the superintendent of schools in the Westwood, Massachusetts Public Schools from 1998 to 2005. He has also held the following positions in the Wellesley, Massachusetts Public Schools: Director of Professional Personnel and Staff Development; Assistant Superintendent for Personnel, Finance, and Administration; Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Planning; and Interim Superintendent of Schools. He started his career in education as a chemistry, physics, and earth science teacher at the Dover-Sherborn Regional High School in Dover, Massachusetts.

    Dr. Ash received the doctor of philosophy degree from Boston College, the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education, the Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Massachusetts, and the Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He has served Boston College as an adjunct faculty member, providing instruction in educational finance and facilities management to masters and doctoral students. He is currently a member of the National Superintendents Roundtable and has served on the National Board of Governors for the American Association of School Administrators.

    John D'Auria, EdD, moved from directing the Canton, Massachusetts Public Schools as superintendent to becoming president of Teachers21, a nonprofit organization working to ensure that all school-aged children are given an equal opportunity to succeed by endeavoring to provide them with educators who are eminently knowledgeable and qualified to teach them.

    In a career that has spanned four decades as a math teacher, guidance counselor, principal, and superintendent, Dr. D'Auria has worked with hundreds of school leaders around sharpening the academic focus of school teams, developing a vibrant school culture, and managing conflict in the workplace.

    Dr. D'Auria's research focuses on the ways in which the assumptions that people hold about intelligence significantly influence their learning. His newest book is Ten Lessons in Leadership and Learning (2010). He is also the author of “The DNA of Leadership”—a curriculum for aspiring school leaders in the Massachusetts Leadership Licensure Program—and coauthor with Jon Saphier of How to Bring Vision to School Improvement (Research for Better Teaching, 1993). Numerous other articles include “The Superintendent as Teacher” (Phi Delta Kappan Online Edition, Fall, 2009); “A Principal's Dilemma” (jointly with Matt King in Schools: Studies in Education, Spring, 2009); and “Three Strands Form Strong School Leadership” (jointly with Jon Saphier and Matt King, Journal of Staff Development, Spring, 2006). He is a frequent speaker at national and regional educational conferences and has served on The Middle School Curriculum Project based at Education Development Center, Waltham, MA.

    John D'Auria is a Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude graduate of Boston College, where he majored in mathematics and philosophy; he earned his doctorate in urban educational leadership at the University of Massachusetts.

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    CORWIN: A SAGE Company

    The Corwin logo—a raven striding across an open book—represents the union of courags and learning. Corwin is committed to improving education for all learners by publishing books and other professional development resources for those serving the field of PreK–12 education. By providing practical, hands-on materials, Corwin continues to carry out the promise of its motto: “Helping Educators Do Their Work Better.”

    Learningforward: Advancing Professional Learning for Student Success

    Learning Forward (formerly National Staff Development Council) is an international association of learning educators committed to one purpose in K–12 education: Every educator engages in effective professional learning every day so every student achieves.

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