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Case Studies for Educational Leadership: Solving Administrative Dilemmas

By Stephen F. Midlock

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jan 28, 2010


Case Studies for Educational Leadership gives educational leadership students an opportunity to project themselves into real-life administrative situations and prepare for their future positions in the field. Each case study contained in this practical first edition book asks students to analyze complex problems, consider the moral ramifications of their approach, think on their feet, and ultimately solve the issue at hand.


Appropriate as a supplemental text or a main text to a range of educational leadership courses, this text thoroughly presents the key areas of educational leadership, including instructional leadership; ethics and management; organization and development of curriculum and its alignment with instruction with assessment; supervision of personnel; school community relations and strategic planning; and diversity issues in educational leadership.




  • “Here’s What Happened” features following each case study share the true-life story of a real school administrator and prepare readers for realistic situations.   
  • “Ethical consideration” components within each case study encourage students to reflect upon different approaches to solving the case studies, as well as the possible moral ramifications of each decision. 
  • Covers multiple administrative positions, such as department chair, assistant principal, principal and central office administrator, preparing readers for a range of educational leadership positions.  
  • ISLLC standards alignment and cross-reference charts allow readers to draw parallels between standards and case studies.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE – Using Case Studies and ISLLC Standards to Teach Future Educational Leaders

An Explanation of the ISLLC Standards

Organization of Case Studies by ISLLC Standard

How to Use the Case Studies in This Book


Spontaneous Response

Jigsaw Activity

Non-linguistic Activity

Intent of the Case Studies


CHAPTER TWO - Instructional Leadership

2-1. An All-Day Field Trip Impacts the Instructional Program (ISLLC Standard 2)

2-2. Kindergarten and the Twins: What Is Our Vision for Learning? (ISLLC  Standard 1)

2-3. The High School Math Department: Are We Serving All Stakeholders? (ISLLC Standard 1)

2-4. Parents’ Agreement – No Data Means “Get Rid of It!”  (ISLLC Standard 3)

2-5. The Physical Education Dress Code and Its Fairness to All Students (ISLLC

 Standard 5)

2-6. The Social Studies Teacher and Ethical Behavior (ISLLC Standard 5)

2-7. State Tests and Ethics  (ISLLC Standard 6)

2-8. The Uncompromising Math Teacher (ISLLC Standard 3)

2-9. The Walkout and Related Politics (ISLLC  Standard 6)




CHAPTER THREE - Ethics and Management

3-1. An Alleged Steroid User (ISLLC Standard 6)

3-2 .Another Assistant Superintendent Falsely Accuses One of Your Staff (ISLLC

Standard 5)

3-3. A Board Member’s Son in a Fight (ISLLC Standard 3)

3-4. Cell Phones, a Bomb Threat, and a Building Evacuation (ISLLC Standard 3)

3-5. Differing Philosophies about Discipline (ISLLC Standard 5)

3-6. The Electricity Goes Out During the School Day: How to Manage This Situation. (ISLLC Standard 3)

3-7. Ethics and the Principal’s Decision  (ISLLC Standard 5)

3-8. Misuse of the RtI Initiative (ISLLC Standard 6)

3-9. A Murder Occurs a Block Away From the School: Maintaining a Safe Environment. (ISLLC Standard 3)

3-10. Office Politics – How Does a Conscientious Administrator Deal With Them and Still Maintain a Vision for Learning? -  (ISLLC Standard 1)

3-11. The Principal Has to Develop a Plan For Disposing of an Oil Storage Tank: Legalities and Politics (ISLLC    Standard 6)

3-12. The Principal Has Turned the Faculty against You: an Internal Public Relations Situation (ISLLC Standard 4)

3-13 .The Superintendent Is Using District Funds to Fix a District Car That He is Going to Buy: What Is the Ethical Course of Action?(ISLLC Standard 5)

3-14.  A Tornado Strikes at Night –Should I Leave my Family to Check on the Building? (ISLLC Standard 3)

3-15. Trying to Implement a “Zero-Based Budget” to your Department Chairs (ISLLC Standard 3)


CHAPTER FOUR - Organization and Development of Curriculum

4-1. Evaluating the Reading Curriculum Revision (ISLLC Standard 1)

4-2. Kindergarten Curriculum Revision: Promoting an Effective Learning Environment Amid Politics (ISLLC Standard 3

4-3. The Life Skills Curriculum: Student Learning vs. Board Politics (ISLLC Standard 3)

 4-4. The Math Curriculum Council: Professional Advancement vs. What’s Best for Kids  (ISLLC Standard 2)

4-5. Middle School Philosophy and Personal Beliefs Impact Student Learning Opportunities (ISLLC Standard 3)

4-6. The Mosquito Unit: When Ownership Takes Precedence Over Student Learning (ISLLC Standard 2)

4-7. Selecting a New Reading Series: Let’s Maintain a Focus! (ISLLC Standard 1)

4-8. Selling a New Assessment Initiative to Your Department: It’s all about Student Learning! (ISLLC Standard 2)

4-9. The Speech Teacher’s Personal Agenda vs. the Instructional Program Goals (ISLLC Standard 3)


CHAPTER FIVE - Supervision of Personnel

5-1. Assignment of Classrooms to Benefit a New Teacher (ISLLC Standard 5)

5-2. The Dynamic Reading Program Equals a Recipe for Success? (ISLLC Standard 2)

5-3. The First Year Teacher and the Supervision Process (ISLLC Standard 2)

5-4. Four Internal Candidates Don’t Get the Administrative Job (ISLLC Standard 6)

5-5. Jake’s Classroom Management (ISLLC Standard 2)

5-6 The Outdoor Education Program That Goes Bad (ISLLC Standard 6)

5-7. The Move from Associate Chair to Department Chair: How to Evaluate My Predecessor (ISLLC Standard 3)

5-8. A New Assistant Superintendent Is Chosen over An Internal Candidate (ISLLC Standard 3)

5-9. The Science Teachers’ Seniority vs. the Instructional Program (ISLLC Standard 5)


CHAPTER SIX - School Community Relations & Strategic Planning

6-1. The Band Boosters and a Trailer: A School Community Relations Dilemma (ISLLC Standard 4)

6-2. The Central Office Snitch (ISLLC Standard 3)

6-3 Crisis Management – A Student Fatality (ISLLC Standard 6)

6-4. The Dumpster Incident: Internal and External Public Relations (ISLLC Standard 6)

6-5. Graduating Students’ Families Get into a Fight in the School Parking Lot (ISLLC Standard 4)

6-6. Let My Son Graduate even though He Failed Two Courses (ISLLC Standard 5)

6-7. Local Florist Lodges a Complaint about the Date of the Prom (ISLLC Standard 4)

6-8. Media Scoops and the School’s Public Image (ISLLC Standard 4)

6-9.  A Parent Raises a Concern about the Technology Curriculum (ISLLC Standard 4)

6-10. The Principal Is Directed to Ban the Local Newspaper Editor from the School (ISLLC Standard 4)

6-11. Students against Drinking and Driving: A Good Idea Goes Bad (ISLLC Standard 3)

6-12. Students’ Drinking in Front of the School and the Political Implications (ISLLC Standard 6)

6-13. A Student Visa – a Neighboring District Charges Tuition (ISLLC Standard 5)


CHAPTER SEVEN - Diversity Issues in Educational Leadership

7-1. Bilingual Issues (ISLLC Standard 4)

7-2. The Blind ELL Student: Who’s Responsible? (ISLLC Standard 2)

7-3. Communication with a Stubborn Superintendent (ISLLC Standard 6)

7-4. Faculty Issues Related to Gender (ISLLC Standard 5)

7-5. Homosexuality Issues and a Board Meeting  (ISLLC Standard 5)

7-6. Placement in the Gifted Program? (ISLLC Standard 3)

7-7. Pride and Snobbery Between School Districts (ISLLC Standard 5)


CHAPTER EIGHT – Here’s What Happened

Chapter Two Case Studies

Chapter Three Case Studies

Chapter Four Case Studies

Chapter Five Case Studies

Chapter Six Case Studies

Chapter Seven Case Studies


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Case Studies for Educational Leadership: Solving Administrative Dilemmas

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