Challenges of Urban Education and Efficacy of School Reform

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Richard C. Hunter, Frank Brown
JAI, 2003 - Business & Economics - 337 pages
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Urban education is the primary target of the school reform movement and remains the most difficult to assess and repair. The crisis in urban school systems mirrors many of the problems found in big cities - poor economic conditions for schools and families, personnel shortages and high turnover rates, improper facilities and materials, and political struggles over issues of structure and control. This book analyses the problems affecting urban schools and their students and the efforts that have been made to make these schools more accountable and effective. This book is organized in three parts. Part one provides an overview of many of the issues facing urban school districts, their students and their communities including meeting the needs of racially, ethnically, linguistically and culturally diverse populations, financing schools located in economically disadvantaged areas, and attracting and maintaining qualified teachers and administrators. Part two examines the impact demands for increased accountability and equity influence urban education reform. The issues discussed in this section include academic standards and high stakes testing, technology and the digital divide, the role of leadership and impact of teacher shortages, and school finance and public policy. Part three focuses on strategies developed to reform and improve urban school systems. These chapters examine federal education policy, the impact of school choice and related issues such as privatization and vouchers, the influence of community involvement, and state sponsored reform and reorganization efforts.

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About the author (2003)

Richard C. Hunter is a professor of educational administration and former head of the Educational Organization and Leadership Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds an EdD in policy, planning, and administration from the University of California at Berkeley and was professor and chair of the Educational Leadership Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has worked as a teacher, a principal, and an assistant and associate superintendent in the public schools of Berkeley, California; U.S. Air Force Schools in Tokyo, Japan; Richmond, California; and Seattle, Washington. He also was the district superintendent of the public schools of Richmond, Virginia; Dayton, Ohio; and Baltimore, Maryland. He was an associate director for education for the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity in Arlington, Virginia. He was given a Fulbright Scholar Program Award from the U.S. Department of State and is currently serving as a lecturer at the Bahrain Teachers College of the University of Bahrain.

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