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Reform as Learning: School Reform, Organizational Culture, and Community Politics in San Diego


reviewed by Chrysan Gallucci — October 13, 2006

coverTitle: Reform as Learning: School Reform, Organizational Culture, and Community Politics in San Diego
Author(s): Lea Hubbard, Hugh Mehan and Mary Kay Stein
Publisher: Routledge/ Taylor & Francis, New York
ISBN: 0415953774 , Pages: 304, Year: 2006
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This book is a critical read for any of us who engage in or observe attempts to make change in urban school districts. The much-discussed San Diego reform that began in 1998 with the tenure of Alan Bersin and Tony Alvarado was “dramatic, daring, and possibly unprecedented” in its unwavering focus on instructional improvement and in its comprehensive ambitions. However, as Hubbard, Mehan, and Stein carefully document, the miscalculations made in the early years of the reform were not unique to San Diego. The authors remind us that top-down, fast-paced reforms are unlikely to succeed, and that school district systems have entrenched ways of doing business that make them resistant to change. Perhaps the reason that the San Diego story has captured the imagination of educators across the country is that it flew in the face of such axioms with its “big bang” theory of change (Hightower, 2002). These authors... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: October 13, 2006
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12782, Date Accessed: 10/20/2017 10:12:35 AM

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About the Author
  • Chrysan Gallucci
    University of Washington
    E-mail Author
    CHRYSAN GALLUCCI is Research Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington. Chrysan’s research interests include educational reform, applications of sociocultural learning theory to issues of educational change and professional learning, and the connections between education policy, leadership, and classroom practice. Forthcoming papers include: Converging Reform “Theories” in Urban Middle Schools: District-Guided Instructional Improvement in Small Schools of Choice in Teachers College Record. Chrysan is currently studying the partnerships between three school districts and the Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) at the University of Washington, which are focused on leadership for instructional improvement.
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