Coming this January--Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago, a new book by researchers from the Consortium on Chicago School Research, University of Chicago.
This book provides a detailed analysis of why 100 elementary schools showed extraordinary progress in attendance and test scores over a seven-year period and why 100 others did not. Using massive longitudinal evidence on the conditions within schools and the communities in which they are located, the study yields a comprehensive set of school practices and conditions that promote improvement, noting that the absence of these spells stagnation.
The five essential supports are: school leadership, professional capacity, parent-community ties, student-centered learning climate, and instructional guidance. In contrast to many current reform efforts that seek to spur progress through one or two of these elements, this book shows that substantial school improvement requires building the social organization within schools and orchestrating initiatives across multiple domains.
Moving beyond the schoolhouse, the authors analyze community context to discover the ways internal practices of improving schools are inexorably entwined with the social resources of local neighborhoods. They raise troublesome questions about our society’s capacity to improve schooling in its most neglected communities.
These findings are particularly timely as school districts nationwide launch a new round of efforts to turn around their most troubled schools. This pioneering undertaking by authors Anthony S. Bryk, Penny Bender Sebring, Elaine Allensworth, Stuart Luppescu, and John Q. Easton provides invaluable knowledge to urban education professionals and policy makers alike. The University of Chicago Press will publish this book on January 15, 2010.
To pre-order Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago, please visit the University of Chicago Press .