Community Social Action for School Reform

reviewed by Duane M. Covrig & Laura Purnell - 2004

coverTitle: Community Social Action for School Reform
Author(s): Howell S. Baum
Publisher: State University of New York Press, Albany
ISBN: 0791457605, Pages: 320, Year: 2003
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Baum’s book is a theoretically rich and detailed account of his participation in community action groups that created small but positive school reforms in Southeast Baltimore . He reviews the challenges, opportunities, and processes of “constituting” and acting through such community action groups. This book is challenging to read because of its extensive details. Several community action groups, processes, and projects are chronicled “ad infinitum.” The details are probably necessary to give an accurate picture of the struggle of community members as they gained momentum and then experienced ambivalence and resistance from an often unresponsive, besieged, bureaucratically and professionally-controlled public school system. However, the tediousness of these details (e.g. planning, convening and running meetings, finding partners, learning about people, organizing, managing interpersonal conflicts, developing interagency collaborations, learning from failures, raising money, increasing interest, channeling disagreements into comprehensive plans, etc.) made for thick prose. Nevertheless, this density of details could be viewed as a subtle way to reinforced a central theme of the book: community action groups require much work.... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 8, 2004, p. 1637-1644 ID Number: 11285, Date Accessed: 11/27/2020 3:15:34 AM

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