About this episode
AJ Crabill has been on a Leader Chat before, but based on the quality of our last conversation with him, and his new book, we simply had to have him back. AJ’s understanding of school board governance is beyond reproach. His new book, Great on Their Behalf, is a must-read for any school or district leader. School boards have the potential to focus their efforts on students, and if they shed the temptation to focus on adult issues, great things can happen.
You don’t have to lead alone. Watch the Leader Chat every Wednesday. Learn about the Leadership Circle to find out how.
Improving student outcomes is Airick Journey Crabill’s relentless focus. His passion to improve student outcomes is rooted in his past: raised in and out of foster care, he attended eleven schools before graduating. Guided by the idea that student outcomes don’t change until adult behaviors change and drawing on his intimate familiarity with the triumphs and terrors of America’s safety nets for children, AJ has devoted much of his adult life to advocating for the well-being of the United States’ most vulnerable youth. AJ currently serves as the Conservator at DeSoto (TX) Independent School District. Under his guidance, DeSoto ISD made double digit literacy gains and improved from having F ratings in academics, finance, and governance to all A and B ratings; Education Faculty at the Leadership Institution of Nevada where he trains cohorts of aspiring principals and superintendents; Collaborator with the Effective School Boards Initiative, a nationwide school board research consortium; and National Director of Governance at the Council of the Great City Schools in Washington, DC where he leads school board supports for the nation’s largest urban school systems. He served as Deputy Commissioner at the Texas Education Agency and he spearheaded reforms as board chair of Kansas City (MO) Public Schools that doubled the percentage of students who are literate and numerate and, eventually, led KCPS to full accreditation for the first time in decades. Crabill received the Education Commission of the State’s James Bryant Conant Award, which recognizes extraordinary individual contributions to education.