Book Review

Closing the Leadership Gap: How District and University Partnerships Shape Effective School Leaders

by Teresa N. Miller, Mary E. Devin and Robert J. Shoop, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 2007, 164 pp. with index, $27.95 softcover

Preparing the next generation of school leaders requires an active partnership between current school leaders and the university preparation system.

In Closing the Leadership Gap: How District and University Partnerships Shape Effective School Leaders, three veteran educational leaders — Teresa Miller, a principal; Mary Devin, a superintendent; and Robert Shoop, a school administrator and program evaluator — present a framework for using the strengths of the applied and theoretical worlds to prepare future school leaders.

Based upon a successful partnership between these Kansas school leaders and Kansas State University, Miller, Devin and Shoop chronicle the challenges that must be addressed by creative leaders seeking to leverage the assets of both K-12 and higher-education institutions. They build a strong case for collaborative efforts and identify the challenges that often block the well-intended efforts of both school and university leaders trying to craft effective preparation programs.

These veteran educators provide a practical recap for using leadership theory to inform school leadership practice, identifying the form and process for school-university collaboration that can be applied in a variety of settings. Closing the Leadership Gap defines a collaborative framework for the practitioner, the principal, the superintendent and the professor to work together to prepare school leaders who can thrive in the evolving world of standards, measurement and accountability.

Superintendents and university professors will accelerate their collaborative efforts to develop the next generation of school leaders by knowing and applying the lessons contained in Closing the Leadership Gap.

Reviewed by Brian L. Benzel, vice president of finance and administration, Whitworth University, Spokane, Wash.