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Harvard Study Touts Effective Leadership

A Harvard Business Review report, "How to Manage Urban School Districts," describes successful management efforts in school systems nationwide, including in the Long Beach Unified School District. Schools here have developed a "culture of collaboration and accountability for improving student performance," a strategy that began in the mid-1990s, according to the November report. "Informal sharing of ideas across schools is common," the report states. "In addition, principals from each type of school in the district – elementary, middle and high school – convene at formal ‘key results’ meetings every month to review school performance data, work on common challenges and discuss best practices." While many leaders of urban districts see organizational culture as something that defies management, Long Beach has proved otherwise, says the Harvard report, compiled by a team of experts on educational leadership and policy. The Harvard team also credited a historically united school board and superintendent for working as a team to maintain a strong focus on student achievement.