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School Districts and Instructional Renewal

Amy M. Hightower Michael S. Knapp Julie A. Marsh Milbrey W. McLaughlin Joseph F. Murphy

240 pages
Teachers College Press
Contrary to the widespread perception of school districts as rigid bureaucracies and obstacles to reform, this volume shows how school districts can and do make essential contributions to the renewal and enhancement of American education. In this unique and very timely volume, an authoritative group of contributors presents and analyzes emerging evidence on district policy and leadership. Providing compelling images of what is possible, this book: Assembles the best current research, including a fascinating case study of San Diego’s Alvarado/Bersin reform initiative. Expands the conversation on what school districts are, what they do, and how they can enhance the quality of teaching and learning in U.S. schools. Introduces powerful conceptual frameworks for visualizing school districts as a catalyst for meaningful and sustained reform, highlighting particular roles the district can play to prompt instructional renewal. Identifies dilemmas and contradictions that arise when examining the district as a key unit of analysis, raising important questions for future research and practice.
Author Bio
Amy M. Hightower was a research associate at Stanford University during the writing of this book. Michael S. Knapp is Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington. Julie A. Marsh is a researcher at Stanford University. Milbrey W. McLaughlin is the David Jacks Professor of Education and Public Policy at Stanford University. All are associated with the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy (CTP).