When you want to succeed in the tough landscape of urban schools, you need more than just passion, faith in your own ability, and a sense of urgency. You need real skills. This book comes to your rescue with practical suggestions, examples of successful practices, ideas to support you and your team, and an inspirational message about how to be a fearless leader in undersupported, under siege big-city schools. Two veterans of urban education provide you with examples of school leaders who have created success against all odds. Drawing from these examples, this practical guide describes how to transform an underperforming school into an oasis of success by: (1) Developing the skills of fearless leadership and building a team committed to improvement; (2) Recasting yourself as an architect of your school's destiny, creating the supports that encourage teachers to believe in themselves and their students, and choosing your route to transformation; and (3) Cultivating a Mediative Learning Community that encourages positive relationships and cordial reciprocity between educators and learners. The authors describe how a leadership approach consisting of affirmation, inspiration, and mediation (aim) can change urban schools from places of oppression to flourishing communities of potential and growth.