Meaningful Urban Education Reform

Confronting the Learning Crisis in Mathematics and Science

Other Kathryn M. Borman

Subjects: Urban Education, Social Context Of Education, School Change And Reform
Series: SUNY series, Power, Social Identity, and Education
Paperback : 9780791463307, 301 pages, February 2005
Hardcover : 9780791463291, 301 pages, February 2005

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations

1. Historical Context: How National Science Foundation Reforms Build on Earlier Reforms


Systemic Reform
School CultureĀ—A Possible 7th Driver
The Current Crisis: Closing the Persistent Achievement Gap
Assessing the Impact of the Urban Systemic Initiatives
The School Districts and Cities
Research on Systemic Reform


2. The Importance of District and School Leadership


District and School Administrator Participants
Barriers to Reform
Influence of Assessments


3. Building Relationships to Sustain Reform


Engaging Stakeholders
School-Level Reports of Increasing Stakeholder Involvement
Community Stakeholders' View of USI Impact on Their Involvement


4. Professional Development in Systemic Reform


Professional Development and Standards-Based Practices
Implications for Practice and Policy


5. Instructional Practices in Mathematics and Science Classrooms


Instructional Practices
Understanding Instructional Practices: Our Measurement Tools
Looking at Instructional Practices
Combining Perspectives on Instructional Practices Using Cluster Analysis


6. Student Engagement in Mathematics and Science


Experience Sampling Method


7. Closing the Achievement Gap


Development of the Model
Miami-Dade Initiative
Chicago Initiative


8. School Culture: The Missing Lever in Improving Student Outcomes and Achieving Sustainable Reform


School Culture
Influence of School Culture on Classroom Practices
Measuring School Culture, Professional Development, and Classroom Practices
Measuring Student Achievement, Professional Development, and Classroom Practices across Sites


9. What Have We Learned? A Summary of Key Findings


What Matters at the District Level
What Matters at the School Level
What Matters at the Classroom Level


Appendix A: Instrumentation

Appendix B: Survey of Classroom Practices

Works Cited
List of Contributors

Summarizes findings of a long-term study of math and science education reforms in Chicago, El Paso, Memphis, and Miami.


Based on a three-year study of the National Science Foundation's Urban Systemic Initiative, Meaningful Urban Education Reform is an overview of recent attempts to change teaching in mathematics and science in urban environments. The book evaluates the impact of educational reform on urban schools, determines how schools with the highest levels of poverty in the United States can make successful changes, and investigates how communities and policy makers contribute to student achievement.

Contributors provide compelling portraits of classrooms, teachers, and students in elementary, middle, and high schools through case studies and examples from intensive research in four locations: Chicago, El Paso, Memphis, and Miami. They interviewed, observed, and gathered information from district administrators, school principals, teachers, students and their parents, and community members. The book provides valuable insight into how systemic reform works, offers suggestions regarding assessment of successful learning environments, and addresses the need for intensive, long-term professional development for the purpose of engaging teachers with their colleagues in communities of practice supported by a strong school culture.

Kathryn M. Borman is Professor of Anthropology and Associate Director of the David C. Anchin Center at the University of South Florida. She has collaborated on and coedited numerous books, including Ethnic Diversity in Communities and Schools: Recognizing and Building on Strengths (with M. Yvette Baber and Associates); Adolescent Years: Social Influences and Educational Challenges (coedited with Barbara Schneider); and Changing American Education: Recapturing the Past or Inventing the Future? (coedited with Nancy P. Greenman), also published by SUNY Press.