The ideal school is closer than you think. Welcome to Aspire High! The world’s best high school may be a dream, but it’s not out of reach. It’s a model drawn from research, observations, focus groups, and interviews, and each aspect of its success exists in a real school today. In this book, you’ll discover what makes Aspire High’s culture of aspiration work. Whether you’re a policymaker or district leader who can build a school from the ground up or an educator aiming for incremental change, you’ll find your next steps, including: • A whole new way to work with all stakeholders • Research and action for best practices, from physical layout to curriculum • Principles for designing practices that encourage student aspirations • Messages from thought leaders inside and outside the field of education Aspirational culture is good for the whole school community—and beyond. Make your school a dynamic place that promotes aspirations and meaningful learning for all.

A Dynamic Role for School Leadership

A Dynamic Role for School Leadership

Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right.

—Professor Warren G. Bennis

LISTEN

The principal of Aspire High enters Steve’s classroom. He greets several students with “Mr. Shipman” and “Ms. Lewis.” The students greet him as “Mr. Harper.” He walks over to the whiteboard and asks a student who is seated what they are learning. A young man explains. “Why?” he asks the student standing at the board. She provides several reasons.

He moves on and sits down with a group of three students having a discussion and asks them the same questions: “What are you learning?” Then, “Why?” The students explain eagerly. Before leaving that group, he puts a ...

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