How do you transform a school system?

  • Title:

    Blueprint for School System Transformation: A Vision for Comprehensive Reform in Milwaukee and Beyond
  • Paperback Price:

    22.95
  • Paperback ISBN:

    978-1-4758-0469-0
  • 137 Paperback pages
  • Hardcover Price:

    45.00
  • Hardcover ISBN:

    978-1-4758-0468-3
  • Buy the Book

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 16, 2013
CONTACT: mediaservices@aei.org / 202.862.5829

In their new book, "Blueprint for School System Transformation" (Roman & Littlefield 2013), Frederick M. Hess (AEI) and Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj (Seton Hall University) offer actionable recommendations for a comprehensive system overhaul, one which promises to help guide America’s antiquated schools into the 21st century.

Hess and Sattin-Bajaj, along with a team of national experts use Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a city recognized for its pioneering school choice efforts, as a prism through which to examine what this overhaul will look like in practice.
"In our experience, well-meaning reformers are too often content to layer their new proposals atop outdated schools and systems," Hess and Sattin-Bajaj argue. "Unsurprisingly, efforts have repeatedly failed to deliver the results for which we hoped."

"Blueprint for School System Transformation" not only makes the case that we can do radically better. It highlights a promising path forward for state, civic, and system leaders ready to transform—not tinker with—school and system governance, resource allocation, quality control, talent management, and data use that will deliver the best results for students.

"Hess and Sattin-Bajaj slice through the fat and get right to the meat: the stuff that actually works in schools explained by the people who are actually doing it," CEO of 4.0 SCHOOLS Matt Candler said, "Try what they’re proposing; kids will thank you for it."

Among the many recommendations, which should not be implemented in isolation, but in tandem with other system reforms, the contributors in "Blueprint for School System Transformation" propose that:

  • Districts and school leaders explore new staffing designs and teacher compensation models to attract, retain, and maximize the most talented teachers.
  • Universities partner with state and local education agencies to establish a research consortium, allowing unbiased, "user-friendly" knowledge to be shared with policymakers, providers, and the public.
  • Philanthropists and community leaders support collaborations with organizations like GreatSchools, which offer resources and guidance for parents to inform school and course choice.


Frederick M. Hess is a resident scholar and the director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj is assistant professor of education policy and research and co-director of the Center for College Readiness at Seton Hall University. Please contact a media services representative at mediaservices@aei.org or 202.862.5829 for additional information or media requests.

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About the Author

 

Frederick M.
Hess
  • An educator, political scientist and author, Frederick M. Hess studies K-12 and higher education issues. His books include "Cage-Busting Leadership," "Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age," "The Same Thing Over and Over," "Education Unbound," "Common Sense School Reform," "Revolution at the Margins," and "Spinning Wheels." He is also the author of the popular Education Week blog, "Rick Hess Straight Up." Hess's work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Education Review, Social Science Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, American Politics Quarterly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Leadership, U.S. News & World Report, National Affairs, the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic and National Review. He has edited widely cited volumes on the Common Core, the role of for-profits in education, education philanthropy, school costs and productivity, the impact of education research, and No Child Left Behind.  Hess serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, and on the review boards for the Broad Prize in Urban Education and the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. He also serves on the boards of directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and 4.0 SCHOOLS. A former high school social studies teacher, he teaches or has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University and Harvard University. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government, as well as an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum, from Harvard University.


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  • Email: rhess@aei.org
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