Book Reviews

The Strategic School: Making the Most of People, Time, and Money

by Karen Hawley Miles and Stephen Frank, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 2008, 208 pp., $33.95 hardcover

Karen Hawley Miles and Stephen Frank’s book The Strategic School: Making the Most of People, Time, and Money focuses on practical, concrete advice and tools for exploring and securing the link between purposeful resource allocation and academic achievement.

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The main premise of the book focuses on changing our thinking from how much we need to bring about positive academic change for students and schools to strategically reorganize school resources to support instructional and performance goals. Of special interest is the book’s inclusion of specific and practical worksheets that can be tailored to one’s particular needs.

The Strategic School details the primary differences between typical schools and strategic schools and illustrates the importance of these differences in case studies that cement the relationship of applying their guiding principles to the positive outcomes for strategic schools. The final section introduces tools for implementing the strategies and covers grouping students and assigning teachers, crafting a master schedule and strategically improving teaching quality.

Given the current economic climate, Miles and Frank’s practical guide for using limited resources in a more effective manner might be more timely than ever. While new building principals would benefit greatly from this book as they develop their frameworks as instructional leaders, all levels of administrators can benefit from refining existing practices.

Reviewed by Lane B. Mills, associate professor of educational leadership, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.