About the Author
John O'Connor is executive director of special services in the DeKalb County School System of Georgia.
O'Connor has rightfully and persuasively put the emphasis where it should be - on classroom instruction! His point is well-taken that much valuable time and effort is being misplaced in schools on activities that do not directly impact student achievement. Readers will appreciate his clarity in pointing schools to the components that matter most to ensure that all student are successful. -- Mary Jackson, Director of Special Programs This book presents a unique and effective means to assis principals, assistant principals, and other building leaders in examining their effectiveness in improving student achievement at the building and district levels. From the analogy with chaos to its articulation of critical dimensions - implementing a definitive vision, maximizing fidelity of implementation, emphasizing continual improvement, improving adult practices, aligning/preparing the leadership team, providing GREAT instruction, creating tiers of support, and deleting ineffective practices/procedures - it provides principles and concrete examples which are very useful to educational leaders in individualising effective instructional leadership approaches for their schools. It could be used by individual leaders or groups of leaders, e.g., book studies, to improve instruction for students at all levels. -- William W. Swan, Professor Emeritus of the Program for Educational Leadership at the University of Georgia Turning Average Instruction into Great Instruction is a must-read for teachers, principals, and curriculum leaders. O'Connor offers a framework for effective classroom instruction. In a world inundated with a myriad of quick fixes, this insightful book is a refreshing entree for educational practitioners seeking to strategically and collaboratively lay the foundation for continuous school improvement. -- Gloria Talley, deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction in Dekalb County Schools of Georgia A school must become largely self-directing. The people connected with it must develop a capacity for effecting renewal and establishing mechanisms for doing this. John O'Connor has written a powerful book, focusing on how to harness the talent and commitment at the schoolhouse to bring about great instruction. Turning Average Instruction into Great Instruction is a must-read for all who struggle with the area of school improvement most resistant to change: the way teachers teach. -- Frank Charles Winstead, Advocate for Excellence in America's Classrooms, Inc. In Turning Average Instruction into Great instruction: School Leadership's Role in Student Achievement, John O'Connor provides a model of how to implement school-wide and district-wide instructional improvement plans, address the direct correlation between classroom instruction and student achievement and change teacher practices when achievement lags...O'Connor illustrates the road to reform...O'Connor reminds educators to review current practices in order to focus on instructional components that improve instruction and discard those that do not. -- Edythe B. Austermuhl School Administrator, May 2010 This is an important book for school leaders who really are serious about improvements in student achievement. This is one of the few books that actually give the reader specific examples of how to increase student achievement in all categories of students from those who are educationally challenged to those who are our fastest learners. O'Connor has taken his background in special education and has created examples of student achievement for all levels of learners. This is a must-read book for all school leaders. -- John O'Dell, Chair Educational Administration and Supervision, Lincoln Memorial University
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