In this insightful book, Professor Strike develops a new vision of school reform. Arguing that good schools are strong communities, Strike maintains that the small schools movement is the best hope to create schools that are strong communities. He shows how the core assumptions that characterize the ""community paradigm"" are preferable to those of standards-based reform and choice. Part I examines student disengagement as an issue largely unaddressed by current views of school reform. It shows that belonging is essential to authentic learning and that good schools create a sense that we are all in this together. They have a ""shared educational project"" and exhibit the four Cs of community: coherence, cohesion, care, and connectivity. Part II discusses the small schools movement, recognizing the importance of community but also acknowledging that small size is not sufficient to create good educational communities. We cannot just downsize and hope that something good will happen. Looking at three different school models, Strike discusses the requirements for creating successful small schools and develops a view of accountability appropriate for building educational communities.
Kenneth A. Strike is Professor of Cultural Foundations at Syracuse University and Professor Emeritus of Education at Cornell University. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and is a past president of the Philosophy of Education Society.