Download Making School Reform Work: New Partnerships for Real Change by Paul T. Hill, James Harvey PDF

By Paul T. Hill, James Harvey

Bringing swap to our public college approach is difficult, and the present approach of schooling governance creates limitations which may make that reform even tougher. right here six gurus in public schooling speak about how neighborhood philanthropies can conquer them no matter if university districts can't. Making institution Reform paintings identifies new associations that may be created through foundations and civic teams to therapy deficiencies in neighborhood tuition governance, formulate daring reforms, and warrantly implementation. those associations contain incubators for beginning new faculties, self sustaining information research facilities, public-private partnerships for recruitment and coaching of college leaders, and new methods of investment and coping with tuition amenities. The individuals are Sarah Brooks (Carleton College), Michael DeArmond (University of Washington), Marguerite Roza (University of Washington), and Abigail Winger (Milwaukee consultant).

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These are groups, like the Chicago Civic Committee and the Cincinnati Business Committee, that normally organize applications for the Olympics or mount campaigns to support investments to transform the city’s economic infrastructure. Traditionally, mayors and business leaders have dominated such groups, but these leadership entities now, quite properly, include minority, community, and religious leaders. Such groups can help greatly to define and sustain reform strategy. Besides preserving the flame of the city’s educational vision, these groups can operate as buffers between the schools and the community, interpreting the district to the larger community and the community’s crosscurrents to the district.

This in no way suggests that districts should sell off or lease out valuable properties just because there is money to be made; it simply suggests that in some cases they might. As San Diego superintendent Alan Bersin put it in a January 2004 interview with one of the editors of this volume, inefficient use of real estate is not instructionally neutral: it wastes money that could otherwise be used for instruction. District officials can discern opportunity costs by asking questions such as, How much is district real estate really worth?

Their strength is also their weakness: somehow urban schools stand apart from the other major political and economic forces driving their cities. This independence, something that is supported by the tenure and civil-service status enjoyed by their employees, is intended to buffer them from partisan politics. Their bonding authority provides local educators with formidable local clout and autonomy in the face of the roller coaster of municipal finance. The independence of local school boards is thought to protect schools from what might be intolerable meddling from local politicians.

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