Book Review

Moving Up! A Guidebook for Women in Educational Administration

by Judith Thompson Witmer, Rowman and Littlefield Education, Lanham, Md., 2006, 412 pp., $39.95 softcover

Although this book addresses women, it can be equally helpful to men aspiring to careers in educational leadership. The first chapter alone helps put the question into focus for both genders: Do I want to pursue educational administration or not?

The second edition of Moving Up! A Guidebook for Women in Educational Administration (co-published with AASA) helps to answer the question.

A former school administrator, Judith Witmer teaches at Penn State University and manages projects for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Her writing flows easily, yet maintains an academic purpose.

An especially relevant chapter on systems and functions reviews the education hierarchy with an eye to aspiring administrators' understanding where they will fit and how they can create change. A major point of the book is that while women's participatory management and collaborative styles are highly appropriate for today's institutions, the best results come from merging the leadership strengths of men and women.

Many of the problems both men and women face as administrators are addressed head-on, from where to sit at a meeting, to dealing with difficult people, from how aggressive to be when advocating for a new program to decisions on the homefront.

A 30-page appendix provides a valuable lagniappe — a complete list of professional search firms, sample superintendent's application and contract, and a model action planning worksheet. I wish this book had been available to me when I began my educational administrative career.

Reviewed by Ann S. Keim, retired superintendent, Pequea Valley School District, Kinzers, Pa.