Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago by Anthony S. BrykOrganizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago by Anthony S. Bryk

Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago

byAnthony S. Bryk, Penny Bender Sebring, Elaine Allensworth

Paperback | January 14, 2010

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In 1988, the Chicago public school system decentralized, granting parents and communities significant resources and authority to reform their schools in dramatic ways. To track the effects of this bold experiment, the authors of Organizing Schools for Improvement collected a wealth of data on elementary schools in Chicago. Over a seven-year period they identified one hundred elementary schools that had substantially improved—and one hundred that had not. What did the successful schools do to accelerate student learning?

The authors of this illuminating book identify a comprehensive set of practices and conditions that were key factors for improvement, including school leadership, the professional capacity of the faculty and staff, and a student-centered learning climate. In addition, they analyze the impact of social dynamics, including crime, critically examining the inextricable link between schools and their communities. Putting their data onto a more human scale, they also chronicle the stories of two neighboring schools with very different trajectories. The lessons gleaned from this groundbreaking study will be invaluable for anyone involved with urban education.

Anthony S. Bryk is president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and was founding senior director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR), University of Chicago. Penny Bender Sebring is founding codirector of CCSR, the Urban Education Institute, University of Chicago. Elaine Allensworth is director fo...
Title:Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from ChicagoFormat:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:January 14, 2010Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226078000

ISBN - 13:9780226078007

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Table of Contents


Prologue: A Tale of Two Schools

Introduction: A Rare Opportunity to Learn about School Improvement

1    Developing Appropriate Outcome Indicators

2    A Framework of Essential Supports

3    Testing the Framework of the Essential Supports

4    Probing Deeper: Organizational Mechanisms

5    Trust, Size, and Stability: Key Enablers

6    The Influences of Community Context

Summary and Conclusions

Appendix A: Socioeconomic Status Factor

Appendix B: A Value-Added Indicator: A School’s Academic

Productivity Profile

Appendix C: Overview of the Fourteen Indicators for the Five Essential Supports

Appendix D: Probability Experiment to Evaluate Results Presented in

Figure 3.3

Appendix E: Interview Questions from the Project on Human Development

in Chicago Neighborhoods

Appendix F: Coefficients from Analyses of Leadership in Chapter 4

Appendix G: Value-Added Replication Results for 1997 through


Appendix H: Efforts of the Consortium on Chicago School Research to

Build More Productive Ties between Research, Practice, and Policy

to Improve Practice




Editorial Reviews

"Striking in its attention to the influence of community and educator participation in school reform, and sobering in its assessment of some of the neighborhoods where reform was most difficult to attain, the book Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago is an essential read. . . . Bryk et al. provide a rigorous and compelling empirical study of the possibility for school reform and the degrees of compromise, particularly in contexts where extreme poverty and racial and ethnic isolation prevail."