Category Archives: School Bureaucracy

School Reform and the Demise of the Bureaucrat

Summary: The transformation of Foster High School into a functioning academy for a largely immigrant multicultural population, with improved graduation rates, strong math scores, and a peaceful campus is a study in how communication and respect can melt away the … Continue reading

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School Bureaucracy: Behind the Walkout at Garfield High

Summary: The common practice in school districts that adjusts student-teacher ratios a month into school retards the learning process, distracts teachers and counselors from more important work, and in the end simply harms students, some more than others. The practice … Continue reading

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School Bureaucracy: Lessons from the VA and GM

Summary: The current debacles at the Veterans’ Administration and General Motors, and the parallel inability of upper management to solicit data from grass roots workers, may well mirror the deaf ear of too many senior school administrators to teacher point … Continue reading

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School Reform: Once Again A Tale of Teacher Power

Summary: Amid the relative merits of “direct instruction” and “inquiry” approaches to curriculum, a narrative emerges that suggests teacher empowerment may be the more important variable. In the ongoing assault on school dysfunction, debate rages between those who advocate “direct … Continue reading

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School Reform and Bureaucracy: The Washington State Charter Battle

Summary: A lawsuit challenging Washington’s new charter school law on constitutional grounds may be embarrassingly in the end a defense of a dysfunctional status quo. I believe in teachers. Not the Type A’s that reformers would like to attract from … Continue reading

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School Reform: Teacher Entrepreneurs Need Not Apply

Summary: Innovation and entrepreneurship by teachers tend to be dead on arrival because of a broader school culture which favors hierarchical directives. How are teachers to be established as the cornerstone player in a decentralized school culture, as I argue … Continue reading

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School Reform: The Education of a Reformer

Summary:  In an echo of assertions in recent posts that school district leaders need to listen deeply into the ranks in their effort to reform failing schools, we take a look at the current arrival point of the career of … Continue reading

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