Alexandria, VA (08/01/2012)—ASCD is pleased to announce the release of Aim High, Achieve More: How to Transform Urban Schools Through Fearless Leadership, a practical and inspiring new book by school renewal experts Yvette Jackson and Veronica McDermott.

In this book, readers will learn how to prepare themselves and their leadership teams to transform under-resourced and overburdened schools into flourishing learning communities. By presenting valuable insights from those who have been there and offering rich opportunities for reflection and development, Aim High, Achieve More builds a clear path to accomplishing this crucial goal and reconnecting students with their “birthright of a high-quality education.”

Aim High, Achieve More delves into key considerations—What is fearless leading? To what are fearless leaders committed? Why are fearless leaders needed?—and offers activities that help leadership teams create roadmaps for lasting change.

On the pages of this book, Jackson and McDermott empower readers to adopt a leadership approach consisting of affirmation, inspiration, and mediation and to form and engage teams of key stakeholders who will lead the transformation.

In addition to helping education leaders build confidence, this guidebook helps readers

Evaluate their current school situation by tapping into the perspectives of a leadership team comprising students and other key stakeholders.
Re-author their school’s reality in terms that recognize the potential that exists in the school and its community.
Nurture the intellectual performances of urban students and educators.
Remove obsolete institutional practices that prevent schools from becoming enriching, supporting, and creative communities.

“Courageous leadership and bold actions are essential components of any education institution’s successful transformation,” said ASCD Executive Director and CEO Gene R. Carter. “Aim High, Achieve More provides the structure that can support real change, helping leaders and their teams develop and move fearlessly down individualized paths to success.”

About the Authors
Yvette Jackson is internationally recognized for her work in assessing and capitalizing on the learning potential of disenfranchised students, and she is a leading expert in the cognitive mediation theory of Dr. Reuven Feuerstein. As director of gifted programs for New York City Public Schools, Dr. Jackson designed the New York City Gifted Programs Framework. She later served as the executive director of instruction and professional development for the New York City Public Schools. She is currently chief executive officer of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, founded at the College Board and Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Jackson’s research in cognitive development and the effect of neurobiology and culture on intellectual development, learning, and achievement is reflected in her book The Pedagogy of Confidence: Inspiring High Intellectual Performances in Urban Schools, published by Teachers College Press.

Veronica McDermott began her career in the public schools of Long Island, N.Y., in 1970, and has worked in numerous education roles since, including superintendent of schools, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, principal, district director, dean, and classroom teacher. She has taught, presented, and consulted for school districts, colleges and universities, and national and international organizations, and she has written for many national and local publications. Dr. McDermott continues to focus her efforts on school transformation, social justice, and equity through her work as regional director with the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education.

For more information about ASCD, visit To learn more about our books program or to read sample chapters from past publications, visit

Contact Information
Julia Liapidova, communications specialist, 1-703-575-5607 or by e-mail.
Stephen Wakefield, communications director, 1-703-575-5764 or by e-mail.

ASCD is the global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner. Comprising 150,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, professors, and advocates from more than 145 countries—the ASCD community also includes 58 affiliate organizations. The nonprofit’s diverse, nonpartisan membership is its greatest strength, projecting a powerful, unified voice to decision makers around the world. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit

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