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Abstract

Wasley and Fine write this essay to respond to the oft-heard claim that small schools are not a systemic reform strategy. They argue, instead, that there is now a broad professional and community consensus for small schools; major policy moves within urban, suburban, and rural communities are being advanced to create and maintain small schools, and substantial social science evidence documents the efficiency and equity potential of small schools .

Author Biography

Patricia A. Wasley is the Dean of the Graduate School at Bank Street College of Education in New York City, where she and the faculty are examining and attempting to define what it means to be a progressive educational institution at the beginning of the new century. They are working in partnership with NYC Public Schools to ensure that emerging teachers are more broadly prepared for current exigencies in urban systems/classrooms. Her current research projects include a study of Chicago's small schools initiative, and a national action project to provide better quality support for newly-emerging teachers . Patricia A. Wasley started her career as a public school teacher and administrator. Dr. Wasley was the Senior Researcher for School Change at the Coalition of Essential Schools and at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University from 1989-1996 . The focus of her research has been on the improvement of public education through teacher and administrator change and whole school reform. She is the author of numerous articles and several books on school reform, including Teachers Who Lead, Stirring the Chalkdust, and Kids and School Reform.

Michelle Fine is a Professor of Social Psychology at the graduate center, City University of New York. Her most recent books include The Unknown City, with Lois Weis by Beacon Press; Becoming Gentlemen with Lani Guinier and Jane Belin by Beacon Press; and Construction Sites: spaces for urban youth to re-imagine the politics of race, gender and class by Teachers College Press.

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