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ERIC Number: ED594540
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2019-May
Pages: 224
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-68253-313-0
Compete or Close: Traditional Neighborhood Schools under Pressure
McWilliams, Julia A.
Harvard Education Press
In districts from Chicago to New York to Washington, DC, neighborhood public schools are being forced to compete with charter schools for students and resources, often under the threat of school closure. In "Compete or Close," Julia A. McWilliams provides a compelling ethnographic study of one such school, a neighborhood high school in Philadelphia--a district where rising privatization and chronic underfunding cast these common tensions into sharp relief. The book poses two questions: What strategies do schools deploy to minimize market risk and signal their value to stakeholders--district administrators, funders, parents, and students? And how do these strategies conflict with the schools' mission to serve all children? An astute and compassionate observer, McWilliams paints a devastating portrait of a neighborhood public school under siege, in which educators are panicked by the threat of closure and determined to survive at all costs. McWilliams's book is a powerful indictment of the role of competition in American education today and offers empirical evidence and a theoretical understanding of the mechanisms through which market forces may conflict with the preservation of education as a public good. [Foreword by Maia Cucchiara.]
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:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)