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The NEW School Rules

The NEW School Rules
6 Vital Practices for Thriving and Responsive Schools

April 2018 | 216 pages | Corwin

Actions to increase effectiveness of schools in a rapidly changing world

To stay relevant and impactful, organizations from the military to government agencies to businesses must constantly evolve. Organizations that cling to rigid structures designed for less dynamic times are stuck in routines that don’t get results.  Instead of withstanding a structure built for the industrial age, how can we empower our schools to be nimble and equipped to prepare their students for this new world?

The NEW School Rules expands cutting-edge organizational and management strategies into an operating system for responsive schools. These principles and practices provide the framework for transitioning rigid, slow-moving institutions into environments of continuous innovation.

  • 6 simple rules create a unified vision of responsiveness among educators
  • Real life case studies illustrate responsive techniques implemented in a variety of educational demographics
  • 15 experiments guide school and district leaders toward increased responsiveness in their faculty and staff

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About the Authors
Introduction: Why We Need New Organizational Practices for Thriving Schools and Students Today
The Promise of Responsiveness  
How Responsive Organizational Thinking Evolved  
How This Book Is Designed  
A Note About Who This Book Is For  
CHAPTER 1. PLANNING: Plan for Change, Not Perfection
When Plans Are More Important Than Our Purpose  
Planning Without Learning  
Control Is Confused With Planning  
Build Roadmaps, Not Manuals  
Use Cadences and Pivot Points, Not Just Schedules and Deadlines  
Encourage Testing, Experiments, and Responsiveness  
EXPERIMENT 1. Define a Clear Purpose  
EXPERIMENT 2. Delineate Between What You Know and What You Anticipate  
CHAPTER 2. TEAMING: Build Trust and Allow Authority to Spread
We’re Dragged Down by the Slow and Unwieldy Legacy of Hierarchies  
Land Grabs Are Still Too Common  
When Everyone and No One Is Responsible  
Clarify the Purpose of Every Team . . . and Revisit It  
Build Trust and Address Tensions  
Develop Effective Team Habits That Support Distributed Authority  
Embrace Dynamic Team Structures That Evolve and End  
EXPERIMENT 3. Offer Feedback as Data  
EXPERIMENT 4. Team Meeting Protocol  
CHAPTER 3. MANAGING ROLES: Define the Work Before You Define the People
Job Descriptions Get in the Way  
Role Overwhelm (and Underwhelm)  
Put a Role’s Purpose Before Politics  
Separate Roles for Personal Clarity and Smarter Decisions  
Value Each Voice as a Human Sensor  
EXPERIMENT 5. Role Mapping  
EXPERIMENT 6. The One-Question Technique  
EXPERIMENT 7. Guidelines for Being an Effective Sensor  
CHAPTER 4. DECISION MAKING: Aim for “Safe Enough to Try” Instead of Consensus
The Cycle of Meeting Paralysis  
The Risks of Delayed Decision Making  
The False Promise of Consensus . . . or Defaulting to a Decider-in-Chief  
Get Aligned and Clear Out the Noise  
Decide on Things You Can Decide On: Make Decisions Smaller  
Fail Forward: Approach Planning and Big Decisions as Decision Cycles  
EXPERIMENT 8. Three Language Shifts for Decision-Making Discussions  
EXPERIMENT 9. Protocol for a Starting Proposal  
EXPERIMENT 10. Default to Yes and Defend No—One Decision at a Time  
CHAPTER 5. SHARING INFORMATION: Harness the Flow and Let Information Go
A False Sense of Transparency  
Information Has an Expiration Date  
Accept Ambiguity  
Think of Others: Apply the Reverse Precautionary Principle  
Ask for What You Need: Apply the Lesson of Self-Advocacy  
Plan Communication as a Process, Not an Event  
EXPERIMENT 11. Say “Thank You” for Asking  
EXPERIMENT 12. The 3 × 3 Rule  
“Best Practices” Are Inhibiting Learning and Innovation  
There Isn’t Learning Without Listening  
The Mindset of Efficiency  
Use the Physical Environment to Build a Learning Environment  
Promote Optimal Zones of Learning (for Adults as Well, Not Just Kids)  
Develop a Learning Mindset: The Stance of Agent, Not Subject  
Face the Truth  
EXPERIMENT 13. Start a Reflection Practice  
EXPERIMENT 14. Create a Habit of Learning Every Day  
EXPERIMENT 15. Personal Portfolios  
A Responsive Roadmap: Beginning the Shift to New Organizational Practices
Three Dimensions of Change  
A Plan for Implementation  
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers  
List of New Rules and Lessons  
List of Experiments  

The NEW School Rules recognizes that adults in the educational system have to learn, evolve, and grow if students are to succeed in an ever-changing world. I wish I’d had this book years ago!

Dale Erquiaga, President/CEO
Communities in Schools

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

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ISBN: 9781506352763