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No Challenge Left Behind

No Challenge Left Behind
Transforming American Education Through Heart and Soul

Foreword by Terrence E. Deal

July 2008 | 192 pages | Corwin
"My shelves are overflowing with books about leadership and education. This one I will keep close by. Any time I begin to doubt the difference schools and leaders can make, I will pick it up, turn to a story and remind myself of why I became an educator."

—From the Foreword by Terrence E. Deal

A collection of influential and insightful articles on educational leadership!

In this resource, retiring executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, former superintendent, and best-selling author Paul D. Houston examines the growing complexity of the educational process and the challenge of transforming learning into an engaging, meaningful—and even joyful—experience. Houston offers an enlightening perspective on global competition, the widening gulf between those who have and those who don't, the explosion of information, and a landscape of competing expectations. This provocative book on the "soul work" of education covers:

Building Blocks of Leadership

Transforming Public Education: Challenges and Solutions

Superintendent of Learning and Education

Lessons From the Road

Foreword by Terrence E. Deal
About the Author
1. The Building Blocks of Leadership
So?...But Not So What!

Finding Our Voice

Breaking Away

Risking Our Significance

Daily Blessings

Living in a Jerry Springer World

The Samurai Superintendent

The Axis of Evil

On Becoming a Hope Pusher

A View From the Top

Life's Lessons From My Dog Holly

2. New Role: Superintendent of Education
Getting It Right

Revenge of the Blob

Nearly Famous

A Critical Position in Critical Condition

On the Penguin March Through Life

Who You Gonna Call?

Building Fields of Dreams

To Lead My Trek, I Pick Scotty

3. Transforming Public Education: Challenges and Solutions
Lessons From Room 411

Burning Thoughts on a Snowy Day

The Seven Deadly Sins of No Child Left Behind

Authentic Accountability

Barking Up the Right Tree

Intelligent Redesign: Reframing the Discussion on High School Reform

Einstein's Brain

Advancing System Leadership

Making Great Time on a Lost Highway

Diverse Learners

Butchers or Tailors

The Bigotry of Expectations

Running Schools Like Business

NCLB: Dreams and Nightmares

4. Lessons From the Road
Bagpipes and a Spot of Grace

Finding the Right Words

Snow Blind

Is Possible?

A Pint of Good Sense

The Road to Hana

Water and Ice

Seeing the Forest and the Trees

Ode to Joy

Negotiating the Past and the Future

The Fantasy and Flow of Vietnam

A Worthy Import From Singapore

Digging My Way to China


“This brilliant distillation of the best thinking from one of the great minds in our field reconnects the reader to his moral purpose while providing the passion, clarity, and pithy language to act on it. This funny, uplifting page-turner inspires profound ‘aha’ moments needed to be a ‘hope-pusher’ internally while effectively advocating for children in the larger community.”

Alan M. Blankstein, President
HOPE Foundation

“To say that Paul Houston has a way with words is the understatement of all times. Readers will not only enjoy this engaging book, they will keep reflecting on the lessons learned from someone who translates the real issues in public education into sublime teachings for life.”

Anne L. Bryant, Executive Director
National School Boards Association

“Paul Houston thinks like a man of action and acts like a man of thought. His writings are packed with the wisdom, grace, and innovation that have made him one of the true leaders in American public education today.”

Daniel H. Pink, Author of A Whole New Mind

“Paul Houston is a crusader for American public education. The articles in this book demonstrate Houston’s commitment to public schools and the students they serve. His fresh ideas provide answers to some of the toughest challenges our schools and school leaders face today.”

Richard Riley, Former U.S. Secretary of Education

"These timeless essays invite us to see public schools and the children we serve in a new light. Houston opens our minds with his powerful thoughts and touches our hearts with his understanding and passion.”

Gail Connelly, Executive Director
National Association of Elementary School Principals

“Paul Houston’s extensive knowledge and expertise of the issues facing today’s busy school administrators is unparalleled. He has been at the forefront of the debate on transforming American education, and he always speaks from the heart and soul. This collection of writings is indeed a testament to Houston's legacy and his deep love and commitment to public education.”

Gerald N. Tirozzi, Executive Director
National Association of Secondary School Principals

Sample Materials & Chapters



Chapter 1

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412968621