Leading City Schools
Challenge and Change in Urban Education
Fifteen years ago, school districts faced what seemed like an idle threat: Change the status quo and improve the way you do business—or else. The threat was real. Urban mayors are becoming more involved than ever in school governance. But are their efforts helping to improve education in their cities?
Looking for Leaders
It’s getting harder and harder to find a top-quality urban school superintendent. Urban districts find that the pool of qualified superintendents is shrinking. Perhaps the strongest evidence that the shortage is making itself felt is seen in the market price of superintendents. It hardly takes an expert in the law of supply and demand to recognize the implications of rising superintendent pay.
Strengthening Urban Boards
School districts are the buckle in the American system of public education. They hold together communities and schools and translate state policy into effective action. They provide schools with resources, personnel, standards, operating policies, support services, and management systems. Clearly, however, not all school districts—or school boards—are as effective as they should be.
Urban Success Stories
Cynics have said that urban schools are beyond redemption, too crushed by the poverty and social ills of their students and communities to change. But people who work in and attend city schools know these cynics are wrong. Here are seven urban districts that, through different means and different philosophies, have proven that urban school reform can be accomplished. And they all started with a plan.
Long on social problems and often short on resources, urban schools traditionally have been the primary beneficiaries of private philanthropy. And support to education from private foundations is growing.