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Phi Management Recommends a Book: Schools That Succeed


How Educators Marshal the Power of Systems for Improvement

By Karin Chenoweth

Informed by years of research and on-the-ground reporting, Schools That Succeed is Karin Chenoweth’s most inspiring and compelling book yet—an essential read for educators who seek to break the stubborn connection between academic achievement and socioeconomic status.


Chenoweth draws on her decade-long journey into neighborhood schools where low-income students and students of color are learning at unexpectedly high levels to reveal a key ingredient to their success: in one way or another, their leaders have confronted the traditional ways that schools are organized and adopted new systems, all focused on improvement. In vivid profiles of once-embattled schools, Chenoweth shows how school leaders doggedly and patiently reorganized internal systems in order to prioritize teaching and learning, resulting in improved outcomes that in many cases exceeded statewide averages.

From how they use time to how they use money, schools that succeed combine a deep belief in the capacity of their students to achieve with deliberate systems focused on student needs. As a result, they create vibrant places “where teachers want to teach and students want to learn.”


About the Author:

Karin Chenoweth is the writer-in-residence at The Education Trust. She is a long-time education writer and reporter who has written for such publications as the Washington Post, Education Week, and American Educator.