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Community Action for School Reform
Community Action for School Reform
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Howell S. Baum - Author
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 312 pages
Release Date: August 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5759-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5759-7

Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 312 pages
Release Date: August 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5760-5
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5760-3

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Presents an innovative community approach to educational improvement.

Community Action for School Reform
tells the story of a partnership between Baltimore community activists and a university as they created an organization to improve neighborhood schools. The book examines the challenges they faced, such as persuading community members that they had the necessary knowledge to do something about the schools, starting and sustaining an organization, conducting and using research, engaging the school system, and funding their work.

“Howell Baum’s book is exceptional in two senses: (1) it departs from the customary planning perspective; and (2) it is a provocative, compelling, and theoretically enlightening analysis.” — Planning, Practice, and Research

“…this book is not the type of book that gives ‘20 tips to improve your …’. It is a much more reflective book than that. However, should a teacher, researcher or anybody else trying to work with a community to improve their neighborhood school read this book I am sure they would gain many useful insights and ideas.” — Educational Review

"Howell Baum's Community Action for School Reform tells a refreshingly detailed and insightful story of the Southeast Baltimore Education Task Force community group in partnership with a local university working to improve public schools. Baum'
s work is a much-needed contribution to a small but growing literature tying community participation, planning, and education reform." — Journal of Planning Education and Research

"This is by far the most clear, detailed presentation of a rationale for community action. It clarifies conceptual ambiguities, it does not gloss over the predictable obstacles, and it avoids conveying the impression that all goals are equally attainable or that there is an end point when you declare victory and leave the scene. Anyone contemplating engaging in school reform—or trying to make sense of why school reform has such a poor track record—must read this book; they will be inoculated against the virus of oversimplification and self-inflicted despair." — Seymour B. Sarason, author of Educational Reform: A Self-Scrutinizing Memoir

"This book is a breath of fresh air in an area of scholarship that has been poorly served by researchers, policymakers, and higher education leaders. It sets new standards for honest discussions about the problematic nature of many school reform efforts." — Dennis Shirley, author of Community Organizing for Urban School Reform

"This book is unflinchingly honest in confronting the limits of what local community action can be expected to achieve, both in terms of its resources, and the burdens that people can be expected to bear for the sake of reform, without losing faith in its value." — Peter Marris, author of Meaning and Action: Community Planning and Conceptions of Change

Howell S. Baum is Professor in the Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of Maryland at College Park. He is the author of several books, including most recently, The Organization of Hope: Communities Planning Themselves, also published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents



Part 1: Introduction

1. School Reform and Educational Improvement: Challenges and Responses
2. Attachment and Knowledge
3. Building the Education Field: Getting Parents, Schools, and Communities Together
4. Baltimore, the Schools, and the Southeast Education Task Force

Part 2: Research as a Way of Getting Started

5. Getting Started, Getting Bearings

Part 3: Participation

6. Creating the Southeast Education Task Force
7. Organizing Networks for Southeast Education: Engaging the School System
8. Organizing Networks for Southeast Education: Connecting with Parents and Community Institutions

Part 4: Action

9. Doing Something
10. Education and the Empowerment Zone: Participation in the Service of Action

Part 5: Research as a Means to Action

11. Acting as a Way of Knowing: Action Research
12. Knowing as a Means to Acting: Research for Action

Part 6: Money

13. Money Matters: The Costs of Participation, Research, and Action

Part 7: Tensions between Attachment and Knowledge

14. Realities and Fantasies in University-Community Partnerships
15. Why Community-School Partnerships Are Unlikely
16. Building Networks in Turbulent Fields: Tension between Attachment and Knowledge

Part 8: Lessons and Conclusions

17. Evaluating the Southeast Education Task Force
18. Can Community Action Reform Schools or Improve Education?




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