How Schools Change: Lessons from Three Communities
Everyone agrees that American education is in a state of crisis. But what do schools need to do to effect meaningful change? And what is required for ... Show synopsis Everyone agrees that American education is in a state of crisis. But what do schools need to do to effect meaningful change? And what is required for them to succeed? How Schools Change is the first behind-the-scenes look at three high schools that are trying to create learning communities that prepare their students for the twenty-first century. At the Hull Junior-Senior High School, a primarily white public school in a recession-battered community; Cambridge Rindge and Latin, a multi-ethnic, urban public school; and Brimmer and May, a private school in a wealthy suburb, Tony Wagner takes us into the trenches - the classrooms, teachers' meetings, and school board gatherings where policies and principles are translated into words and actions. He shows us teachers struggling with new methods, administrators reluctantly sharing power with their staffs, and students learning to take responsibility for their own educations. Wagner's interviews with teachers, administrators, students, and parents give voice to the efforts of each to make their school a more effective and caring place. How Schools Change concludes with an analysis of the necessary - and rarely found - components of successful school reform. Wagner finds that communities must reach consensus on the need for and goals of school change, clearly defining new intellectual competencies and core values for all students. Educators and administrators must also learn to share power and knowledge with each other, with students, and with members of the community. This sometimes disturbing, sometimes hopeful work will be essential reading for educators, parents, policymakers, community and business leaders, and all others concerned aboutthe future of high school education.