The Redesign of Urban School Systems

The Redesign of Urban School Systems Case Studies in District Governance

Edited by Donald R. McAdams and Dan Katzir
cloth, 360 Pages
Pub. Date: August 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-575-6
Price: $90.00

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paper, 360 Pages
Pub. Date: August 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-574-9
Price: $59.95

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instructor's guide, 120 Pages
Pub. Date: August 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-579-4
Price: 19.95

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The Redesign of Urban School Systems provides a uniquely valuable resource for anyone involved in preparing education leaders for the political and practical realities of district-based school reform.


This book is a rare double play. The cases place readers in a troubled urban political context, requiring them to formulate strategic and governance decisions. The cross-case patterns and lessons also help readers understand education politics and the keys to system failure or success. — Michael Kirst, professor emeritus, Stanford University, and president, California State Board of Education

The smartest teaching tool for current and aspiring superintendents I have ever seen—brilliant! — Tim Quinn, president, Quinn and Associates; former urban school superintendent; and former college president

McAdams and Katzir have crafted the essential text for anyone intending to fully understand and implement transformational improvement in public education. No class in educational leadership will be complete without it. — Caprice Young, vice president for education, Laura and John Arnold Foundation

Don McAdams and Dan Katzir have provided us with a treasure trove for teaching and learning about the huge challenges and rewards of leading urban school systems. These cases touch on the critical strategies for improving school systems in all of their complexity. The teaching notes reflect the authors’ deep experience with using these very cases with top urban leaders in America and the passion and thoughtfulness which they have brought to this work. — Karen Hawley Miles, executive director, Education Resource Strategies

The Redesign of Urban School Systems: Case Studies in District Governance is effective and engaging. The cases are data rich, and consistently raise compelling issues that will be of interest not just to school board members, but also to scholars and those seeking to learn more about the ways that districts succeed and fail.  — Jeffrey Brooks, Teachers College Record

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About the Editors

Donald R. McAdams is the founder and chairman of the Center for Reform of School Systems.

Dan Katzir is a senior adviser and former managing director at The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.

Table of Contents

Instructor's Guide

Other books in District-Based Reform

Improving School Board Effectiveness

Edited by Thomas L. Alsbury and Phil Gore, foreword by Willard R. Daggett

Other books in District-Based Reform

Achieving Coherence in District Improvement

Susan Moore Johnson, Geoff Marietta, Monica C. Higgins, Karen L. Mapp, and Allen Grossman

Other books in District-Based Reform

School Turnarounds

Heather Zavadsky, foreword by Steven J. Adamowski