Using the books –
Focus: Elevating the Essentials for School and District Improvement by Mike Schmoker.

District Leadership That Works: Striking the Right Balance

Write a paper giving your answers to the following school leader dilemma questions. The paper should be double spaced, 12 point font, Calibri, one inch margins. For each answer site at least one source with page number.

Dilemmas in Schools

1. Centralized v. Decentralized Decision-making

Is it best to centralize and ultimately control the process or is it best to decentralize and empower others to assume responsibility?

2. Personal Life v. Professional Life

Is the personal cost too high in terms of the dilemma of dealing with one’s own family issues while trying to meet the time and stress demands of leadership?

3. Truth v. Varnished Truth Is it sometimes better and more humane to tell a half- truth rather than the whole truth to protect faculty interests and school building leadership as well as well as the school district one represents?

4. Creativity v. Discipline of Thought

Is it possible to provide a greater latitude of freedom for some school building leaders yet maintain structure for others who need it within a climate of collegiality?

5. Trust v. Change Does implementing even the smallest of change frequently result in suspicion of your motives as a leader?

6. Leadership v. Management

Is it critical to understand the difference between leadership and management and be able to put into practice one or the other when necessary?

7. Long-term goals v. Short-term results

Is it critical for superintendent job security to focus on short-term improvements in areas like student achievement test scores rather than implementing comprehensive quality student-centered programs.

8. Motivation v. Manipulation

As superintendent are you authentically motivating your teams to accomplish district goals or are you really manipulating people to get the results you deem most appropriate for your own survival?

9. Independence v. Dependence

Do you readily, and too often accept, the role of district problem-solver and decision-maker or do you facilitate others to solve their own problems so as to foster less dependence on you as the district decider?

10. Conflict v. Consensus

Is it best for the superintendent to promote consensus decision-making on the part of district teams or is it best to support dynamic tension that results in conflict but more meaningful problem resolutions?

11. Commitment v. Compliance

Is it possible to achieve commitment during times of change that foster compliance given the bureaucratic nature and hierarchical chain of command of contemporary school systems.

12. Problems v. Predicaments

Is the public we serve able to understand that several contemporary educational problems are really systemic predicaments that are more universal in nature than easily solved at the local level.

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