Phillip Schlechty

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Chief Executive Officer, Schlechty Center for Leadership in School Reform
Nominated By: Becky Kennedy

Phillip C. Schlechty is one of the nation’s foremost authors and speakers on school reform and is the founder and chief executive officer of the Schlechty Center for Leadership in School Reform. There are two basic arguments undergirding Schlechty’s work: First, he argues that students do not need to be motivated; rather the task of teachers is to discover the motives students bring with them to school and the classroom and design student work that responds to those motives. Second, he argues that the way schools are organized shapes the extent to which teachers can design engaging experiences for students, and it is the responsibility of all school leaders , including parents, school board members, superintendents, principals, and teachers to “work on the system” at the same time they “work on the work”. Schlechty’s latest book, Leading for Learning: How to Transform Schools into Learning Organizations focuses attention on specific strategies for changing schools so that they are more attuned to the realities of the 21st century. His other books, such as, Creating Great Schools: Six Critical Systems at the Heart of Educational Innovation; Working on the Work: An Action Plan for Teachers, Principals, and Superintendents; Shaking Up the Schoolhouse: How to Support and Sustain Educational Innovation; and Inventing Better Schools: An Action Plan for Educational Reform, are also valuable tools for all school reformers.

Schlechty received his BS, MA, and PhD from Ohio State University and is a former classroom teacher, university professor, and associate dean.

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