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ERIC Number: EJ868947
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
Leadership Succession and Sustainable Improvement
Hargreaves, Andy
School Administrator, v66 n11 p10-15 Dec 2009
Everything in K-12 education is instant, short-term, the quick fix. As such, little attention is paid to long-term planning and even less to leadership succession or stability. The change agenda is the leadership agenda and from the very top, both are being mismanaged. More and more, the author is seeing this with his own eyes in his studies of education reform and its impact on schools. Leadership succession is one of the most important but overlooked factors that affect sustainable school improvement. Just as year-upon-year successions of outstanding teachers can dramatically improve the achievements of even the most disadvantaged students, an orderly succession of superb principals can profoundly improve the most highly challenged schools. Yet mismanagement of succession frequently wreaks havoc on the chances for long-term improvement. In this article, the author discusses five obstacles that stand in the way of effective leadership succession and presents four possible alternatives to minimize negative successions: (1) increase leadership stability; (2) build systemic leadership; (3) develop distributed leadership; and (4) create coaches for new leaders.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A