Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press (November 1, 1998)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,131,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #80 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Needlecrafts & Textile Crafts > Spinning #469 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Sociology > Rural #2069 in Books > Education & Teaching > Schools & Teaching > Education Theory > Reform & Policy
This book is about a very basic problem in urban schools, the problem of reform churn. In surveying over 60 urban schools, the author found that there is a pattern of school boards hiring new school superintendents, who comes in with great promise and lots of new ideas. There are lots of changes for a couple years, but there is no dramatic improvement, so the current school superintendent gets fired because things are still bad. Then a new superintendent comes in, again promising to fix things by implementing a lot of changes. The net result is no reform last long enough to truly fix any problems. The school district keeps lurching in different directions every couple years, never making any real progress.As I read this book I thought of:-------------"We trained hard, but it seemed every time we were beginning to form up into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing, and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization"From Petronii Arbitri Satyricon AD 66.Attributed to Gaius PetronusGaius Petronus, a Roman General, later committed suicide-------------A pattern on constant reform is not new. Frederick Hess analyses the environment that produces this pattern in the school environment. He finds that in general members of the school board want to be re-elected. Many are using the office of school board as a stepping stone to other elected political offices. In general school boards which fight with each other don't get re-elected, so they are motivated to find issues they can agree on, and reform is an issue for which most board members see a need.
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