The Balanced Scorecard for Schools

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“How do we know what’s a good school, and how do we tell schools the ways they can become better? In education there is a deep-rooted instinct to look at what is closest to hand and easiest to see. It may not be the best place to look, but it is where there are familiar questions and answers. This book takes you on a journey through the many places that matter for school success, and it shows how we can make them visible to help students learn better, teachers to teach better and schools to become more effective.”

– Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General, OECD Paris

About the Author

With over 40 years of professional involvement in school education and assessment to the cause of achieving authentic, fair and balanced school evaluation and improvement, Peter Adams is focussed on supporting school improvement but clearly understands that schools face many challenges and must take control of the pace and direction of change. He uses a vast international evidence base to measure school performance against global best practice, so schools can see how they compare with the best, and can learn from the best.


"Peter Adams’ book is deceptively simple. It’s based on an enormous amount of research and deals with difficult subjects. But the author very wisely goes into the essentials and explains the complexity of the topics in a very clear and direct way. As in many things in life, in education there is no ‘silver bullet’ to solve educational issues. We need hard work, leadership, a good curriculum, a focus on student learning, knowledge and skills and sound assessment. We need it all! And this book deals with it all."

– Professor Nuno Crato,
Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the ISEG Lisbon School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon and former Minister of Education and Science, Portugal (2011 – 2015)

"Internationally respected educationalist Peter Adams applies his years of experience and expertise in the field of education to produce a survey encapsulating a range of educational research – The Balanced Scorecard for Schools. His book includes a variety of topics that will be of great interest to educators and school leaders, and will no doubt support schools around the world in their work to improve the educational outcomes of students. Reflecting an evidence base of over 2,000 items, and Peter’s 40 years of experience at the highest levels of education and policy, this is an important addition to any educator’s collection. I recommend this book to anyone seeking impactful, relevant evidence for improving school effectiveness."

– Dr Geoff Newcombe,
CEO, Association of Independent Schools NSW, Australia

"Peter Adams has built a powerful bridge for educators with his book by melding a constructive framework for school-based priorities and activities with the discipline of a data-driven approach to school improvement. Ever cognisant of the centrality of student-centred instruction, his synthesis of research and practice gives every educator the evidence-based focus on the key functions of schooling that need regular measurement and interpretation to ensure that resources and effort are effectively and efficiently directed to maximise outcomes for students."

– Dr Macke Raymond,
Director, CREDO at Stanford University

"The Balanced Scorecard for Schools is compelling. It lays out with the authority of international benchmarking how schools can become high performing learning organisations by embracing an expanded view of excellence in teaching and learning, adopting rigorous self-evaluation and activating powerful school improvement strategies. It delivers an inspiring vision of the future of schools high performing learning organisations – but more than that, it delivers a way of getting there."

– Anthony Mackay,
President and CEO,
National Centre on Education & the Economy (NCEE), Washington DC

"Such a clear, concise and engaging account of the nature of schools, the complex environment each operates within, contested matters where opinions differ on what makes a good school and what needs to be done to improve a school. Adams has provided us with a fresh and frank guide that enables those schools and those working for schools to reclaim the school improvement agenda in a balanced, comprehensive, evidence-based way – brilliant!"

– Anthony Mackay,
Dr Phil Lambert,
Adjunct Professor University of Sydney and Nanjing Normal University

"This book presents a unique approach to school evaluation. First, it gives and international perspective to what we consider a good practice in education. Second, it is evidence-driven. Third, it focuses on approaches that can be applicable in every school. It is definitely worth reading for those who look for a comprehensive approach to evaluate and improve learning and teaching in their schools."

– Dr Maciej Jakubowski,
President, The Evidence Institute,
Warsaw and former Deputy-Minister of Education, Poland