Got a first hand account of urban school “reform”?

Brett Murphy, 11th grade U.S. History Teacher, Brooklyn, NY wants your stories!!!

“In the past decade, alarms have been ringing about the need to improve public education in the United States and, in particular, “fix” city schools. With its roots in the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2001, the furor over transforming urban districts has taken on a life of its own. Accountability,choice, and control, the reform movement has argued, are the key ideas that can solve social inequity and ensure that every child can learn and succeed.

Much of the information on the progress of these new policies has come from politicians, journalists, and even filmmakers on the left and right who have framed these specific changes as the start of an important movement towards a quantitatively better education system. Absent from the dialogue – and from the knowledge that everyday Americans have about what’s going on – are the qualitative experiences of what’s actually happening inside of city classrooms. This edited volume will be a collection of essays by teachers working in urban districts for the general public that provide firsthand accounts of how these reforms are being experienced and what it means for the children growing up in our nation’s cities.

The book is organized around the recurring buzz words that the education reform movement has used to define their policies: accountability, quality, evaluation, choice, and equity. Each of these will be a chapter that includes an introduction by the editor covering related policies implemented in urban districts, including the stated goals of policy makers for creating these reforms. This short introduction will be followed by the stories of teachers that demonstrate how these reforms play out on a daily basis. The editor will do a follow up interview with each contributor about their vision for what would work in public education to complete the epilogue.

The book’s topics would be organized into the following chapters:

1. Introduction to the book
2. Accountability: Standards and high stakes testing
3. Quality: Measuring a teacher’s worth, tenure, and turnover
4. Evaluation: School grades and closures
5. Choice: Charter schools, co-locations, and the small school movement
6. Equity: What it really means to educate every child well.
7. Epilogue – 21st century skills: Reframing the vision – how teachers
imagine education reform

Please send abstracts to by July 15, 2013, including which chapter you think your story best relates to. Deadline for pieces, which should range from 4-15 pages, will be September 15, 2013.”


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