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Urban District Central Office Transformation for Teaching and Learning Improvement: Beyond a Zero-Sum Game

by Meredith I. Honig, Juli Swinnerton Lorton & Michael A. Copland - 2009

Over the past fifteen years, a growing number of mid-sized to large school district central offices have engaged in radical reforms to strengthen teaching and learning for all students districtwide. Such efforts mark a significant change in urban educational governance. We call these efforts “district central office transformation for teaching and learning improvement” (Honig & Copland, 2008; Honig, Copland, Lorton, Rainey, & Newton, 2009).

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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 108. No. 1.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 111 Number 13, 2009, p. 21-40
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18454, Date Accessed: 9/24/2021 9:02:06 PM

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About the Author
  • Meredith Honig
    University of Washington, Seattle
    E-mail Author
    MEREDITH I. HONIG's research and teaching focus on policy, leadership, and organizational change in school systems. She is particularly interested in how school district central offices innovate and collaborate to improve opportunities for all youth to learn. She has examined these challenges using a variety of cases, including the participation of school district central offices in: school-community partnerships; new small autonomous schools initiatives; and efforts to transform themselves and school leadership to support districtwide teaching and learning improvement.
  • Juli Lorton
    University of Washington, Seattle
    E-mail Author
    JULI LORTON began work in Seattle Public Schools as an Instructional Technology Specialist in September 2000 after 7 years teaching middle school. From 2004-2009, she divided her time between district work and research at the University of Washington. After completing my doctorate in 2006 with a dissertation entitled Learning to Lead What You Don't Yet Know: District Leaders Engaged in Instructional Reform, I worked as a research associate and adjunct professor in EDLPS in the College of Education. During this time I worked on a large research project designed to explore connections between leadership, learning and leadership support.
  • Michael Copland
    University of Washington
    E-mail Author
    MICHAEL A. COPLAND has most recently served as a lead senior program officer on the U.S. team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In this role, he managed a team of program officers supporting a portfolio of large, multi-year grants designed to support the improvement of teaching effectiveness in 11 urban school systems across the United States. Copland previously served as associate professor and chair of the area of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington College of Education, and directed the Leadership for Learning Ed. D. program there. Earlier, Copland served as a faculty member and director of the Prospective Principals Program at Stanford University.
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