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Fixing Education Initiatives in Crisis

Fixing Education Initiatives in Crisis
24 Go-to Strategies

Foreword by Jody Spiro

June 2024 | 160 pages | Corwin

Proven practices to rescue struggling education initiatives... or prevent a crisis before it starts.

Insufficient planning, unclear outcomes, missing data--for leaders overseeing education initiatives, it can often seem like there's a crisis around every corner. Drawing on decades of experience in assessment, evaluation, and data-driven decision-making, author and Professor of Educational Leadership James Marshall offers a combination of evidence-based practices and real-life experiences that provide practical solutions to the diverse challenges school leaders encounter as they implement new initiatives.

Exploring oft-encountered challenges such as poor outcomes, waning interest or support from leadership, public relations issues, scaling and sustainability roadblocks, and other implementation-related obstacles--the book identifies six types of crises confronted by education leaders and offers valuable insights and solutions for each. Features include:

  • Guidance to recognize the six types of education initiative crises and strategies for resolution tailored to each type
  • 24 unique tools to positively impact challenges, such as the “Triage Tool” to prioritize crisis intervention and the “Don’t Swamp the Boat” tool to explore the complement of initiatives in your school
  • Two case studies and real world examples illustrating the application of selected tools across a range of crisis types

Whether you’re an education leader dealing with a program or initiative in crisis or proactively looking to prevent a crisis, Fixing Education Initiatives in Crisis provides practical solutions to navigate troubled initiatives and guidance for the design and implementation of healthy initiatives that yield predictable results.

List of Tools and Templates
When Crisis Strikes
Crisis Overview
Crisis Fix #1: Failing to "Get Smart" Crisis
Crisis Fix #2: Outcomes Crisis
Crisis Fix #3: Attention Span Crisis
Crisis Fix #4: Data Crisis
Crisis Fix #5: When Things Don't Go As Planned (D-GAP) Crisis
Crisis Fix #6: Sustaining & Scaling Crises
Final Fix: Evaluative Thinking
Appendix 1: Implementation Tools and Templates

We've all seen good ideas, programs, and initiatives fail. What if the problem was not the program, but our skill in dealing with the crises that occurred as the program was implemented? I wish I had had this book years ago to learn the skills necessary to address the realities and challenges of implementation.

Douglas Fisher
Professor, San Diego State University

When it comes to school initiatives there is no lack of good ideas.  What is lacking is quality implementation.  Too often we don’t realize this until we’re well into the program and not getting the results we expected.  If that’s your situation, this is the book for you.  Jim Marshall tells you what to do when implementation isn’t working, so you can quickly turn things around and achieve the positive impact you seek.

Jim Knight
Author, Instructional Coaching: A Partnership Approach to Improving Instruction, Co-Founder, Instructional Coaching Group

Jim Marshall’s extensive experience and deep wisdom take the lead in this powerful book. With helpful research and theory Marshall has created a singular handbook that leads us to the clear analysis and practical action steps we need in those sometimes shaky, critical mid-initiative or mid-project moments that we all experience.

Peggy O'Brien
Director of Education, Folger Shakespeare Library

Educational leaders have the benefit and the burden of leading change that will positively impact our scholars. Fortunately, Dr. Jim Marshall provides the foundational concepts we need to boldly tackle the multi-faceted demands of our work. Creatively written in a how-to format, this is a must-add to the school leaders’ toolbox. It will revolutionize your practice and transform your organizational outcomes. 

Helen V. Griffith
Superintendent, The Preuss School UC San Diego

Marshall offers a refreshing perspective born from real-world experiences. This book isn't just for those in crisis mode; it's a guide for all educational leaders seeking to understand, anticipate, and mitigate the challenges inherent in any initiative. Emphasizing the power of leveraging strengths amidst challenges, Marshall provides a practical and valuable roadmap for overcoming obstacles and achieving impact.

Jamie Annunzio Myers
Chief Operating officer/SVP, Education, PBS SoCal

Working in education is complex and often unpredictable. When surprises happen and things go awry, Jim Marshall’s practical guidance provides a path forward.  With it, you’ll be able to navigate from a position of strength, not defense, leveraging your data and expertise with confidence.

Laura G Hunter
Chief Operating Officer & Kuen Station Manager, Utah Education Network

Fixing Education Initiatives in Crisis is a powerful guide for anyone seeking practical solutions to the challenges facing education today. Dr. Marshall’s wealth of experience shines through as he provides actionable tools to tackle complex problems. His strategic approach, grounded in measurable outcomes, is a beacon for leaders navigating the ever-evolving educational landscape to drive meaningful change and foster student success.

Sean Hauze
Senior Director, Instructional Technology Services

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