Mayoral takeovers of big city public education systems are desperation measures. After decades of decline in school quality, something must be done to make sure city children learn enough to function as adults in American society. But how can city leaders make a real difference? This book, a sequel to Fixing Urban Schools (Brookings, 1998), is a practical guide for mayors, civic leaders, school board members, and involved citizens. Based on case studies of city reform initiatives in Boston, Memphis, New York City District #2, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Seattle, the book provides practical guidance on how to formulate a plan bold enough to work and how to deal with political opposition to change. It concludes that mayors and private sector leaders must stay engaged in education reform by creating new public-private institutions to support high quality schools.
Paul T. Hill is coauthor (with Mary Beth Celio) of Fixing Urban Schools (Brookings, 1998) and (with Christing Campbell and James Harvey) of It Takes a City (Brookings, 2000). He is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., USA, and a research professor at the University of Washington's Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, USA. Christine Campbell is a researcher at the University of Washington's Center on Re-Inventing Public Education, USA. James Harvey is a senior fellow at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington, USA. He is also a Seattle-based consultant. A former appointee in the Carter administration, he helped develop the landmark report A Nation at Risk for the National Commission on Excellence in Education.