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Book Review

Real Leaders, Real Schools: Stories of Success Against Enormous Odds

This book tells the stories of five urban public school principals who led their schools through profound and transformative changes. In each of the cases, their efforts resulted in dramatic improvements in student achievement—improvements that occurred within the current environment of high stakes testing.

The narratives that form the heart of the book offer insights into the meaning and practice of effective school leadership. The stories themselves are often inspiring, but they are never idealized. All of these principals met with frustrations as well as successes, setbacks as well as breakthroughs. All regularly reassessed their policies and practices, and all acknowledged—and all learned from—their errors along the way. Yet all believed in their staffs and their students, and all found innovative ways to transform and improve their schools. These are true stories of successful leadership against enormous odds.