Overcoming Under-performance and Mediocrity in America’s Public Schools  by Larry Aronstein

I will be writing a series of blogs on this School Leadership website for the next several months that offer tried and tested strategies that have transformed classroom instruction, school culture, and parent engagement, resulting in dramatically raising student achievement in public schools. These fixes have been created and successfully used in the schools and districts in which I have served as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent for 46 years. My experiences ranged from high poverty to high wealth school communities. My blogs will be designed to serve as a professional guide, a set of practical tools, to empower school communities anywhere in America.

It is my intention to craft these blogs in a practical, clear, concise and descriptive manner. I invite readers to be active participants through their comments by elaborating upon, disagreeing with, offering relevant examples of, and/or bearing witness to my strategies. I propose that readers join the group, “Student Achievement: Tried and Tested Ways to Great Results” http://www.schoolleadership20.com/group/student-achievement-tried-a...

I welcome members to post their own blogs as well so we can all learn from one another. One of my guiding principles is that members of learning communities should have the power to build their own capacity, which is their own expertise. The following represents some of the strategies that I’ll be writing about. Please join me in this pursuit.



  1. Assessing the Health of Your School
  2. You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know
  3. Practice Makes Perfect: Creating More Time on Task
  4. Instruction Built Around Thinking Skills
  5. A Climate of High Expectations and Rigor
  6. Building a Plan of Action Based on the Institutional History of the School Community
  7. Beware of Treacherous Tides of Change: The Politics of Change 
  8. Mentoring and Coaching
  9. The Lost Art of Teaching for Understanding
  10. Project-based Learning Enhanced by Technology
  11. Building Students’ Personal Vocabulary and Accelerating Reading Speed
  12. Differentiated Instruction: A Practical Approach


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