The Administrative Team in my District complete book reviews. With their permission, I would like to post their thoughts here. Many of these works should be read by every educator.
Marzano and associates have cleverly used Meta analysis to truly calculate the impact of leadership on student achievement and school improvement. In Part One of the book (Chapters 1-3), Marzano explains some theories behind leadership and how they analzed the data. Don't be deceived. . . the reading was very navigable and not too filled with jargon. Bottom line, Marzano has shown the relational impact of effective leadership on student achievement. In Part Two (Chapters 4-7), Marzano looks at the 21 responsiblities of a school leader, the types of change that can affect those responsibilities and which approach is best for the different responsibilties. The book closes with how a leadership team may help implement change within a school setting. The epilogue was a challenge due to the technicality of the statistics, although the questionnaires for buiding principals included in that section had great questions about leadership.
The list of 21 responsibilities was very interesting in regards to all the things that leaders do within their organization. The list was reviewed in table form and correlations were provided with the individual responsibilties. Marzano also goes into more depth after providing specific information about each attribute. Based on the reading, it does look as though leadership plays a key role in the effort to raise student achievement, although individual studies do not necessarily show that. Marzano also skillfully points out the type of change that is necessary for some of the different responsibilities to be realized to their full potential.
Although this book could be read by anyone in a school setting, it probably would hold the most significance for those people in leadership or administrative roles that want to find ways to increase their impact on student achievement.