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Powerful Reforms with Shallow Roots: Improving America’s Urban Schools

reviewed by Douglas E. Mitchell - 2004

coverTitle: Powerful Reforms with Shallow Roots: Improving America’s Urban Schools
Author(s): Larry Cuban & Michael Usdan (Editors)
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807742929 , Pages: 192, Year: 2003
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This book develops and analyzes case studies of educational reform in six major urban centers – Chicago, Boston, Seattle, San Diego, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.  The focus is on educational governance, particularly on the relationship between educational governance and the broader civic governance involving mayors, city-state relationships, and the involvement of business and professional interest groups.  Conducted within the last couple of years, the case studies offer timely and reasonably detailed sketches of what is currently happening in efforts to reform urban school governance.  The big story in all but the Baltimore case is the re-establishment of civic control over the schools, putting an end to decades of Progressive/Urban Reform governance structures created to insulate schools from the supposedly corrupting influences of partisan politics and city government or business control over resources, personnel, and policies.  These cases argue that the nation is undergoing a virtual collapse of the Progressive ideals of neutral professionalism and civil service protection for educators – ideals that guided the reforms described by Lawrence Cremin... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 2, 2004, p. 323-326
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11172, Date Accessed: 9/20/2020 1:57:57 PM

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About the Author
  • Douglas Mitchell
    University of California, Riverside
    E-mail Author
    Douglas E. Mitchell is a professor of education at the University of California, Riverside. His primary area of interest is education policy formation and implementation.
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