The Missing Link in School Reform

In trying to improve American public schools, educators, policymakers, and philanthropists are overselling the role of the highly skilled individual teacher and undervaluing the benefits that come from teacher collaborations that strengthen skills, competence, and a school’s overall social capital.

How to Reform Public Schools


  • Power of the Individual: Reform efforts are focused on improving the capabilities of the individual teacher.
  • Wisdom of the Outsider: Bring in outside experts—or even novices—to solve problems.
  • Principal as Instructional Leader: The principal is the leader of school instructional reform.


  • The Power of the Collective: The teaching staff is engaged in school reform collectively.
  • Reform from Within: Trust and meaningful communication among teachers are the bases of true reform efforts.
  • Principal as Protector: The principal supports teacher reform efforts through building external relations.

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The Missing Link in School Reform