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Cover for New Schools for a New Century

New Schools for a New Century

The Redesign of Urban Education

Diane Ravitch (Editor), Joseph P. Viteritti (Editor)


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As we cross the threshold of a new century, which approaches are likely to improve public education? In this book, distinguished scholars discuss recent innovations—charter schools, contracting arrangements, and choice—designed to liberate educators from burdensome bureaucratic controls and improve the level of opportunity for all children.

Focusing on the problems in cities, where far too many children have been denied access to quality institutions, the authors examine the lessons to be learned from Catholic schools, site-based management, private entrepreneurs, and specific developments in three cities—New York, Milwaukee, and Chicago. The authors, though realistic about the political and institutional obstacles that stand in the way of meaningful change, foresee the demise of the "one size fits all" approach to schooling. They envision a system of schools that is dynamic, diverse, performance based, and accountable; one that is supportive of professionals, responsive to creativity, intolerant of failure, and committed to high educational standards for all children.


Louann Bierlein

Anthony Bryk

John Chubb

Chester Finn

Paul Hill

Valerie Lee

Paul Peterson

Diane Ravitch

Joseph P. Viteritti

Priscilla Wohlstetter

Yale University Press, 9780300078749, 336pp.

Publication Date: March 11, 1999

About the Author

Diane Ravitch is a senior research scholar at New York University and holds the Brown Chair in Education Studies at the Brookings Institution. She served as assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education from 1991 to 1993. She is the author of six books, including The Great School Wars, The Troubled Crusade, and National Standards in American Education. Joseph P. Viteritti is a research professor of public administration at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He has served as special assistant to the chancellor of the New York City public schools and was a senior adviser to the superintendents of schools in San Francisco and Boston. He is the author of three books, including Across the River: Politics and Education in the City.