The challenge of overcoming educational inequality in the United States can sometimes appear overwhelming, and great controversy exists as to whether or not elementary schools are up to the task, whether they can ameliorate existing social inequalities and initiate opportunities for economic and civic flourishing for all children. This book shows what can happen when you rethink schools from the ground up with precisely these goals in mind, approaching educational inequality and its entrenched causes head on, student by student. Drawing on an in-depth study of real schools on the South Side of Chicago, Elizabeth McGhee Hassrick, Stephen W. Raudenbush, and Lisa Rosen argue that effectively meeting the challenge of educational inequality requires a complete reorganization of institutional structures as well as wholly new norms, values, and practices that are animated by a relentless commitment to student learning.
They examine a model that pulls teachers out of their isolated classrooms and places them into collaborative environments where they can share their curricula, teaching methods, and assessments of student progress with a school-based network of peers, parents, and other professionals. Within this structure, teachers, school leaders, social workers, and parents collaborate to ensure that every child receives instruction tailored to his or her developing skills. Cooperating schools share new tools for assessment and instruction and become sites for the training of new teachers. Parents become respected partners, and expert practitioners work with researchers to evaluate their work and refine their models for educational organization and practice. The authors show not only what such a model looks like but the dramatic results it produces for student learning and achievement. The result is a fresh, deeply informed, and remarkably clear portrait of school reform that directly addresses the real problems of educational inequality.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 458 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 20 mm
"The Ambitious Elementary School is an important book. It has already affected my thinking and my work. I am a practitioner, working with public schools every day, so I come to works like these as a searcher, as someone always looking for convincing presentations of a better way forward. This book absolutely offers one. I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who believes in the mission of public education."--Ellen Guiney, executive director emeritus, Boston Plan for Excellence
"The Ambitious Elementary School provides a compelling model for school improvement centered on personalized instructional procedures, school-community collaboration, and greatly expanded instructional time. It also illustrates how innovation in charter schools may generate strategies that can be tested by district schools. Readers who are interested in the operations of high-performing charter schools or concerned with school improvement broadly will find much to value in the book."--EducationNext