The Fight for America’s Schools

The Fight for America’s Schools Grassroots Organizing in Education

Edited by Barbara Ferman
paper, 200 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-095-5
Price: $32.00

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In The Fight for America’s Schools, Barbara Ferman brings together a diverse group of contributors to investigate how parents, communities, teachers, unions, and students are mobilizing to oppose market-based reforms in education. Drawing on a series of rich case studies, the book illustrates how disparate groups can forge new alliances to work together toward common goals.


Across the country, parents, teachers, and community leaders are forming broad, community-based coalitions to respond to the growing emphasis on market-oriented public school reform. Drawing on case studies in the Philadelphia, Newark, and Camden metropolitan region, Barbara Ferman and her contributors describe who participates in these school reform coalitions, why they became involved, and the nature of the organizations that support their efforts. This book adds important insights on the ways parents and community members can band together to challenge the powerful forces that are pushing the market-based reform agenda. — Marion Orr, Frederick Lippitt Professor of Public Policy, and professor of political science and urban studies, Brown University

This book could not be more timely, urgent, and compelling. It takes us to the front lines of grassroots organizing against neoliberal assaults on public education today, showing the new ways that parents, teachers, unions, and other progressives—across urban and suburban lines—are building coalitions to boycott high-stakes tests and stop school closings. A richly detailed, carefully argued, and ultimately hopeful book. — Mark R. Warren, professor of public policy and public affairs, University of Massachusetts Boston

This timely book is illuminating, hopeful, and delivers on its goal of providing examples of how grassroots organizing in different contexts is pushing back against neoliberal school reform. — Karen Hunter and Rebecca Cooper Geller, Teachers College Record

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About the Editor

Barbara Ferman is a professor of political science at Temple University and founder and executive director of the University Community Collaborative, a social justice initiative that provides media-based leadership development programming for high school and college students. She is the author of Governing the Ungovernable City: Political Skill, Leadership, and the Modern Mayor (Temple University Press, 1985) and Challenging the Growth Machine: Neighborhood Politics in Chicago and Pittsburgh (University of Kansas Press, 1996) and coauthor of The Political Hand: Policy Implementation and Youth Employment Programs (Pergamon Press, 1985). She has published journal articles and book chapters on community development, racial integration, civic engagement, youth media, community-based research, and pedagogy. She also directs the Philadelphia node of the Urban Based Research Action Network (URBAN), a community of scholars and change makers committed to exploring the intersections of education policy and social justice in order to improve public policy.

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