The content will be organized around the metaphor of the four forces of flight–weight, lift, thrust, and drag–that will help leaders overcome the “sound barriers” of educational inertia. • Weight is the force of gravity toward the center of the earth. We’ll use this to talk about unleashing Personal Brilliance through self-discovery: Who am I as a leader? What do I believe in? • Lift is the force that acts at a right angle to the direction of motion. We’ll use this to talk about expanding Leadership Brilliance through collaboration with stakeholders: How can we become more than 1 + 1 = 2? • Thrust is the force that propels a flying machine in the direction of motion. Engines produce the thrust. We’ll use this to talk about leaders becoming the engine for Team Brilliance by encouraging smart risks and designing potent changes: What works? • Momentum is the force or speed of movement. We’ll use this to talk about tapping into Student Brilliance by unleashing grit, resilience, and hope: What is limiting us? So what? Now what? We want to not only make the case for change, but also provide many tools and techniques for every leader to break their sound barriers–whatever they are. We want to present relevant ideas that leaders can implement in their schools, districts, cities, and states. To do this, we will be using a storytelling format. Each section will tell one or more powerful stories/case studies, explain concepts in an easy-to-understand way, offer implementation tools and techniques, and call the reader to specific action in order to make progress. Each section of the book will contribute to a system or learning curriculum for the reader. If they follow the system and do the work, they will begin to move their schools in the direction of the promise of education: tapping into student curiosity, engaging students in school work they love, and reaping benefits from the experience. A. Research base The core of our research about what works will be the large database of successful transformation models described in the Breakthrough Project sponsored by NASSP. In addition, we will use success stories and data from school districts that Simon and Marceta have visited in their speaking and keynote addresses across the country. The keystones of the Breaking Ranks® research that are highlighted in this book fall into three core areas: • Collaborative leadership, including professional learning communities and strategic use of data; • Personalization of the school environment so that every student feels connected to her or her learning; and • Curriculum, instruction, and assessment that are aligned with state and local standards.

Breaking Sound Barriers

5 breaking sound barriers

Be the Impact You Want to See in Schools

It is hard to be an educator today. In the movies we are either portrayed as dolts who haven’t got a clue about what is going on with our students, or individual teachers are shown as having to heroically and unrealistically buck the system in order to change lives. Few media stories truly understand the complexity of teaching, and almost none effectively focus on teaching in multicultural classrooms. It’s a huge contradiction in our society. Education is perceived as having the potential to powerfully impact children’s knowledge and behavior. After all, many advocacy groups want schools to incorporate their teaching materials into the general curriculum—auto safety, fire safety, gun safety, ...

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