ERIC Number: ED336453
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-6
Reference Count: N/A
The Connection between Urban School Reform and Urban Student Populations: Ethnic Composition of Actors in Two Case Studies of School Reform.
Jones, Toni Griego
Results from a study of minority participation and perspectives on two efforts at school reform are reported. Two case studies of different approaches to school district restructuring in urban schools were conducted in Chicago (Illinois) and Milwaukee (Wisconsin) in schools with predominantly Mexican-American populations in the 1989-90 school year. During the study period, the enrollment of Chicago Public Schools was 425,000 students, and that of Milwaukee Public Schools was 90,000 students. Data were collected from the following sources: (1) interviews and observations at both sites; (2) minutes of meetings of school councils, teacher groups, citywide coalitions, and training groups; (3) legislation and press reports; and (4) a teacher survey. The ethnicity of those involved was examined as an aspect of reform efforts. The one common theme in both districts that emerged from all actors in the reform effort was that restructuring efforts should, or could, help students by shifting attention and power closer to the school community. In urban schools where "minorities" are the majority of the population, it would be reasonable to expect that if the local governance councils reflect the schools' student population, the councils' actions would more closely relate to student needs. Ethnicity surfaced as a factor in the following aspects of reform: (1) degree and type of decentralization; (2) role and power of the principal; (3) differences in the backgrounds of teachers and local school councils; and (4) the gap between those involved at the school level and outside the school. A 26-item list of references is included. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Chicago Public Schools IL; Milwaukee Public Schools WI
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).