The Invisible Hand: Big Business and Chicago School Reform
by Dorothy Shipps — 1997
Business influence in public school policymaking has been much noticed but little studied at the local level where policy is implemented. This article examines Chicago’s governance reforms of the past decade as one case of corporate influence, clarifying how local political institutions and corporate organizational resources facilitated and shaped that involvement and the resulting school governance reforms. A wider variety of corporate influence patterns than is typically acknowledged is suggested by this case where corporate associations were involved in both policymaking and policy implementation. When corporate activism is accounted for, Chicago governance reform is seen primarily as replacing professional control with modern management techniques and structures, and only secondarily as the revitalization of democratic governance.
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