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ERIC Number: EJ860582
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1537-5749
Measuring Success in Harrisburg
Johns, Stephanie
District Administration, v45 n9 p38-40, 42 Oct 2009
With more than four decades of experience in both urban and suburban districts, Superintendent Gerald Kohn knows how difficult it can be to change the culture of a school district beset by poverty, social issues and politics. Yet he accepted the challenge of bringing change to the Harrisburg School District in central Pennsylvania eight years ago. Mayor Stephen B. Reed hired Kohn in 2001 shortly after the state legislature gave the mayor control of the Harrisburg public schools following allegations of missing funds, missing property and "ghost employees" who appeared on the district payroll but never reported to work. Reed chose Kohn based on his past success in bolstering early education in Vineland, New Jersey, and both men believe that a strong preschool program was essential to improved learning in Harrisburg, where research indicated that kindergarten students came to school with an average delay of 24 months in their language skills. Although Kohn admits "mayoral control is complicated" and no one governance system guarantees success in any urban school district, he believes that with mayoral control a district can have a standardized curriculum at each level and "improved ability to lobby for grants and funding with an authoritative voice." In this article, Kohn talks about improvements, firsts and future challenges.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania