Maple Leaf School is a large English elementary school in Ontario, Canada. Wanda Miller, the principal, has been at the school for 2 years. Upon arrival, she engaged the teachers in a collaborative exercise to determine their school goal (as required by the province). Character education was selected. The district insisted that the school adopt an academic goal instead. Wanda determined that character education would be the school’s primary goal and writing its secondary one. Since then, students’ behavior and the school’s climate have improved markedly, but test scores have declined. This case focuses on the tension between a locally identified, collaboratively determined school focus and conflicting district and provincial demands.
Pollock, K., & Winton, S. (2012). School improvement: A case of competing priorities!Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 15(3), 11–21. doi: 10.1177/1555458912447840