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So Much Reform, So Little Change

The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools

Charles M. Payne (author)

ISBN: 9781612500331

Publication Date: Apr 2008

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Hardback  

Explores the persistence of failure in today's urban schools. At its heart is the argument that most education policy discussions are disconnected from the daily realities of urban schools. Charles M. Payne argues that we have failed to account fully for the weakness of the social infrastructure and the often dysfunctional organisational environments of urban schools and school systems.
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This frank and courageous book explores the persistence of failure in today's urban schools. At its heart is the argument that most education policy discussions are disconnected from the daily realities of urban schools, especially those in poor and beleaguered neighborhoods.

Charles M. Payne argues that we have failed to account fully for the weakness of the social infrastructure and the often dysfunctional organizational environments of urban schools and school systems. The result is that liberals and conservatives alike have spent a great deal of time pursuing questions of limited practical value in the effort to improve city schools.

Payne carefully delineates these stubborn and intertwined sources of failure in urban school reform efforts of the past two decades. Yet while his book is unsparing in its exploration of the troubled recent history of urban school reform, Payne also describes himself as "guardedly optimistic." He describes how, in the last decade, we have developed real insights into the roots of school failure, and into how some individual schools manage to improve. He also examines recent progress in understanding how particular urban districts have established successful reforms on a larger scale.

Drawing on a striking array of sources–from the recent history of various urban school systems, to the growing sophistication of education research, to his own experience as a teacher, scholar, and participant in reform efforts–Payne paints a vivid and unmistakably realistic portrait of urban schools and reforms of the past few decades. So Much Reform, So Little Change will be required reading for everyone interested in the plight–and the future–of urban schools.
Language English
Pages 277
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Apr 2008
Publisher Harvard Education Press
Subject/s Education  
Charles M. Payne is the Frank P. Hixon Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He is the author of numerous books, including I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement (1995), which won awards from the Southern Regional Council, Choice, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the Gustavus Myers Center for the study of Human Rights in North America. Payne has served on the board of the Chicago Algebra Project, the Steering Committee for the Consortium on Chicago School Research, the Research Advisory Committee for the Chicago Annenberg Project, and the editorial boards of Catalyst, Sociology of Education, and Educational Researcher.

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