Not by Schools Alone: Sharing Responsibility for America's Education Reform

By Sandra A. Waddock | Go to book overview

the other systems that operate in the broader environment in which schools themselves exist, what we can call the macroenvironment. Schools cannot change through programs or partnerships alone. They can change only if they take charge of themselves and begin to rethink their systems, their internal operating procedures, and the ways in which they relate to those constituencies that they once considered "outside."

Schools thus themselves have to assume responsibility for these reforms. While outsiders can attempt to persuade educators to change, while incentives and advice can be offered, and while criticism for lack of change can rage, the only ones capable of effecting real change are those inside the school. Change has to happen not only at the classroom level, but also in the ways in which schools themselves are organized.

Further, change has to happen in the ways in which schools relate to outside constituencies. The boundaries that have been built up so high around schools need to be broken down and communication needs to be established so that mutual responsibilities can be articulated and action plans created. As will be seen in the next chapters, the problems of schools are far from simple. Simple solutions won't work. For anything at all to work, society itself needs to accept responsibility for the welfare and well-being of children, for discipline and guidance, and for creating policies that provide a reasonable start toward gaining an education.


NOTES
1.
See D. W. Osborne and T. Gaebler ( 1992), Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit is Transforming the Public Sector ( Reading, MA: Addison- Wesley).
2.
Many observers have commented on the lack of significant change in public schools in the United States, despite the many criticisms of schools. See, for example, R. S. Barth ( 199 1), Improving Schools from Within: Teachers, Parents, and Principals Can Make the Difference ( San Francisco: Jossey-Bass); R. D. Van Scotter ( 1991), Public Schooling in America: A Reference Handbook ( Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO); D. Perkins ( 1992), Smart Schools: From Training Memories to Educating Minds ( New York: Free Press); P. A. Graham ( 1992), SOS: Sustain Our Schools ( New York: Hill & Wang).
3.
The term '"institutions" is being used here to reflect a wide range of organized entities, including the family as well as more formally structured organizations. This usage follows that of R. Bellah and colleagues in ( 1991), The Good Society ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf.).
4.
See Osborne and Gabler ( 1992).
5.
For example Barth ( 1991), Perkins ( 1992); and Woodring ( 1983), The Persistent Problems of education ( Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation).
6.
R. B. Reich ( 1990), "Who Is Us?" Harvard Business Review January-February: 53-64; C. Handy ( 1989), The Age of Unreason ( Boston: Harvard Business School Press);

-24-

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Not by Schools Alone: Sharing Responsibility for America's Education Reform
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Note 5
  • Chapter 1 a Context of Change 7
  • Notes 24
  • Chapter 2: The Social Fabric of Education 29
  • Chapter 3 the Institutional Fabric of Education 49
  • Notes 73
  • Chapter 4 the Realities and Responsibilities of Education 77
  • Notes 93
  • Chapter 5 Not Alone: Outside in Thinking 95
  • Notes 111
  • Chapter 6 System Dynamics of School Failure 113
  • Notes 135
  • Chapter 7 Structure as Possibility 137
  • Chapter 8 Structure as Solution 161
  • Notes 175
  • Chapter 9 Networks and Schools 177
  • Notes 198
  • Chapter 10 Businesses and Other Employers Linked to Schools 199
  • Notes 215
  • Chapter 11 Conclusions 217
  • References 221
  • Index 231
  • About the Author 241
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