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ERIC Number: EJ870787
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0620
A "New Breed" of Principal: Marcus Foster and Urban School Reform in the United States, 1966-1969
Spencer, John
Journal of Educational Administration and History, v41 n3 p285-300 Aug 2009
In the 1960s, as part of the black freedom struggle in the United States, African-American educators increasingly achieved the position of school principal in the nation's big cities, helping to transform that office into a more dynamic force for school reform. This article presents the accomplishments and the struggles of one such principal, Marcus Foster, of Gratz High School in the northeastern city of Philadelphia. Foster did much to revitalise his troubled school. In particular, as he dedicated himself to raising academic achievement for all students, regardless of racial or social class background, he helped redefine the principal as a more responsive and "accountable" school leader. However, if Foster's story reveals the increasing significance of the principal in raising achievement among urban students, it also shows how this shift subjected principals even more problematically to forces beyond their control. As Foster himself emphasised, principals cannot transcend, by themselves, a social and economic context that may hamper their efforts to raise achievement. Yet, as this article concludes, policymakers and researchers on educational leadership have generally failed to recognise those elements of context, leaving principals with an undue share of the burden for equalising educational achievement in an unequal society. (Contains 61 footnotes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania; United States