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ERIC Number: ED459300
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Oct
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-0-937846-15-5
Leadership for Student Learning: Urban School Leadership--Different in Kind and Degree.
Cuban, Larry
This essay argues that the key assumptions driving standards-based school reform and accountability testing are inapplicable to urban schools, suggesting that tasks facing urban school leaders differ both in magnitude and kind from those found in other school districts. The current all-purpose reform solutions treat all schools as the same while neglecting the vital linkages between cities, their schools, and the country's economic and social well-being. The essay discusses how to learn from the past, focusing on efforts to copy successful businesses and on the confusion between setting standards and standardization in educational reform. It examines the current reform agenda, which involves expecting more from superintendents and changing systems of governance. It dispels three common urban myths (big city school districts are ungovernable, the superintendency is a revolving door that brings in and tosses out school leaders one after the other, and schools alone can improve the chances of poor children). The essay concludes with an agenda for action, highlighting the importance of urban leaders in school reform and discussing the tough tasks ahead for those who believe in the civic and moral obligations that accompany the improvement of both cities and schools. (Contains 11 references.) (SM)
Institute for Educational Leadership, 1001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 310, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-822-8405; Fax: 202-872-4050; e-mail: For full text:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Carnegie Corp. of New York, NY.; Metropolitan Life Foundation.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.; UPS Foundation, Inc., Greenwich, CT.
Authoring Institution: Institute for Educational Leadership, Washington, DC.