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Schools That Deliver

Schools That Deliver

Foreword by Arthur L. Costa

March 2016 | 272 pages | Corwin

Deliver real change and real results for your school

This book focuses directly on what promotes delivery. It provides the practical tools and implementation guide for re-invigorating your school. Set against a solid blend of international research and international best practice, the narrative is carried by voices from schools that are currently delivering across six countries. They tell it how it is, in lived reality. Every process in the book has been tested and refined under the heat of practice, addressing the current realities in education. The book provides a carefully selected repertoire of skills, models, and processes that:

  • deliver results for children, teachers, school leaders, families and their communities
  • build trust through ensuring every voice is heard and respected
  • develop a strong culture of leadership and alignment, while recognizing and embracing the complexities of school change
  • address the frustrations currently felt by teachers in a positive, productive way

Schools That Deliver fills the gap between intention and delivery. The book respects your voice, and your ability to create your own ways of delivering while remaining loyal to the unique personality of your school. When a school community delivers together what really matters for their children, they feel the true joy of education, that splendid feeling of professional satisfaction and achievement that we all deserve.

Foreword by Arthur L. Costa
About the Authors
Our Learning Journey

Our Wording

Chapter 1. The Hidden Power of Alignment
All of Us Have a Stake in This

The Core of Change

That May Work for Individuals, But How About Teams?

Alignment in Schools and in Life

Explanatory Power: Two Models

Collaboration and Challenge

Alignment Versus Agreement

When Voices Are Heard That Are Usually Stilled

Introduction to Shared Visioning

Shared Vision Creation Process

A Year of “Preparation for Action”

Designing the Long-Term School Development Plan

Identification of Core Values

Our Shared Vision as an Alignment Tool


Chapter 2. The Real Work
Fresh Eyes

What Is Our “Return on Investment” in Schools?

The Basis for the Curriculum

Our Life Lessons About the Real Work of Schools

So, What Do You Think Is Your Real Work?

Who Knows the Real Work? Social Constructivism

Staying Honest to the Real Work: Evidence-Based Decision Making


Chapter 3. Leadership
Leadership as Disposition or Position?

Leading Versus Managing

The Eight Leadership Challenges

The Joy of Leadership


Chapter 4. Authentic Action
Action Is What Matters

The Knowledge Base for Action

Openness to Learning and Confidence to Learn

Credibility and Credibility Killers

The High-Leverage Drivers of Authentic Action

What Does Whole School Accountability Look Like?


Chapter 5. Core Values and Culture
Does Your School Live by Your Core Values?

A Culture of Ownership

A Culture of Inclusion

A Culture of Caring

A Culture of Trust

A Culture of Questioning

A Culture of Coaching

A Strong Adult Professional Culture

A Culture of Innovation

A Culture of Symbols

A Culture of Story

A Culture of Celebrating

Learning Journeys


Chapter 6. Schools Are Part of the Community
Balancing Life’s Complexities

Working Together

Family: The Parent/Caregiver as Learner

Parents as Partners in Their Child’s Learning

Thunderbolts Will Challenge Us All

Relationships With the Media

Mutually Productive Activities With the Wider Community


Appendix 1. Consensus Building: Inquiry Probe Tools

Appendix 2. Sample Shared Visions and Research (Preparation for Action) Themes

Appendix 3. The Long-Term School Development Plan

Appendix 4. Sample Personal Visions


“As John Edwards and Bill Martin show, education for a future with a future will embody nature’s principles of diversity and coherence—underpinned by a deep conviction in the innate wisdom of children, and the belief that cultivating the compassion and larger intelligence that are our birthrights will produce future generations capable of writing a new chapter in the human story.”

Peter Senge, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Author of The Fifth Discipline

Schools That Deliver is a master class on effective leadership and school renewal. These authors know how to change a vision from a dream into a plan that works. This is not theory: John and Bill have actually guided transformative change in multiple settings. We have here a unique treasury of wisdom that spans the range from big-picture design to daily actions of leaders who build trust . . . a groundbreaking book.”

Jon Saphier, Research for Better Teaching
Author of The Skillfull Teacher

Schools That Deliver is an exceptional work to inspire, rejuvenate, and engage your school staff along a powerfully aligned trajectory toward success.  Reimagine your school through the lens of these transformative authors.”

Jill Gildea, Superintendent
Fremont School District 79, Mundelein, IL

"Schools That Deliver is long overdue in the midst of too much focus on testing and accountability. It has the potential to provide a practical guide coupled with the underlying philosophy to assist school leaders in making their schools engaging environments for all students and staff."

Richard A. Simon, Adjunct Professor
Stony Brook University and Long Island University Post

“A common thread that separates Schools That Deliver from others is the focus on remaining loyal to the unique personality of each individual school while providing specific tools and procedures to focus on.”

Delia McCraley, Principal
Southgate Academy

“John Edwards and Bill Martin write about the reality of authentic school issues using proven research and from their own experiences.”

Bonnie Tryon, Past President
School Administrators Association of New York (SAANYS)

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