Cover image for Powerful reforms with shallow roots : improving America's urban schools
Powerful reforms with shallow roots : improving America's urban schools
Cuban, Larry.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Teachers College Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
ix, 180 pages ; 24 cm
Introduction, Learning from the past / Larry Cuban and Michael Usdan -- Businessman's educator : mayoral takeover and nontraditional leadership in Chicago / Dorothy Shipps -- Boston : the stars finally in alignment / Michael Usdan and Larry Cuban -- Vision of hope : a case study of Seattle's two nontraditional superintendents / Gary Yee and Barbara McCloud -- Fast and top-down : systemic reform and student achievement in San Diego city schools / Larry Cuban and Michael Usdan -- Tall order for Philadelphia's new approach to school governance : heal the political rifts, close the budget gap, and improve the schools / William Lowe Boyd and Jolley Bruce Christman -- City-state partnership to reform Baltimore's public schools / James G. Cibulka -- What happened in six cities? / Larry Cuban and Michael Usdan.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LC5131 .P69 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This authoritative and eye-opening volume examines governance changes in six cities during the 1990s, where either mayoral control of schools has occurred or where noneducators have been appointed to lead school districts. Featuring up-close, in-depth case studies of Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Boston, San Diego, and Seattle, this book explores the reasons why these cities chose to alter their traditional school governance structures and analyzes what happened when the reforms were implemented and whether or not teachers and students performed better because of them.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This volume attempts to link the successes and failures of today's schools to the "vitality" of cities by investigating six urban case study school districts from throughout the country. Editors Cuban and Usdan view the US as an urban nation that has changed much over the past 100 years. They also believe that "the whole country is affected, if indeed its character is not determined, by the conditions of its great cities." By writing in jargon-free language and analyzing the emerging relationships between mayors, business leaders, and their choices of school leaders, contributors hope to foster a better understanding of the complexities of urban school reform. Included also is a review of recent public demands for improved academic achievement that have required urban superintendents to expand their customary repertoire of political, managerial, and instructional roles. For many urban superintendents unequipped or unwilling to deal with these issues, the job is overwhelming. Frequent turnover among school chiefs has created a turnstile superintendency. This volume is recommend for its probing and thoughtful insights. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels. R. C. Morris State University of West Georgia

Table of Contents

Elizabeth L. HaleLarry Cuban and Michael UsdanDorothy ShippsMichael Usdan and Larry CubanGary Yee and Barbara McCloudLarry Cuban and Michael UsdanWilliam Lowe Boyd and Jolley Bruce ChristmanJames G. CibulkaLarry Cuban and Michael Usdan
Forewordp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Learning from the Pastp. 1
1 The Businessman's Educator: Mayoral Takeover and Nontraditional Leadership in Chicagop. 16
2 Boston: The Stars Finally in Alignmentp. 38
3 A Vision of Hope: A Case Study of Seattle's Two Nontraditional Superintendentsp. 54
4 Fast and Top-Down: Systemic Reform and Student Achievement in San Diego City Schoolsp. 77
5 A Tall Order for Philadelphia's New Approach to School Governance: Heal the Political Rifts, Close the Budget Gap, and Improve the Schoolsp. 96
6 The City-State Partnership to Reform Baltimore's Public Schoolsp. 125
7 What Happened in the Six Cities?p. 147
About the Contributorsp. 171
Indexp. 173