So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools (Paperback)

So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools By Charles M. Payne Cover Image
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This frank and courageous book explores the persistence of failure in today's urban schools. At its heart is the argument that most education policy discussions are disconnected from the daily realities of urban schools, especially those in poor and beleaguered neighborhoods.

Charles M. Payne argues that we have failed to account fully for the weakness of the social infrastructure and the often dysfunctional organizational environments of urban schools and school systems. The result is that liberals and conservatives alike have spent a great deal of time pursuing questions of limited practical value in the effort to improve city schools.

Payne carefully delineates these stubborn and intertwined sources of failure in urban school reform efforts of the past two decades. Yet while his book is unsparing in its exploration of the troubled recent history of urban school reform, Payne also describes himself as "guardedly optimistic." He describes how, in the last decade, we have developed real insights into the roots of school failure, and into how some individual schools manage to improve. He also examines recent progress in understanding how particular urban districts have established successful reforms on a larger scale.

Drawing on a striking array of sources--from the recent history of various urban school systems, to the growing sophistication of education research, to his own experience as a teacher, scholar, and participant in reform efforts--Payne paints a vivid and unmistakably realistic portrait of urban schools and reforms of the past few decades. So Much Reform, So Little Change will be required reading for everyone interested in the plight--and the future--of urban schools.

About the Author

Charles M. Payne is the Frank P. Hixon Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He is author of Getting What We Ask For: The Ambiguity of Success and Failure in Urban Education (1984) and I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement (1995); the latter book won awards from the Southern Regional Council, Choice, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America. He is coauthor of Debating the Civil Rights Movement (1999), coeditor of Time Longer Than Rope: A Century of African American Activism, 1850-1950 (2003), and coeditor of Teach Freedom: Education for Liberation in the African American Tradition (2008). Payne has served on the board of the Chicago Algebra Project, the Steering Committee for the Consortium on Chicago School Research, the Research Advisory Committee for the Chicago Annenberg Project, and the editorial boards of Catalyst, Sociology of Education, and Educational Researcher. He is cofounder of the Duke Curriculum Project, which involves university faculty in the professional development of public school teachers, and cofounder of the John Hope Franklin Scholars, which prepares high school youngsters for college. He is among the founders of the Education for Liberation Network, which encourages the development of educational initiatives to help young people to think critically about social issues and to understand their own capacity for addressing them. He was also the founding director of the Urban Education Project in Orange, New Jersey, a nonprofit community center that broadens educational experiences for urban youngsters. Payne has taught at Southern University, Williams College, Northwestern University, and Duke University. He has won several teaching awards; he held Northwestern's Charles Deering McCormick Chair for Teaching Excellence and Duke's Sally Dalton Robinson Chair for excellence in teaching and research.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781891792885
ISBN-10: 1891792881
Publisher: Harvard Education PR
Publication Date: April 1st, 2008
Pages: 280
Language: English