Dan A. Lewis is Professor of Education and Social Policy at the Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research at Northwestern University, and Vice President for Public Policy of the Mental Health Association in Illinois. He has also written Worlds of the Mentally Ill and The State Mental Patient and Urban Life. Kathryn Nakagawa is Assistant Professor of Education at the University of California, Irvine.
"The book combines a concern for the education of African-Americans with a broader concern for urban school politics and the issues of decentralization. This is a powerful combination of issues that this book effectively weaves into a coherent analysis. " — Philip G. Altbach, State University of New York at Buffalo
"The book offers a broad, structural perspective on school reform in the past twenty years. Too often research on education reform tends to take a narrow view that fails to link the school system to societal transformation. I believe that the book will contribute to our understanding of school decentralization, which the authors defined in terms of 'a general societal movement to include marginal groups within the broader institutional protection of civil society. ' The book also examines the important issue of the impact of school reform on racial equity in the changing urban context. Finally, it usefully differentiates two modes of parental involvement—empowerment and enablement. The limits of parental participation, as suggested by this study, are likely to have broad policy implications on the next round of school reform. " — Kenneth Wong, University of Chicago