Bringing School Reform to Scale: Five Award-Winning Urban Districts

Mickey Muldoon

In these lively and readable case studies, the author spells
out--with the appropriate degree of detail--the changes that five urban
school districts (Long Beach and Garden Grove, CA, Norfolk and Boston,
MA, and Aldine, TX) made on the path to winning the Broad Prize. Several
themes weave throughout: These districts implemented a clear, direct,
and rigorous curriculum, aligned with high standards and supported at
various layers throughout the system. Indeed, revamping the district’s
curriculum was the single most important contributor to
success. But that’s not all. They were also staffed with highly-capable
leaders and teachers. Though superintendent turnover is rife in urban
education, the leaders of these districts lasted 6 to 11 years. Data and
multiple accountability systems were also critical. The author is clear
in linking such reforms to NCLB and to district leaders’ enthusiasm for
the law’s provisions. Despite allegations that it’s a “tainted brand,”
it’s worth highlighting these examples of this statute working as
intended. Buy it here.

 Bringing School Reform to Scale: Five Award-Winning Urban Districts

Heather Zavadsky
Harvard Education Press
2009

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