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Despite widespread recognition that school systems need to do profoundly better, those seeking improvement have been persistently frustrated by the mediocre results of popular reforms. School and system leaders, policymakers, and funders lack clear guidance as to the steps necessary to dramatically and effectively transform an educational ecosystem. Would-be reformers need a playbook outlining clear strategies for rethinking outdated approaches to school and system governance, resource allocation, quality control, talent management, and data use for the 21st century.
In this volume, a team of national experts addresses the major elements necessary for system redesign, describing in detail the steps needed at the community, school, district, and state level.
“Blueprint for School System Transformation takes on the silver bullet mentality plaguing too many education reforms today. We can’t layer a change or two on top of a foundation built for a different era. We must instead seek, in the editors’ words, to widen the landscape of possibility.”
— Kevin Huffman, Commissioner of Education, Tennessee Department of Education
“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. But it gets better. They’ve brought it all together in a fresh, accessible way by inviting the contributors to apply their knowledge to a real city we all know and love. These people are wicked smart and have very dirty fingernails. Try what they’re proposing; kids will thank you for it.”
— Matt Candler, CEO, 4.0 SCHOOLS
“For two decades, some education reformers have pushed for a variety of reforms to improve education for those students who are most in need of significant changes in the quality of schooling they are receiving. In this volume, a collection of smart, thoughtful, and experienced thinkers offer a vision for building on the gains and rethinking those practices that have not worked. This is a volume that educators, community leaders, and reformers will find invaluable when it comes to truthfully accessing what works and what needs to be improved or done away with in order to realize the promise of education reform.”
— Howard Fuller, Founder and Director, Institute for the Transformation of Learning, Marquette University
“All too often, policy prescriptions for changing an education landscape are isolated and disconnected from the reality of what’s actually happening on the ground. As Hess and Sattin-Bajaj point out in the introduction, we’ve witnessed a disappointing hodge-podge of layered ideas, creating confusion about what reform actually is and further distancing the very people who need to understand their ability to change is possible. Building a new education ecosystem requires an approach much like building a model car, with all the right pieces in the box needing to be connected properly. So it is with this model in front of us—a package full of reforms that have all worked somewhere in isolation but rarely together in one system—that should be approached with interest, craft, and resolution so we can finally begin to solve the most pressing crisis we have today.”
— Jeanne Allen, President and Founder, Center for Education Reform
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