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ERIC Number: ED447606
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 48
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Road to School Reform: The Chicago Model.
Crump, Debra
Growing dissatisfaction makes major structural changes requiring legislative, popular initiatives, or the approval of governing authorities possible in U.S. schools. Schools raising academic achievement emphasize high student expectations, classroom management, positive feedback, tailored teaching strategies, professional work environments, and student responsibility. Sparked by the fiscal crisis of the 1970s, Chicago school reform efforts aimed to reverse poor performance, better serve disadvantaged and minority students, and lower drop out rates by employing site-based management (SBM), teacher empowerment, and community involvement. Research reveals decentralized decision making strategies characterized by primary community control, teacher control, or principal control. The Chicago Reform Act devised a set of 10 system-wide goals, required that resources be allocated to the most needy students, and established local school councils (LSCs) comprised of 6 parents, 2 teachers, 2 community residents, a building principal, and, in high schools, a student. LSCs were responsible for identifying improvement and spending plans and for selecting a leading principal. Chicago's school reform efforts involves a greater degree of decentralization of authority than reforms elsewhere. Poor accountability processes limited early program effectiveness, particularly in LSC member training. With a shift from cause to function described by Weber as the "routinization of charisma," the Chicago Reform Act is now producing real improvements, including: (1) implementation of structural elements and program revisions; (2) LSC competence; (3) parental and community ownership; (4) school discretion; (5) placement of new principals; (6) excellent in-service programs; (7) high-quality assistance for LSCs; (8) identifying and assisting poorly performing schools; (9) financial stability created by stronger central administration; (10) lessened violence; and (11) signs of educational innovation and learning. (Contains 119 references.) (TEJ)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A