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

By Sandra A. Waddock | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
A Context of Change

Change is an imperative in the social, technological, and global world that educators, businesspeople, communities, and public leaders face today. Turbulence, chaos, and competition intensified by technological innovation and increased capacity for communication are shaping this new world. Businesses have been and are being transformed. Public institutions and government agencies are being reinvented. 1 Community and social activists along with public policy makers are shaping new means to achieve their goals. These means rely simultaneously upon the incentives of the market, the mandate of policy, regulation, and law, and collaboration among sectors to act in the interest of the broader community. In the face of this turmoil and change, one institution has remained fairly stable, despite significant efforts at reform: the public school. 2

The stability of schools as organizations stands in marked contrast to the dramatic changes in structure that many of our other social institutions, at least those that have been successful, have been going through for about twenty years. 3 Business organizations, in particular, have found that the pressures of global competition and the technological advances posed by the computer have reshaped the way that the most successful among them conduct and organize themselves. Flattened hierarchies, decentralized decision making, shared power, and renegotiated relationships between management and other employees have become the norm in companies that are on the frontiers of their industries. Progressive companies have discovered that such structures are necessary if they are to be able to adapt successfully to the chaotic conditions in which they find themselves. Even

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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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