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School Improvement: What's in it for Schools

reviewed by Eliot Larson - 2003

coverTitle: School Improvement: What's in it for Schools
Author(s): Alma Harris
Publisher: Routledge/Falmer, New York
ISBN: 0415249201, Pages: 135, Year: 2002
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After more than 20 years as a principal at the middle and high school  levelsprincipal, I have come to believe that there is a fundamental paradox about school improvement in American schools: too many peoplewe all believe that school improvement is vital and necessary as long as schools stay essentially the same. I believe this paradox exists for a variety of reasons: school boards are interested in “trimming the fat” in district budgets curtail investmentsinvestmentsinvestmentsthus curtailing investment in promising initiatives; school administrators aspiringaspiringaspiringaspiringaspiringaspiringaspiring to be superintendents don’t want to and don’t want to make any “mistakes”and work cautiously and without inspiration; teachers wantwantwantwho wantwantwantwant to  to stick with “what works” to avoidavoidavoidtoavoidavoidavoidavoid criticism from parents or administrators; and parents fear subjecting  (delete who)want to insure that their children to are not the ‘test subjects’ of new teaching strategies that mightmightmightwill adversely affect their post-graduation opportunities. EffectiveEffectiveEffectiveBut there is another very compelling reason why effective, sustained improvement has not occurred in America’s schools: it is very hard, complicated work that takes time and requires... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 105 Number 4, 2003, p. 568-570
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11059, Date Accessed: 9/26/2020 8:04:30 AM

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About the Author
  • Eliot Larson
    West Chester Area School District, Pennsylvania
    E-mail Author
    Eliot Larson received a B.A. in history from Hobart College and M.A., M.Ed., and an Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia. He has over 20 years experience as a middle and high school principal in New York and Pennsylvania and has served for the last ten years as a middle school principal in the West Chester Area School District outside of Philadelphia. Recent publications include: “Anatomy of Change: Snapshot from a Building Perspective” in the February 2002 edition of The Pennsylvania Administrator and “School Improvement: Notes from the Parking Lot” in the May 2002 issue of Principal Leadership.
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