Leadership Case

Leadership Case

From the perspective of a consultant, review the following case. Apply theories and best practices from the Leadership Theory and Practice, and Leaders and Values courses (see source list for these two courses attached). Based on the theory or best practice you articulate, what would you as consultant recommend? (I am looking for you to apply the principle(s) logically and directly to the situation.) There has been a change in the leadership at Rydell High School and a new principle took over the reins in the last school year. The leader, who I will call Mr. Abbott, took over a position that had been held by an already ineffective leader whom I will call Mr. Banks. As you may know about public schools, the principal is over the entire staff of teachers and administrators but really they have no power when it comes to a ?necessary ending? for staff who are not doing their job. They are expected to build the culture, rally the troops, discipline the kids, ensure learning is taking place, meet the state and local requirements, and all of this on a broken education budget. In other words, they have few tools and no money. School systems work like this: money is brought in for the district when kids actually attend school. This particular school is quite diverse so many kids represented come from difficult backgrounds with little parental involvement, lack of finances, lack of role models and motivation, etc. Many of these kids are likely to drop out once they turn 18 and when they do the school district loses money. Because of this, schools are in essence instructed to not be so hard on kids. When teachers have problems with students, they have little or no incentive to deal with the issue by involving administration. Often their efforts are a waste of time and kids are not required to stay within the ?stated? rules. They are being ?coddled? by parents, teachers, and administration which is a bigger problem in our culture ? just watch the news these days. So, one issue is that middle management (associate principals, counselors, etc) do not have the backing of Mr. Abbott because either he does not feel he can enforce the rules or because he is afraid to enforce the rules. Whether it is the dress code, tardies, phones and ear buds being used during school, or student attitudes toward teachers?.they have rules but few are enforced sending staff moral on a continuing downhill plunge. Teachers are their own island behind the hallway doors. The second issue is Mr. Abbot spends a lot of time trying to roll out new programs that he is sure will lead to better learning, but these staff is trying to teach kids that are way behind these new tasks are a joke to the team (and I use that word loosely). It is like trying to gulp water out of a fast running faucet ? it?s a mess. The problem is staff are overworked ? they have had so many new tasks added to their job in the past 5 years that they spend their time figuring out how to check the list of tasks off rather than spending their time preparing for class. A little known fact, teachers work a lot of hours and do not get paid enough even with the 2 month summer break. I know teachers who arrive at 7:30am and spend hours after 4pm working with no compensation. As with many organizations, the same teachers are asked to pick up much of the slack because they care and want to see the kids and school succeed. They are often asked to attend training in the summer that they are not paid for – it is not in their contract and administration has nothing to offer in return for their time. As you can imagine, this school is not working as a team. There are many teachers who ?checked out? long ago but there are no consequences. Mr. Banks (past leader) was a master at avoiding confrontation which is the equivalent of having a house but not fixing it or maintaining the integrity; slowly the house is crumbling under the elements. Mr. Abbott (new leader) is nice and has many ideas but his lack of leadership has not brought the much needed boundaries and stability that staff were looking forward to when he came. It is status quo and my guess is Mr. Abbott does not know how to change the culture or rally his team toward success. Since this is only a 1 page assignment please have a substantial answer related to the theory and practices in the sources rather than an obvious restatement of the case.


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