"Sergiovanni's book gives life and meaning to the words 'lifeworld' and 'systemsworld'--bringing a new and insightful perspective to the discourse on school reform--and challenges school leaders to gain a more holistic view of students and interaction in the teaching-learning process."--Gerald N. Tirozzi, executive director, The National Association of Secondary School Principals "Once again, Sergiovanni has used his remarkable and unique insight to bring clarity to a major challenge of current leadership--the use of standards. He has managed to contextualize the issue of standards, through looking at the 'lifeworld' of schools, in a way no one else has. This is a fresh and thought-provoking take on a subject school leaders must understand."--Paul D. Houston, executive director, American Association of School Administrators This inspiring book calls for leaders who act according to the unique culture, values, and needs of their schools. Tom Sergiovanni examines why this "lifeworld" is so vital to school success and shows how local leadership can make the difference in creating healthy, rigorous schools. He explores the crucial link between school character and school improvement. By building institutional character at the local level, principals, superintendents, and policymakers can not only protect the lifeworld of their schools but also craft an educational system based on layered loyalties and shared accountability.