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How to bring out the best in your staffand in yourself

Research shows that the single variable that makes the most difference in student performance is the quality of the teacher. How do we keep teachers motivated in the face of increased pressure for grades, class sizes and media attention? How do we attract and retain high-quality teachers? This inspiring text offers a refreshing alternative to the portfolio and high-stakes accountability models of school improvement. Based on the successful methods of Dealous Cox, The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence describes a leadership philosophy based on the search for wisdom through personal reflection and community. The authors share their experience with this leadership style and document the sustainable results of transformational leaders working with teachers as partners rather than adversaries. These results include

Consistently improved teacher performance; Improved teacher quality; Greater professional satisfaction for teachers; Stronger community support for schools

Richard Sagor and Deborah Rickey have tracked this established leadership model for more than 30 years. Their work shows how, when sustained over time, these leadership principles have transformed professional behavior throughout school districts and made a long-term difference for teachers and students.

Making a Virtue Out of a Necessity: The Beginnings of the People Strategy
Making a virtue out of a necessity: The beginnings of the people strategy

We largely know what it takes to create good schools. First, it takes good people. The secret of being a successful school administrator is to spend your energy and resources attracting and retaining good staff. Encourage them in their professional growth and see to it that they talk about the right things. So, if you want to succeed, bet on your people. (Dealous Cox, 1991)

After twenty-three years in education, eleven of those spent as a school district superintendent in Oregon, Dea Cox took a leave of absence from his lifework as a public school educator and began a one-year fellowship ...

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