ERIC Number: ED525823
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
The Transformation of Great American School Districts: How Big Cities Are Reshaping Public Education
Boyd, William Lowe, Ed.; Kerchner, Charles Taylor, Ed.; Blyth, Mark, Ed.
Harvard Education Press
In "The Transformation of Great American School Districts", William Lowe Boyd, Charles Taylor Kerchner, and Mark Blyth argue that urban education reform can best be understood as a long process of institutional change, rather than as a series of failed projects. They examine the core assumptions that underlay the Progressive Era model of public education--apolitical governance, local control, professional hierarchy, and the logic of confidence--and show that recent developments in school governance have challenged virtually all of these assumptions. Drawing on case studies of five urban districts--Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York, and Los Angeles--they trace the rise of new ideas and trends that are reshaping the institution of public education: mayoral control, shifting civic coalitions, federal and state involvement, standards-based accountability, and the role of educational outsiders in district administration. Although each city has evolved along a different path, the editors argue that a set of new underlying ideas is being auditioned in the transition to a new institutional model and describe the process by which institutional change occurs. Chapters include: (1) Comparing the Progressive Model and Contemporary Formative Ideas and Trends (Charles Taylor Kerchner, David Menefee-Libey and Laura Steen Mulfinger); (2) Radical Privatization in Philadelphia: The Role of School District Leaders as Policy Entrepreneurs (William Lowe Boyd, Jolley Bruce Christman and Elizabeth Useem); (3) Neo-Progressivism as School Reform in Chicago: Big Change, Little Difference? (Dorothy Shipps); (4) "Plus Ca Change . . .": Mayoral Control in New York City (Norm Fruchter); (5) Mayoral Takeover in the District of Columbia: The Need for a Shake-Up (Jane Hannaway and Michael D. Usdan); (6) The Persistence of Ideas in Los Angeles Public School Reform (David Menefee-Libey, Charles Taylor Kerchner and Laura Steen Mulfinger); and (7) Studying Education Systems with the Tools of Institutional Theory (Mark Blyth). Notes and an index are included.
Descriptors: Privatization, Governance, Organizational Change, School Districts, Educational Change, Urban Education, Public Education, Progressive Education, Case Studies, Educational Trends, Government Role, Standards, Accountability, Administrative Change, Educational Policy, Policy Analysis, Organizational Theories
Harvard Education Press. 8 Story Street First Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 888-437-1437; Tel: 617-495-3432; Fax: 978-348-1233; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.hepg.org/hep
Publication Type: Books; Collected Works - General; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Harvard University, Graduate School of Education
Identifiers - Location: California; District of Columbia; Illinois; New York; Pennsylvania