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Reinterpreting Urban School Reform: Have Urban Schools Failed, or Has the Reform Movement Failed Urban Schools?


reviewed by Nicola A. Alexander — 2004

coverTitle: Reinterpreting Urban School Reform: Have Urban Schools Failed, or Has the Reform Movement Failed Urban Schools?
Author(s): Louis F. Mirón and Edward P. St. John (Editors)
Publisher: State University of New York Press, Albany
ISBN: 0791457087, Pages: 335, Year: 2003
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Reinterpreting Urban School Reform: Have Urban Schools Failed, or Has the Reform Movement Failed Urban Schools?, edited by Louis F. Mirón and Edward P. St. John, is essentially a tale of reform failure. Mirón and St. John have compiled a varied collection of 13 essays on the differential impact of reforms on schools. The editors use a “critical empirical” perspective and charged the contributors with critiquing the claims of reformers and situating selected reforms historically, ideologically, and theoretically. The response of the authors to each of these charges is uneven. Notwithstanding, taken as a whole, the volume provides a solid description of a plethora of restructuring strategies in urban schools. The fact that urban schools are constantly experiencing change is not new. Hess (1999) and others have vividly described the “policy churn” of arrays of reforms that have been tried, rejected, and tried again as policymakers grapple with how to improve the performance of urban institutions. Fullan (2001) has demonstrated that many schools move on to new... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 2, 2004, p. 314-317
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11204, Date Accessed: 12/12/2017 8:42:35 PM

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About the Author
  • Nicola Alexander
    University of Minnesota
    E-mail Author
    NICOLA A. ALEXANDER is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. She is particularly interested in issues of adequacy, equity, and productivity as they relate to PK-12 education. An overriding concern in her research is an examination of the differential impact of educational policies on different groups and the implications for fairness. She is currently working on the interplay between institutional capacity and the adequacy of the school system as well as exploring the impact of charter schools on student achievement. Recent publications include, “Considering equity and adequacy: An examination of the distribution of student class time as an educational resource in New York State, 1975-1995” in Journal of Education Finance (2003) and “Race, poverty, and the student curriculum: Implications for standards policy” in American Educational Research Journal (2002).
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