For some years there has been a series of books, and later videos and articles, on the topic of what takes a company from good to great. What separates the great ones from the rest? The same could be said in almost any type of industry, including public education.
Jim Collins has been probing this question from some years, I studied his work while in college and have followed it since.
Here is his web site: http://www.jimcollins.com/