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About Benjamin Fenton
(Washington, DC) co-founded New Leaders with several other social entrepreneurs. In his current role as Chief Strategy Officer, Ben leads the organization’s consulting services on school leadership quality, helping states and districts develop new policies, strategies and tools for principal evaluation and principal effectiveness. He is also leads the New Leaders research and evaluation team, which develops insights to drive improvement of the New Leaders programs as well as research to inform the broader field.
A recognized expert on principal quality, Ben co-led the development of the Transformational Leadership Framework (TLF), a field guide of the school practices and principal actions found in high-gaining urban public schools, as featured in both Breakthrough Principals and the School Leadership Playbook.
In previous roles at New Leaders, Ben has served as chief operating officer, growing the organization from a staff of five to more than 150 employee and chief cities officer, managing and supporting all local program sites. He began his career as a consultant at McKinsey and Company, working on operations and marketing engagements.
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Books By Benjamin Fenton
The School Leadership Playbook is a practical guide for education leaders looking to push their school's and students' achievement to the next level. Developed by renowned leadership preparation program New Leaders, the Transformational Leadership Framework focuses on the five categories that drive a school's success: Learning and Teaching, School Culture, Talent Management, Operations and Systems, and Personal Leadership. This book illustrates how each of these factors contributes to breakthrough gains, and outlines a plan for implementing changes in your own school. You'll learn how to accurately diagnose the current state of your school's academics and culture and create an action plan for the year ahead. The TLF is grounded in the latest research and case studies of the highest-gaining turnaround schools, and shows you the specific actions you can take to attract, retain, and support high-performing teachers; improve school culture; successfully involve parents and the community; and ultimately drive student success.
New Leaders developed the UEF to pinpoint what schools achieving significant student academic gains were doing, and how they were doing it. This book provides a practical breakdown of the framework to help you begin leading these changes in your own school.
- Ensure rigorous goal- and data-driven teaching and learning
- Build and manage a high-performance faculty aligned to the school's vision
- Implement effective and efficient operations and systems
- Model the tone you would like to see from students and teachers school-wide
By matching the needs of the school to effective principal actions and school practices, leaders can create a plan for transformational change.
Breakthrough Principals debunks the myth of the 'superhero' principal by detailing the common actions and practices of leaders at our nation's fastest-gaining public schools. Based on the authors' Transformational Leadership Framework, which they developed through in-depth study of more than 100 high-gaining, high-poverty schools, the book distills findings into a practical, action-focused plan for diagnosing school needs and implementing structures, systems and practices that accelerate student achievement.
Brought to life by case studies of principals who have led dramatic gains in student achievement, the book is a how-to guide for increasing the quality of teaching and learning; improving school culture; attracting and supporting high-performing teachers; and involving parents and community to help students achieve. You'll learn how breakthrough principals make the school's mission a real part of both strategy and practice, and set up sustainable systems that support consistent, ongoing improvement. High-impact practices are organized into five broad categories: learning and teaching, school-wide culture, aligned staff, operations and systems, and personal leadership.
The primary job of school leadership is to help students succeed. It begins with first recognizing and prioritizing areas of need, then finding and implementing the most effective solutions. Whether you work in a turn around environment, or want to make a good school better, this book will give you a set of concrete practices—illustrated through examples of real principals in real schools—that have been proven to work.
- Discover the primary drivers of student achievement
- Work toward the school's vision in staffing, operations, and systems
- Set the tone for all relationships and practices with good leadership
Closing the achievement gap is a major goal of educational leadership, and principals are forever searching for viable methods that help them better serve their students. Breakthrough Principals unveils the details behind the success stories from across the nation to provide a roadmap to transformative gains.