Developed in response to the growing interest in examining individual schools as they undergo change, this book features eight case studies of urban elementary and high schools as they face problems and attempt to find solutions in their quest to reform themselves. The cases, with all their pitfalls and problems, provide examples of the very bumpy road of change and of the individual school cultures that sometimes support and often impede reform. Told in the individual voices of various school leaders, the narratives reflect the inevitable biases of people immersed in their work. Their richness derives from the passion with which these stories are told. Textured and complex, these chronicles invite readers to think deeply about the many layers involved in the process of changing schools.
School Leadership in Times of Urban Reform is a powerful text for courses in educational leadership, school reform, and the politics of education. Engaging pedagogical features at the end of each case facilitate its use:
*Each case ends with an "Analysis of Leadership" section and "Extended Thinking" questions and activities.
*Sections 2-5 conclude with "Reflections" to help the reader uncover the major themes and issues.
Section 1 is an introductory analysis of reform and school leadership; it provides a frame of reference for examining the case studies that follow. Sections 2-5 are organized around eight case studies (two per section) that address questions of how the leadership roles of school principals and teachers have been shaped by the reform initiative; how parents and local communities have contributed to school reform; and how the culture of the school, and teaching and learning, have been shaped by reform. The final section synthesizes and analyzes what the authors have learned through these cases concerning the leadership roles of principals, parents, community members, and teachers during the period of reform; how the cultures of schools changed as reform progressed; and how reform impacted the instructional practices of teachers and the learning of students.
"This book demonstrates the strengths of case studies when they are put together with care and imagination; in this instance, the cases are done in ways that make them particularly compelling. They incorporate a variety of perspectives, make us aware of the human, emotional side of change, and are well constructed; combined with the thoughtful observations made by Rebecca Barr and Marilyn Bizar, they stimulate thought and generate ideas, ideas that can lead to productive research and more effective practice."
—Dan C. Lortie
Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago; From the Foreword
"I found the cases studies effective for generating class discussion about important urban school issues. I recommend the book for use in classes focusing on urban schools and on school reform."
New School University
Contents: D.C. Lortie, Foreword. Preface. Part I: R. Barr, M. Bizar, Conceptualizing Leadership in the Context of School Reform. Part II:The Response of Schools to the Initial Years of Reform. M. Bizar, Reform at Jackson Elementary: Transition to Site-Based Management. K.L. Morris, J.C. Fischer, The Chicago School Reform at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy. Part III:Tensions Between the Local School Council and the Principal. N. Hobbs, Field of Dreams. P. Leki, Yeah Yeah Boo Boo. Part IV:Reform as an Opportunity for Creating Responsive Instruction. M. Maraldi, Washington Irving School: Its Development and Change. P. Mueller, La Lucha Continua: Teachers Engaged in the Struggle Over Ideas and Authority. Part V:New Beginnings: Making Changes in High School Instruction and Learning. D.M. Ogle, K. Hunter, Developing Leadership in Literacy at Amundsen High School: A Case Study of Change. S. Zemelman, The Best Practice High School: Creating a New Small School in a Big City. Part VI: R. Barr, M. Bizar, Insights Into Leadership During Times of School Reform.