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Making School Reform Work

New Partnerships for Real Change

edited by Paul Hill and James Harvey

Publication Year: 2004

Bringing change to our public school system is hard, and the current system of education governance creates barriers that can make that reform even harder. Here six authorities in public education discuss how local philanthropies can overcome them even if school districts cannot. Making School Reform Work identifies new institutions that can be created by foundations and civic groups to remedy deficiencies in local school governance, formulate bold reforms, and guarantee implementation. These institutions include incubators for starting new schools, independent data analysis centers, public-private partnerships for recruitment and training of school leaders, and new ways of funding and managing school facilities. The contributors are Sarah Brooks (Carleton College), Michael DeArmond (University of Washington), Marguerite Roza (University of Washington), and Abigail Winger (Milwaukee consultant).

Published by: Brookings Institution Press

Title Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-ix

In 1997, recognizing that big city public school systems were continuing to struggle despite more than a decade of reform initiatives, Brookings and its Brown Center on Education Policy set out to create new, more powerful options for city leaders. ...

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Chapter 1. A Fresh Assessment: Why Reform Initiatives Fail

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pp. 1-7

As the 1990s dawned, the outlook for genuine, deep-rooted school reform had never looked better. Under the leadership of President George H. W. Bush and Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas, the nation’s governors had adopted six impressive National Education Goals. ...

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Chapter 2. The Need for New Institutions

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pp. 8-16

No one can say exactly what configuration of schools and other educational programs will ultimately solve the problem of ineffective public education in big cities. Clearly existing school districts and the schools they provide are not succeeding. And clearly the groups with the most influence over school district policy ...

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Chapter 3. New Capacity for Civic Oversight

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pp. 17-25

Large public school districts are “in” the community but only rarely are they “of” it. Their strength is also their weakness: somehow urban schools stand apart from the other major political and economic forces driving their cities. This independence, something that is supported by the tenure ...

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Chapter 4. Getting out of the Facilities Business

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pp. 26-40

In March 2002, superintendent John Martin from Grandview, Missouri, found his class at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government interrupted by an emergency phone call from his district. The unstable gable wall of a fifty-year-old school was moving more rapidly than anyone had anticipated, ...

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Chapter 5. Incubators for New Schools

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pp. 41-51

Whether launched by school districts, entrepreneurs, religious groups, or charter school advocates, starting a school is no easy task. It is certainly not something that can be done with little thought or planning. Yet traditional approaches to new school start-ups have entailed little more ...

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Chapter 6. Taking Advantage of Teacher Turnover

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pp. 52-64

A national teacher shortage is always just around the corner, but it is not here yet.1 Demand does outstrip the supply of teachers with good training in mathematics, science, and special education, but no overall shortage exists. No Child Left Behind legislation, ...

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Chapter 7. Institutions to Find, Prepare, and Support School Leaders

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pp. 65-82

Most cities report difficulty finding enough good principals: Seattle, for example, openly maintains a policy of rotating twenty-five outstanding principals among its nearly one hundred schools. A 1998 survey by national principals’ associations reported that 50 percent of districts nationally ...

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Chapter 8. Rethinking Data Capacity

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pp. 83-97

Most urban cities lack the strategic information to successfully identify and implement a district reform strategy. Although the term “data-driven decisionmaking” has become a popular idea in school reform, urban districts do not have access to the right data to make the best decisions. ...

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Chapter 9. A School Inspectorate

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pp. 98-114

The language of the British School Inspections Act of 1996 rolls impressively off the page: “Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows. . . .”1 ...

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Chapter 10. Toward a "Third Way"

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pp. 115-122

School districts inevitably focus on the here and now. Constant demands for services from parents and pressures for pay, benefits, and reduced workload from teachers almost always dominate the concerns of school boards and central offices. ...


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pp. 123-124


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pp. 125-129

E-ISBN-13: 9780815796671
E-ISBN-10: 0815796676

Page Count: 129
Publication Year: 2004