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Spinning Wheels the Politics of Urban School Reform

by Frederick M. Hess

  • ISBN: 9780815736363
  • ISBN10: 0815736363

Spinning Wheels the Politics of Urban School Reform

by Frederick M. Hess

  • List Price: $45.99
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Brookings Inst Pr
  • Publish date: 09/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780815736363
  • ISBN10: 0815736363
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Description: Almost everyone agrees that America's urban schools are a mess. But while this agreement has fostered widespread support for aggressive reform, Frederick Hess argues that much of what ails urban education is actually the result of continuous or fragmentary reform.

Hess explains that political incentives drive school superintendents to promote reforms -- to demonstrate that they are "matting a difference". Superintendents have to do this quickly, both because their tenure is usually three years or less and because urban communities are anxious to see educational improvement. However, the nature of urban school districts makes it very difficult to demonstrate concrete short-term improvement. The result is what he terms "policy chum", which distracts teachers and principals from efforts to refine classroom teaching while seldom resulting in successful long-term changes.

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