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ERIC Number: ED502972
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 386
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: ISBN-978-0-615-21408-5
Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner-City Schools and the New Paternalism
Whitman, David
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
The most exciting innovation in education policy in the last decade is the emergence of highly effective schools in our nation's inner cities, schools where disadvantaged teens make enormous gains in academic achievement. In this book, the author takes readers inside six of these secondary schools and reveals the secret to their success: they are paternalistic. These schools share a paternalistic ethos supporting a common school culture that prizes academic achievement, teach teens how to act according to traditional, middle-class values (e.g., diligence, politeness, cleanliness, and thrift) set and enforce exacting academic standards, and closely supervise student behavior. But unlike paternalistic institutions of the past, these schools are warm, caring places, where teachers and principals form paternal-like bonds with students. In the first two chapters, the author describes how paternalism works and what it is up against. Chapters 3 through 8 supply the school-specific case studies. These include the the American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland, Amistad Academy in New Haven, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago, KIPP Academy in the Bronx, the SEED school in Washington, D.C., and University Park Campus School in Worcester. The two concluding chapters draws lessons and generalizations from the school profiles and examines the prospects for replicating these schools by the hundreds. (Contains 9 tables and 299 endnotes.) [Additional funding for this project was provided by the Searle Freedom Trust. Foreword by Chester E. Finn Jr. and Marci Kanstoroom.]
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation & Institute. 1701 K Street NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-223-5452; Fax: 202-223-9226; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Koret Foundation
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Identifiers - Location: California; Connecticut; District of Columbia; Illinois; Massachusetts; New York (New York)