Trust in Schools
A Core Resource for Improvement
Publication Year: 2002
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Series Information
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About the Authors
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The Chicago School Reform Act of 1988 remains one of the most far-reaching efforts at school reorganization ever attempted. At a time when national attention was building around school restructuring to improve student learning, Chicago chose a particularly...
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Part I: Framing Themes and Illuminating Theory
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Chapter 1: The Social Foundations of Schooling: An Overlooked Dimension for Improvement
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Almost daily, some major conference, research report, or pronouncement from an important public official calls for fundamental change in schooling in the United States. A casual inspection of most any issue of Education Week may well leave the...
Chapter 2: Relational Trust
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Our interests in the role of social trust in improving schools emerged out of field observations in Chicago elementary schools as they engaged in a decentralization reform. Comments about trust arose frequently as school leaders sought to explain...
Part II: Relational Trust in Three Urban School Communities
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As noted in chapter 1, our interest in relational trust grew out of an intensive field study in the early 1990s of Chicago's school decentralization reform. This study focused on the micropolitical dynamics of twelve elementary school communities, the local forces that shaped...
Chapter 3: Ridgeway Elementary School: The Costs of Conflicted Leadership
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Ridgeway Elementary School is located in the northeast section of Chicago. The neighboring community had been in transition for some time. Beginning in the 1950s, an influx of newcomers initially from Appalachia and the rural South and later from...
Chapter 4: Thomas Elementary School: Cultural Diversity as an Obstacle to Trust
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Thomas Elementary School is located in a neighborhood that has been a port of entry for Mexican immigrants for the past thirty years. Beginning in the 1980s, immigrants came increasingly from more rural and impoverished areas of Mexico. Most of...
Chapter 5: Holiday Elementary School: Dedicated to the Welfare of the Children
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In a well-known book, There Are No Children Here, Alex Kotlowitz chronicled the experiences of two brothers, their family, and friends who lived in a public housing project on Chicago's west side.1 A poignant episode describes the family's turmoil when the Department...
Part III: Effects and Implications
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We concluded from our field-based study of school change in Chicago that the relational dynamics in each school community significantly influenced whether meaningful improvement efforts emerged. The cases presented in part II analyze how these dynamics actually...
Chapter 6: Relational Trust and Improving Academic Achievement
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Key to evaluating a claim about the importance of relational trust for school improvement is the ability to reliably measure differences in this organizational property across school communities and over time. Developing measures of this sort entails a...
Chapter 7: Analytic and Policy Implications for School Reform
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Throughout this book we have probed the nature of relational trust in urban elementary school communities. We have described how trust is rooted in the microdynamics of day-to-day social interactions among teachers, principals, and parents and the...
Appendix A: Description of the Field Study
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The three cases presented in this book were drawn from a larger field study involving intensive work in twelve elementary schools over a three-year period. The design consisted of interviews, school and classroom observations, focus groups, and...
Appendix B: Measures and Other Variables Used
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All of the organizational measures used in our research were derived through Rasch Rating Scale Analysis (Wright and Masters 1982). This method involves an item response latent trait model. Survey items are used to define a measure based on the...
Appendix C: Analysis Details
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We conducted a three-level hierarchical linear model (HLM) analysis that decomposes the variability in teachers' survey responses from the Consortium's 1997 teacher survey into measurement error, variation among teachers within schools, and between...
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Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2002
Series Title: American Sociological Association Rose Series