Since Azerbaijan’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the country has been transitioning from authoritarian to democratic systems of governance across social sectors from health care to law to education. In the education sector in Azerbaijan, intermittent democratic approaches to teaching and learning at the classroom level have taken precedence over changes in school governance, exposing a lack of stable democratic practices at the school-leadership level. Nearly all the innovations over the past 20 years have targeted the teacher and classroom (e.g., student-centered teaching, critical thinking, curricular reform, textbook revisions), however, these efforts tend to be fragmented and tenuous. They depend on committed teachers who may or may not have the ongoing support of school directors. They rarely have recurring mentoring or feedback mechanisms for continual improvement and refi nement. Now, however, the Ministry of Education (MOE) is embarking on a restructuring initiative focusing on school leaders for the fi rst time, with the Minister saying, “we need to take new steps . . . in the education system” (FG 3, emphasis added).