How to Manage Urban School Districts.
By: Childress, Stacey, Elmore, Richard, Grossman, Allen,
Harvard Business Review,
November 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 11
To help leaders of urban school systems develop and implement a management model, 12 faculty members from Harvard Business School and Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2003 launched the Public Education Leadership Project (PELP).
Strategy for teaching and learning. At the heart of the framework is the instructional core – a term we use to describe the critical teaching and learning that goes on in the classroom. In order to improve student achievement, a district office must continuously strengthen this core by increasing teachers' skills and knowledge, engaging students in learning, and ensuring that the curriculum challenges students academically.
In education, however, most external forces pull public school districts away from their focus on student achievement. Thus, a district must develop strategy from the inside out and begin at the nucleus of its organization: teaching and learning.
Urban school districts must establish a culture of collaboration, high expectations, and accountability.
Stacey Childress (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a lecturer at Harvard Business School in Boston, where she studies the entrepreneurial efforts of leadership teams in urban districts, charter schools, and other enterprises in education.
Richard Elmore (Richard_elmore@harvard.edu) is the Gregory R. Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership at Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he researches the effects of federal, state, and local education policy on schools.
Allen Grossman (email@example.com) is the MBA Class of 1957 Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, where he researches leadership and management in public education and the issues of managing multisite nonprofit organizations.
Grossman and Elmore are cochairs of Harvard’s Public Education Leadership Project.