Big cities have mostly failed in their efforts to reform public schools. This book shows why - and offers a framework for achieving future success. Fullan and Boyle, internationally renowned thinkers on school change, demonstrate that while the educational challenges of big cities can be overwhelming, they are not insurmountable. They identify six essential "push" and "pull" actions that can enable big school systems to improve student achievement. Leaders need to push to challenge the status quo, convey a high sense of urgency, and have the courage needed to intervene. But they need to also pull together to create a commonly owned strategy, develop a professional power of capital, and attend to sustainability. Examining three major cities - New York, Toronto, and London - through the decade of 2002-2012, this book weaves case studies with careful analysis and recommendations to hone in on which policies and strategies generate quality implementation that in turn raise the bar for all students and reduce the gap for the disadvantaged. Big-City School Reforms offers invaluable advice to those leading the next phase of school reform in cities around the world.
Michael Fullan, Order of Canada, is professor emeritus of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Alan Boyle is director of Leannta Education Associates where he designs professional learning for education leaders.