In his 2011 ASCD best-seller Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning, author Mike Schmoker described a fresh approach to K–12 teaching built on three core elements: a focused and coherent curriculum; soundly structured lessons; and purposeful reading and writing, or authentic literacy. Now, in Leading with Focus, he shows administrators, principals, and other education leaders how to apply his model to the work of running schools and districts. In this companion to his previous book, Schmoker offers

  • An overview of the case for simple, focused school and district leadership, demonstrating its power for vastly improving the work of teachers and leaders.
  • Examples of life schools and districts that have embraced focused leadership—and the remarkable results for student learning.
  • A practical, flexible, and easy-to-follow implementation guide for ensuring focused leadership in schools and districts.


All students deserve to learn in schools where educators eschew distractions and superfluous activities to concentrate on what s most important. To that end, this book is an essential resource for leaders ready to streamline their practice and focus their efforts on radically improving student learning.