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It's the Principal of the Thing!

Arthur E. Woznicki (Author)

ISBN: 0-7414-3769-4 ©2007
Price: $17.95
Book Size: 5.5'' x 8.5'' , 318 pages
Category/Subject: EDUCATION / Leadership

If you are concerned about the state of our public schools this book is for you. It’s about the influence principals have on the success or failure of our schools.

This book has been itching and struggling to free itself from the depths of my being. It has finally emerged following years of frustration. Here, I have written about the crucial role principals have in determining the success or failure of our schools. I submit that principals, who today are managers, must become instructional leaders i.e. teachers of teachers or be replaced. It is crucial that we employ only principals who can teach their staffs how to examine, analyze and improve both, the teaching AND learning acts.

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Customer Reviews

  Interested in Public Education? Read This. , 03/29/2007
Reviewer: John Guy LaPlante
Every day we bemoan the failures of our public education. We turn out too many high school graduates who can't multiply 9X9, don't know how to spell Utah or where it is, can't understand a newspaper, can't fill out a job app. Graduates who enter college and right away have to take refreshers in too many subjects. How come? How sad. Arthur Woznicki, a former teacher, principal, and principals' principal in one of our finest public school districts, has figured it out: Principals are not doing their principal job. And that job, he says, is to teach teachers how to teach. He goes on to explain in detail how to teach this. His analysis turns out to be an insightful and enormously important one, with a practical and budget-sensitive solution, plus, best of all, an immediate pay-off for everyone concerned in the educational process, which means everyone interested enough to be reading this review. He says, "We have good pupils, scores of good teachers, and a number of good principals. What is needed is a re-organization and re-direction, based on careful observation and common sense.” This is why his wonderfully timed book, “It's the Principal of the Thing,” is urgent and important reading for all of board members, administrators, principals and teachers, and of course parents and taxpayers. He says, “We have been short-changing our youth and wasting billions.” I agree with him. In these compelling pages of his, we can all find the fix. Reading his book is the first step. Our next step is to back him as he spreads the word. John Guy LaPlante

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  Review of a former colleague , 05/03/2007
Reviewer: Richard Hedrick
As a former teacher, principal and director of personnel, but more importantly a formeer colleague of Art Woznicki in the West Hartford Public Schools, I am delighted but not surprised at the depth of this book. It is well written, insightful and provocative. For those in the category of Messrs. Higgins and Latter, the book must be frightening. For those who emulate Drs. Green and Myers and Ms. Lynn, it should be validation of their beliefs. For those in between, and those I believe should be Mr. Woznicki's target group, it should be a major nudge in the right direction. I have found the book to be not only timely, but very much needed by boards of education, school superintendents and the principals of American schools today. Richard Hedrick Napa Valley, California

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  This book is an important wake-up call! , 12/28/2007
Reviewer: Angela Thomas
More and more cities are realizing the impact of reading and studying one book as a community. It's the Principal of the Thing! could easily serve as this selection. I met Art Woznicki during his book signing at a local bookstore. Since the school system of West Hartford has always had an excellent reputation, I decided to purchase and read the book written by the one who actually supervised West Hartford's principals. Once I began reading, I couldn't put the book down. I absolutely love the format of the book...writing it as a "story" makes it more meaningful for me, not to mention easier to read. The book spins a tale of an ineffective teacher working in schools with ineffective and effective principals. The impact of true instructional leadership to fine-tune teaching practices, as well as to "weed-out" those who are incompetent, is evident in this book. I have learned a lot by reading Dr. Myer's verbal interactions with her staff. I also appreciate how effective strategies, theories, research, etc. are included within the context of the "story", such as the principals' coaching objective, an actual script tape analysis, the coaching process in action, Multiple Intelligences, Bloom's Taxonomy, patterns of behavior, etc. I am going to read this book again to identify areas for further study, and to notate Dr. Myer's questioning techniques and other patterns of verbal interaction, in order that I can begin to incorporate them within my staff interactions. It is clear that effective coaching is key and the leader of the school must be a well-trained instructional leader. In order for this to happen, all of the other elements i.e., Boards of Education, State Departments of Education, College & University teacher training programs, legislation, the community, etc. must be informed and aligned. As I reflect upon my 34 years in education as teacher and adminstrator, the voice of this book screams through loud and IS the Principal of the Thing!

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  The Teachers' Teacher. , 03/04/2008
Reviewer: Gerald Sandler
Art Woznicki was my colleague and supervisor for many years. We went through worshop training together and had ample opportunity to learn, reflect, and grow; research came alive as we put it into practice. During my twenty-one years in the principalship and my involvement and interaction with three faculties, I came to recognize Art Woznicki as a teacher of princiipals who expected us to be teachers of teachers. And as the saying goes, he "put his money where his mouth was." His philosophy and practice guided us toward excellence. He was our mentor and, by his modeling, showed us how to bring our teachers to greater success with their students. Art's book is the embodiment of all he has been as an educational leader. While others may see IT'S THE PRINCIPAL OF THE THING as a stinging critique of ineffectual educators through the medium of a tale or fable, I see it as Art's legacy to the education establishment and American public. I see it as a wake-up call to see past politics, school budgets, referenda, merit pay plans, and other diversions, and concentrate on where the real focus should be: THE PRINCIPAL. I recommend this book to everone who cares about children and their success in life; educators who want to raise the level of American education; and the general public who are tired of reading about the real or imagined failures of American education.

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  Solid Education Produces Great Educator , 10/24/2008
Reviewer: Peter Kenny
It's a privilege and a pleasure for me to endorse my college classmate and suitemate Art Woznicki's superb treatise, "It's the Principal of the Thing!" I vividly recall Spring 1954 when Art carefully decided that his major at Fordham College would be English. This decision, along with the opportunity to instruct while serving in the US Army after graduating in 1956, eventually led to his career as a teacher and ultimately his esteemed position as Director of Instruction in the West Hartford School System. His "Principal" book reflects his devotion to excellence and pride in his profession. I, too, have been involved in education - in a different sphere. Following 20 years as an Army lawyer (JAG), I have acted as a Seminar Director for Virginia Continuing Legal Education for close to 30 years. We serve the post-law school educational needs of Virginia lawyers. Our message to our speakers is to provide sound, practical advice to registrants during their presentations, so that our attendees go away feeling they have learned (i.e., gained) something. As I see it, that's the purpose of Art's book: Principals, as leaders, must ensure that their teachers provide meaningful information to their students. He has provided a roadmap for them. I commend Art for culminating his lifetime educational endeavors with an extraordinary publication. Peter J. Kenny Virginia Continuing Legal Education Charlottesville, VA I commend Art for culminating

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