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Urban Schools: Crisis and Revolution describes America's inner-city public schools and the failure of most to provide even a minimally adequate education for their students. With numerous examples, James Deneen and Carm Catanese argue that these failures are preventable. Early chapters document the two-tiered character of American public schools, the tragic consequences of failing schools for millions of students—mostly Black and Hispanic—and the financial costs to American society. In later chapters, Deneen and Catanese describe the special problems of inner-city schools and the changes in school organization and curriculum needed to overcome them. They also provide examples of schools in severely disadvantaged communities in which such changes have enabled students to succeed academically, graduate, and enter college. In the final chapters, the authors examine the public and non-public school options available to urban parents. They discuss school choice, a hotly debated issue in urban education. The book concludes with a plan, consisting of six recommendations, for reforming a failing urban school.
Explores cities as the origin of revolutionary politics, where social and political issues are always at the surface, using examples from such cities as New York City and Mumbai to examine how they can be better ecologically reorganized.
For more than a decade, school choice has been a flashpoint in debates about our nation's schooling. Perhaps the most commonly advanced argument for school choice is the notion that markets will force public schools to improve, particularly in those urban areas where improvement has proved so elusive. However, the question of how public schools respond to market conditions has received surprisingly little attention. Revolution at the Margins examines the impact of school vouchers and charter schooling on three urban school districts, explores the causes of the behavior observed, and explains how the structure of competition is likely to shape the way it affects the future of public education. The book draws on research conducted in three school districts at the center of the school choice debate during the 1990s: Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Cleveland, Ohio; and Edgewood, Texas. Case studies examine each of these three districts from the inception of their local school choice program through the conclusion of the 1999 school year. The three school districts studied did not respond to competition by emphasizing productivity or efficiency. Instead, under pressure to provide some evidence of response, administrators tended to expand public relations efforts and to chip holes in the rules, regulations, and procedures that regulate public sector organizations. Inefficient practices were not rooted out, but some rules and procedures that protect employees and vocal constituencies were relaxed. Public school systems are driven by political logic, according to Hess, and their incentives lead them to respond generally through symbolic and metaphorical gestures. Choice-induced changes in public school systems will be shaped by public governance, the market context in which they operate, and their organizational characteristics. Revolution at the Margins encourages scholars and policymakers to think more carefully about the costs and benefits of educational competition, to understand how competitive effects will be heavily shaped by the outcomes of more conventional efforts to reform schooling, and to reevaluate some of the facile promises of market-based education reform.
For more than two generations, the traditional urban school system—the district—has utterly failed to do its job: prepare its students for a lifetime of success. Millions and millions of boys and girls have suffered the grievous consequences. The district is irreparably broken. For the sake of today’s and tomorrow’s inner-city kids, it must be replaced. The Urban School System of the Future argues that vastly better results can be realized through the creation of a new type of organization that properly manages a city’s portfolio of schools using the revolutionary principles of chartering. It will ensure that new schools are regularly created, that great schools are expanded and replicated, that persistently failing schools are closed, and that families have access to an array of high-quality options. This new entity will focus exclusively on school performance, meaning, among other things, our cities can thoughtfully integrate their traditional public, charter public, and private schools into a single, high-functioning k-12 system. For decades, the district has produced the most heartbreaking results for already at-risk kids. The Urban School System of the Future explains how we can finally turn the tide and create dynamic, responsive, high-performing, self-improving urban school systems that fulfill the promise of public education.
In Hope and Despair, Gerald Grant compares two cities - his hometown of Syracuse, New York, and Raleigh, North Carolina - in order to examine the consequences of the nation's ongoing educational inequities. The result is an ambitious portrait - sometimes disturbing, often inspiring - of two cities that exemplify our nation's greatest educational challenges, as well as a passionate exploration of the potential for school reform that exists for our urban schools today.
Having worked for three decades to develop urban ministries, Campolo suggests ways that churches can help resurrect beleaguered inner cities, illustrating proven methods used in Camden, New Jersey.

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