organizing schools for improvement lessons from chicago

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Organizing Schools For Improvement

Author : Anthony S. Bryk
ISBN : 9780226078014
Genre : Education
File Size : 80. 8 MB
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In 1988, the Chicago public school system decentralized, granting parents and communities significant resources and authority to reform their schools in dramatic ways. To track the effects of this bold experiment, the authors of Organizing Schools for Improvement collected a wealth of data on elementary schools in Chicago. Over a seven-year period they identified one hundred elementary schools that had substantially improved—and one hundred that had not. What did the successful schools do to accelerate student learning? The authors of this illuminating book identify a comprehensive set of practices and conditions that were key factors for improvement, including school leadership, the professional capacity of the faculty and staff, and a student-centered learning climate. In addition, they analyze the impact of social dynamics, including crime, critically examining the inextricable link between schools and their communities. Putting their data onto a more human scale, they also chronicle the stories of two neighboring schools with very different trajectories. The lessons gleaned from this groundbreaking study will be invaluable for anyone involved with urban education.

Learning To Improve

Author : Anthony S. Bryk
ISBN : 1612507921
Genre : Education
File Size : 48. 74 MB
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In Learning to Improve, the authors argue for a new approach to education reform that leverages “networked improvement communities” to address high school dropout rates and other core concerns.

Trust In Schools

Author : Anthony Bryk
ISBN : 9781610440967
Genre : Education
File Size : 37. 74 MB
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Most Americans agree on the necessity of education reform, but there is little consensus about how this goal might be achieved. The rhetoric of standards and vouchers has occupied center stage, polarizing public opinion and affording little room for reflection on the intangible conditions that make for good schools. Trust in Schools engages this debate with a compelling examination of the importance of social relationships in the successful implementation of school reform. Over the course of three years, Bryk and Schneider, together with a diverse team of other researchers and school practitioners, studied reform in twelve Chicago elementary schools. Each school was undergoing extensive reorganization in response to the Chicago School Reform Act of 1988, which called for greater involvement of parents and local community leaders in their neighborhood schools. Drawing on years longitudinal survey and achievement data, as well as in-depth interviews with principals, teachers, parents, and local community leaders, the authors develop a thorough account of how effective social relationships—which they term relational trust—can serve as a prime resource for school improvement. Using case studies of the network of relationships that make up the school community, Bryk and Schneider examine how the myriad social exchanges that make up daily life in a school community generate, or fail to generate, a successful educational environment. The personal dynamics among teachers, students, and their parents, for example, influence whether students regularly attend school and sustain their efforts in the difficult task of learning. In schools characterized by high relational trust, educators were more likely to experiment with new practices and work together with parents to advance improvements. As a result, these schools were also more likely to demonstrate marked gains in student learning. In contrast, schools with weak trust relations saw virtually no improvement in their reading or mathematics scores. Trust in Schools demonstrates convincingly that the quality of social relationships operating in and around schools is central to their functioning, and strongly predicts positive student outcomes. This book offer insights into how trust can be built and sustained in school communities, and identifies some features of public school systems that can impede such development. Bryk and Schneider show how a broad base of trust across a school community can provide a critical resource as education professional and parents embark on major school reforms. A Volume in the American Sociological Association's Rose Series in Sociology

Catholic Schools And The Common Good

Author : Anthony S. BRYK
ISBN : 9780674029033
Genre : Education
File Size : 43. 52 MB
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Who Controls Teachers Work

Author : Richard M. Ingersoll
ISBN : 0674038959
Genre : Education
File Size : 85. 70 MB
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Schools are places of learning but they are also workplaces, and teachers are employees. As such, are teachers more akin to professionals or to factory workers in the amount of control they have over their work? And what difference does it make? Drawing on large national surveys as well as wide-ranging interviews with high school teachers and administrators, Richard Ingersoll reveals the shortcomings in the two opposing viewpoints that dominate thought on this subject: that schools are too decentralized and lack adequate control and accountability; and that schools are too centralized, giving teachers too little autonomy. Both views, he shows, overlook one of the most important parts of teachers' work: schools are not simply organizations engineered to deliver academic instruction to students, as measured by test scores; schools and teachers also play a large part in the social and behavioral development of our children. As a result, both views overlook the power of implicit social controls in schools that are virtually invisible to outsiders but keenly felt by insiders. Given these blind spots, this book demonstrates that reforms from either camp begin with inaccurate premises about how schools work and so are bound not only to fail, but to exacerbate the problems they propose to solve.

Professional Communities And The Work Of High School Teaching

Author : Milbrey W. McLaughlin
ISBN : 0226500705
Genre : Education
File Size : 26. 30 MB
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American high schools have never been under more pressure to reform: student populations are more diverse than ever, resources are limited, and teachers are expected to teach to high standards for all students. While many reformers look for change at the state or district level, the authors here argue that the most local contexts—schools, departments, and communities—matter the most to how well teachers perform in the classroom and how satisfied they are professionally. Their findings—based on one of the most extensive research projects ever done on secondary teaching—show that departmental cultures play a crucial role in classroom settings and expectations. In the same school, for example, social studies teachers described their students as "apathetic and unwilling to work," while English teachers described the same students as "bright, interesting, and energetic." With wide-ranging implications for educational practice and policy, this unprecedented look into teacher communities is essential reading for educators, administrators, and all those concerned with U. S. High Schools.

How Leaders Learn

Author : Gordon A. Donaldson
ISBN : 0807748544
Genre : Education
File Size : 45. 58 MB
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How Leaders Learn portrays the developmental experiences of educators seeking to become accomplished leaders in their schools. The author presents a new model of leadership knowledgethe Interpersonal-Cognitive-Intrapersonal Model (I-C-I). Through the stories of teacher leaders and administrators who participated in the I-C-I leadership development programs, the author depicts the evolution of understanding, skill, and self-confidence. These learners grapple with questions essential to all effective leadership: Does my leadership generate improved learning for the students in my school? What are my greatest assets as a leader? What are my greatest liabilities and what do I do about them? Can I find a leadership role that is both productive and sustainable for me and for the school I serve?

Judging School Discipline

Author : Richard. ARUM
ISBN : 9780674020290
Genre : Education
File Size : 20. 40 MB
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Reprimand a class comic, restrain a bully, dismiss a student for brazen attire--and you may be facing a lawsuit, costly regardless of the result. This reality for today's teachers and administrators has made the issue of school discipline more difficult than ever before--and public education thus more precarious. This is the troubling message delivered in Judging School Discipline, a powerfully reasoned account of how decades of mostly well-intended litigation have eroded the moral authority of teachers and principals and degraded the quality of American education. Judging School Discipline casts a backward glance at the roots of this dilemma to show how a laudable concern for civil liberties forty years ago has resulted in oppressive abnegation of adult responsibility now. In a rigorous analysis enriched by vivid descriptions of individual cases, the book explores 1,200 cases in which a school's right to control students was contested. Richard Arum and his colleagues also examine several decades of data on schools to show striking and widespread relationships among court leanings, disciplinary practices, and student outcomes; they argue that the threat of lawsuits restrains teachers and administrators from taking control of disorderly and even dangerous situations in ways the public would support. Table of Contents: Preface 1. Questioning School Authority 2. Student Rights versus School Rules With Irenee R. Beattie 3. How Judges Rule With Irenee R. Beattie 4. From the Bench to the Paddle With Richard Pitt and Jennifer Thompson 5. School Discipline and Youth Socialization With Sandra Way 6. Restoring Moral Authority in American Schools Appendix: Tables Notes Index Reviews of this book: This interesting study casts a critical eye on the American legal system, which [Arum] sees as having undermined the ability of teachers and administrators to socialize teenagers...Arum, it must be pointed out, is adamantly opposed to such measures as zero tolerance, which, he insists, often results in unfair and excessive punishment. What he wisely calls for is not authoritarianism, but for school folks to regain a sense of moral authority so that they can act decisively in matters of school discipline without having to look over their shoulders. --David Ruenzel, Teacher Magazine Reviews of this book: Arum's book should be compulsory reading for the legal profession; they need to recognise the long-term effects of their judgments on the climate of schools and the way in which judgments in favour of individual rights can reduce the moral authority of schools in disciplining errant students. But the author is no copybook conservative, and he is as critical of the Right's get-tough, zero-tolerance authoritarianism as he is of what he eloquently describes as the 'marshmallow effect' of liberal reformers, pushing the rules to their limits and tolerating increased misconduct. --John Dunford, Times Educational Supplement [UK] Reviews of this book: [Arum] argues that discipline is often ineffective because schools' legitimacy and moral authority have been eroded. He holds the courts responsible, because they have challenged schools' legal and moral authority, supporting this claim by examining over 6,200 state and federal appellate court decisions from 1960 to 1992. In describing the structure of these decisions, Arum provides interesting insights into school disciplinary practices and the law. --P. M. Socoski, Choice Reviews of this book: Arum's careful analysis of school discipline becomes so focused and revealing that the ideological boundaries of the debate seem almost to have been suspended. The result is a rich and original book, bold, important, useful, and--as this combination of attributes might suggest--surprising...Many years in the making, Judging School Discipline weds historical, theoretical, and statistical research within the problem-solving stance of a teacher working to piece together solutions in the interest of his students. The result is a book that promises to shape research as well as practice through its demonstration that students are liberated, as well as oppressed, by school discipline. --Steven L. VanderStaay, Urban Education Reviews of this book: [Arum's] break with education-school dogma on student rights is powerful and goes far toward explaining why so many teachers dread their students--when they are not actually fighting them off. --Heather MacDonald, Wall Street Journal

The Testing Charade

Author : Daniel Koretz
ISBN : 9780226408859
Genre : Education
File Size : 84. 99 MB
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For decades we’ve been studying, experimenting with, and wrangling over different approaches to improving public education, and there’s still little consensus on what works, and what to do. The one thing people seem to agree on, however, is that schools need to be held accountable—we need to know whether what they’re doing is actually working. But what does that mean in practice? High-stakes tests. Lots of them. And that has become a major problem. Daniel Koretz, one of the nation’s foremost experts on educational testing, argues in The Testing Charade that the whole idea of test-based accountability has failed—it has increasingly become an end in itself, harming students and corrupting the very ideals of teaching. In this powerful polemic, built on unimpeachable evidence and rooted in decades of experience with educational testing, Koretz calls out high-stakes testing as a sham, a false idol that is ripe for manipulation and shows little evidence of leading to educational improvement. Rather than setting up incentives to divert instructional time to pointless test prep, he argues, we need to measure what matters, and measure it in multiple ways—not just via standardized tests. Right now, we’re lying to ourselves about whether our children are learning. And the longer we accept that lie, the more damage we do. It’s time to end our blind reliance on high-stakes tests. With The Testing Charade, Daniel Koretz insists that we face the facts and change course, and he gives us a blueprint for doing better.

Failing At School

Author : Camille A. Farrington
ISBN : 9780807772744
Genre : Education
File Size : 63. 82 MB
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Roughly half of all incoming ninth graders across urban districts will fail classes and drop out of school without a diploma. Failing at School starts with the premise that urban American high schools generate such widespread student failure not because of some fault of the students who attend them but because high schools were designed to stratify achievement and let only the top performers advance to higher levels of education. This design is particularly detrimental for low-income, racial/ethnic minority students. To get different results, Farrington proposes fundamental changes based on what we now know about how students learn, what motivates them to engage in learning, and what kinds of educational systems and structures would best support their learning. “This is a groundbreaking and eye-opening study because it does what few studies of high school truly do: get inside the hearts and minds of teen-agers and show what their experience of school looks and feels like to them. The analysis of students who fail is revealing and powerful. There are poignant and revealing stories of just how a few student mistakes or teacher insensitivities lead to unfortunate and long-lasting results. More importantly, these case studies, their nuances, and their implications take us beyond the clichés and simplistic theories about schools and reform. Most importantly, we read of tangible and intelligent solutions that can be instituted, based on the facts on the ground. I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in getting beyond the typical talking points of school reform.” —Grant Wiggins, Authentic Education “Camille Farrington details how high schools trap students along developmental trajectories distorted by structural factors—resources, values and practices—beyond their control. Grounded firmly in research, she describes a better way forward. This book is an important contribution to the re-visioning of American high schools.” —Ronald F. Ferguson, faculty director, Achievement Gap Initiative, Harvard University "Why is there such a pattern of failure in urban high schools? This is a vital issue for every city in America. Camille Farrington’s analysis of the roots of this problem and suggestions for structural changes to break this cycle is the best I have seen. This book combines research and practitioner wisdom with common sense and heart, and for those of us engaged in this work, presents concrete directions for positive change.” —Ron Berger, chief academic officer, Expeditionary Learning Book Features: Offers concrete strategies for redesigning high schools based on four dimensions of student achievement—structural, academic, developmental, and motivational. Highlights the voices of students to illustrate fundamental problems with the way we currently “do school.” Addresses the new Common Core State Standards and the potential of this major reform effort to move us toward equity and excellence. Camille A. Farrington is a research associate (assistant professor) at The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and the Consortium on Chicago School Research and director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment for the Network for College Success.

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